Oddbox fighting food waste: A celebration of the wonky

OddboxFrom tomatoes that look like buttocks to aubergines that resemble genitalia, misshapen fruit and veg have kept us Brits entertained through many a dark time, even though they are rarely seen in the supermarkets. In fact, it is claimed that around 40% of commercially-grown fruits and vegetables are not eaten as they do not meet retailers’ cosmetic standards.

But things are changing – gradually – helped in no small part by the rise of delivery service Oddbox, which has worked with agency Hell Yeah! to create its first ever TV campaign.

Founded in 2016 Oddbox grew sixfold in 2020 alone. It has raised £19m in funding across 2020 and 2021 to further its impact. The firm partners directly with growers to take their surplus and odd fruit and veg and delivers its boxes to customers across the country.

The TV spot, which celebrates the positive community of Oddboxers, tells the story of two neighbours who bond over their Oddbox delivery.

It opens with the neighbours leaving their houses in the morning and finding that both have their Oddbox delivery waiting on their doorstep. They celebrate over their wonky fruit and veg – and the fact that everything in their Oddbox has been rescued from the risk of going to waste.

The ad, which will run across the Sky network and Channel 4, will be supported by out of home activity across London and travel networks and supports Oddbox’s drive for growth as it looks to become better known outside of London.

Oddbox co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe said: “As we start the new year, we wanted to capitalise on everyone’s good intentions – Oddbox is an easy way to make a positive change for the planet and enjoy some great fresh produce to boot. Hell Yeah! has helped us create an ad that shows that Oddbox is more than just a veg box – it’s a community, and a way to make a difference that you can feel proud of.”

Hell Yeah! founder Dulcie Cowling added: “One of the things that sets Oddbox apart is the community it has built around its boxes. People love opening them, and we wanted the whole ad to capture the excitement of delivery day.

“Oddboxers also feel a sense of satisfaction, knowing that they’re doing something positive for climate change, so we wanted to capture their pride without it feeling worthy. We’ve made something that’s warm and uplifting to watch – but at the same time, that celebrates the passion and pride that comes with being an Oddboxer.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, let’s face it, who doesn’t love wonky fruit and veg? In the UK, there has traditionally been huge resistance to selling such produce, despite the fact that every farmer and allotment holder in the country has been growing them for decades.

Before a reversal of European Union policy which came into effect on 1 July 2009, misshaped or wonky fruit and vegetables could not be sold by retailers and were required to be thrown away.

Luckily things have moved on since then, but there are still millions of tonnes of food waste in the UK each year. Sadly for firms like Oddbox, the supermarkets are now jumping on board with their own ranges.

Still, if you have the spare cash, why not become an Oddboxer; you know it makes sense…

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “juicy” 9 out of 10

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