Here’s how a startup in Singapore saves blemished fruit and vegetables
According to the NEA, a whopping 665,000 tonnes of food loss was generated in Singapore in 2020 alone. One of the causes for this waste are supermarkets and wholesalers that discard fruit and vegetables with superficial damage. Rather than letting perfectly edible produce go to waste, Uglyfood purchases and repackages them for convenient delivery at a 20 to 40% discount off regular retail prices. We talk to Uglyfood General Manager SEAN GOH about the concept and how it works.
What is Uglyfood?
Uglyfood was founded in 2017 with a mission to eliminate food waste and revamp the food ecosystem. Our aim is to make sustainability a part of people’s everyday lives by creating content that promotes our cause and links back to sustainable grocery shopping. By doing this, we can tackle the surplus in the ecosystem caused by inflexible eating and fluctuations in consumer demand; and we can also fix misconceptions around edible fruit and vegetables being perceived as being inedible. We also hold educational and gamified workshops with schools in Singapore and with global companies using virtual platforms. We strongly believe that the collective misconception needs to be addressed, to teach participants about what’s truly edible and what’s not.
How do Uglyfood’s surprise bundles help?
Today, supermarkets need to cater to everyone’s needs; yet they have no idea when everyone will come or what they will buy. Their predictive models can only go so far, so they’ll stock up on produce and try to forecast demand. But nobody can accurately predict the future. Over-importing and waste always happens due to inaccurate forecasting.
What if individuals came with a flexible mindset to help clear what’s needed to clear first? You can do that with our surprise bundles. We like to work with local farms, and the short transit time means our fruit and vegetables are definitely fresh, but occasionally ugly. Sometimes we have great deals that are promoted on our clearance page or directly included in the week’s bundle. All our packaging is donated and recycled back into the ecosystem. If things are unsatisfactory, you can always contact us and we’ll work out a refund. We hope that you’ll try our service and support a new movement in flexible eating.
We also share what’s in store for the week on our Telegram and Instagram channels on Mondays, so stay tuned!
What fruit and vegetables are available?
Our produce is sourced from local producers and importers, so you’ll have a wide variety of fruit and vegetable options. If you’re looking for exotic fruit and vegetables in Singapore you’ll have unique options like African lemons, Brazilian figs, American Sweetheart cherries and Korean white peaches. It’s also worth noting that not all of our produce is blemished. We also sell pristine surplus products that would otherwise expire on shelves. Customers who prefer these can request them specifically during checkout.
Do you deliver?
Yes; fruit and vegetable delivery in Singapore is available at $6 for orders below $40, and $3 for orders between $40 and $65. Orders above $65 are eligible for free delivery.
Alternatively, you can arrange to collect your groceries at our flagship store at SUTD or at partner pick-up locations like Treatsure Concept store, Philip’s Market at Serangoon Gardens or Honeymill at Paragon; you’ll even enjoy special treats from our partners like discounts and free sorbets!
Visit the Uglyfood website to order your surprise bundle or to find out more about workshops.
Written in collaboration with Uglyfood.