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Oddbox launches the world’s first vegetable dating service

Fruit and veg delivery company Oddbox has unveiled the world’s first vegetable dating service ‘Soilmates’. The tool aims to combat food waste by finding a recipe match for lonely or leftover vegetables.

The site allows people to enter select vegetables sitting in their fridge drawers producing tasty, low-waste recipe suggestions which put them to good use. It’s like Tinder for vegetables, without the hassle of going on a date.

New research from the brand found a fifth of Brits consider themselves a ‘fruit and veg snob’ with almost a quarter (21%) admitting they even discard certain items because of how it looks- despite being edible.

It was also revealed that the average person throws away 10% of fruit and veg away each week despite nearly a third (29%) of their bill going on these items during their typical weekly food shop. Salad leaves, cucumbers and tomatoes are among the most common items to be discarded with almost 38% doing so as a result of them going out of date faster than they expected.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, and cuffing season in full swing, we are all desperate for a bit of loving, and vegetables shouldn’t be left behind. The dating profiles featured on ‘Soilmates’ have been created to highlight these often discarded vegetables, featuring profiles from Tommy Vine, Clarence Umber and Lotty Cab’age.

More than half (53%) admit they need to eat more fruit and veg than they currently do as 55% say they want more variety when it comes to their overall diet and meal planning.

Heather Lynch, Head of Impact at Oddbox, which also commissioned the study, said: “We want to change the destiny of thousands of vegetables, to help fight food waste and create tasty plates of food in the process. Not knowing what to do with leftover vegetables, or a lack of inspiration to turn them into delicious meals is one of the most common causes of food waste at home. ‘Soilmates’ gives people the help they need to fight food waste in a fun and engaging way.”

Nearly a sixth (15%) only need to use a few products but can’t help that they come in a multipack – leading them to discard the not needed – while 28% simply forget they are in the fridge.

But encouragingly, only 12% admit to buying things when they know it’s more than likely they won’t get eaten. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of those who do this claim the intentions are there while 47% just want to appear healthy. Shamefully, 36% only buy these healthy foods because they want their fridge to look colourful.

Of all those polled, making soup (43%) was the most popular option for what to do with any ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables while 23% prefer to turn them into smoothies. When thinking of the fruit and veg most likely to be uneaten, 28% would refuse an artichoke and 21% per would turn their nose up at an avocado.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) are guilty of often repeating the same recipes each week with 21% saying they lack creativity in the kitchen. However, 42% don’t let innovation issues get in the way and will typically try to find a substitute if they are missing an ingredient.

Oddbox is working with internet sensation and food-waste disruptor Martyn Odell, otherwise known as Lagom Chef to demonstrate how easy it is to use up unwanted vegetables. Martyn comments, “The new ‘Soilmates’ tool is an amazing way to reduce food waste and get people experimenting with fruits and vegetables they haven’t tried before. For example, something like beetroot isn’t on many people’s weekly food shop, but there are many ways to use them, from soups to salads, and ‘Soilmates’ will provide people with a range of recipes if they are unsure what to do.”


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