In 2014 French supermarket Intermarché campaigned to promote the purchase of grotesque looking but perfectly edible fruits and vegetables. What previously would have been rejects were bought from the farmers and sold 30 percent cheaper than their regular looking equivalents. To convince suspicious consumers, the supermarket even made soups out of these ugly foods to prove their worth. The campaign was wildly popular and people around the world, who learned about the campaign through social media, urged their neighbourhood supermarkets to do the same. If there was any doubt about this campaign, it was about the supermarket’s sincerity to do good.
But there is potentially a bigger issue than a disguised publicity stunt — food companies setting the tone on what is responsible consumption, providing the products associated with it, and making a profit (directly or indirectly via publicity) from the sale of these products.