KINGSVILLE, ON—There’s a reason I was looking for a Loblaws BB #:138169. I wanted to see how the company’s no name off-grade produce displayed in-store.
And I’m happy to report it’s one of the best treatments for off-grade, misfit, ugly, imperfect — however you want to refer to it — I’ve seen in-store so far. I’m still back and forth over whether retailers need to tackle off-grade as an additional SKU. We’ve trained consumers to buy with their eyes for so long that it will take a monumental shift in consumer perception to buy the “ugly” stuff without a discount, and we all know it doesn’t cost any less to plant, grow, pick, pack or ship things that aren’t as pretty.
This produce department was huge, the biggest one I saw in my adventures in Ontario and Detroit (even bigger than Meijer’s, I think!) and it had Loblaws’ signature fresh-cut and juicing station located prominently in the center of the department.
There was a lot of emphasis on Ontario and Canadian produce, but I also saw (besides the obvious Mexican and American produce) Chilean, South African, Moroccan, and Taiwanese items. I’m sure there were more countries of origin that I didn’t notice.
Take a look around Zehrs, a Loblaws banner.