Food waste fear as Nottingham ASDA branches stop selling loose fruit and veg

Video: A Nottingham environmental expert says bulk cooking can prevent food waste

Several Asda stores in Nottingham have sparked concerns over food waste by saying they will no longer sell loose fruit and veg.

The supermarket chain announced on Tuesday (May 16) that individual carrots, potatoes, apples and other fruit and vegetables will only be available to buy in pre-weighed bags because research shows customers ‘prefer buying in packs’.

Asda stores in Hyson Green, Arnold and Long Eaton are among those who have stopped selling loose items.

Branches in Ilkeston and West Bridgford still have some individual produce on sale, but have reduced what they stock.

Asda said the changes are a trial before a final decision is made as research shows customers ‘prefer buying in packs’.

A spokesman for Asda said: “We want to offer our customers a great range of fresh produce and are always looking at the best way to do this.

“After analysing customer buying habits we decided to trial removing some loose produce items from our stores where our research showed customers preferred buying in packs.

“Our plan was to listen to customer feedback on this trial before making any permanent changes, and we will do this.”

Asda stores in Hyson Green, Arnold and Long Eaton are among those who have stopped selling loose items, although branches in Ilkeston and West Bridgford still have some individual produce on sale.

But some environmental experts have warned the changes may lead to more food ending up in the bin as not everybody will want to buy large amounts.

Laura Green, from Nottingham Trent University’s environment team, said: “Buying in bulk doesn’t actually work for everybody – for example single people, students and couples.

“If you’re buying in bulk it can go off quickly, and if you’re not using it by the dates it might go rotten in your fridge.

“You’re not getting your full use so it’s going to lead to more wasted food.”

Which Nottingham Asdas are affected?

Hyson Green: has stopped selling most loose fruit and veg – but still has apples and some other loose fruit on sale
Arnold: Has loose bananas, oranges and peppers – but all other stock is pre-packed
Ilkeston: Has loose melons, apples, pineapples and bananas
Strelley Road: Has loose potatoes and parsnips – but all other veg is packed
West Bridgford: No loose carrotts or potatos – but still sells loose apples, parsnips and grapefruit
Long Eaton: Has no loose fruit as they say ‘that’s what customers want’

Laura did say there are ways to buy packaged fruit and vegetables without any going to waste.

She said: “If you are forced to buy in bulk you can always cook in bulk as well.

“You can cook chillis, curries and Shepherd’s pies and freeze them – bulk cook on a Sunday and then freeze food for the rest of the week.

“If your bananas are going a bit soft they tend to be sweeter, so you can make banana bread – which is great to make with kids and you’re not wasting your bananas.”

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