Food prices have been rising in the UK at their fastest rate in more than 45 years, at 16.4% a year. This is putting British household budgets under additional pressure. The population is already facing the biggest rise in taxation since 1945 and the steepest fall in living standards on record. But the sharp increase in food prices has had one benign effect: It’s boosted a curious corner of the fresh produce market — ugly fruit and vegetables.
Sales of imperfect produce are soaring in the UK — up almost 20% over the past year — and almost 5 million Brits now buy it regularly. The reason, said Hollie Starkey, who’s a wonky veg retailer based near the English Midlands city of Leicester, is fairly obvious: “Cost of living crisis, pure and simple,” she said. “Wonky veg is cheaper. It can be about half the price of cosmetically appealing produce. And everyone’s trying to look after the pennies at the moment. Everyone’s feeling the pinch.”