Food sourcing director at Tesco, Matt Simister, told a House of Lords inquiry that overly-discerning customers were the main cause of food waste, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
“Customers naturally select, they always pick the cream of crop first and the rest of it then gets left,” said Simister. “Then, the new deliveries come in and you have the new cream of the crop – the old, ugly misshapen produce goes to waste.”
Shoppers always choose the products that look cosmetically better, which is “a very difficult reality to us”, said Simister.
More tolerant east European counterparts
Tesco contrasted fussy British shoppers with their much more tolerant east European counterparts. Consumers in eastern Europe were far more likely to accept imperfect food items.
Don’t miss our infographic charting the causes and shocking consequences of food waste.
Meanwhile, US stock broker BP Berstein has claimed that the retail giant puts up prices more quickly than any other British grocer. But a Tesco spokesman rejected the criticism, saying the retailer competed hard on price and quality to deliver the best value to its customer.