Asda’s experimenting with imperial measurements by selling strawberries by the pound. Is this something you’d like to see rolled out, or are weight measurements an entirely outdated concept when buying fruit and veg?
If you’ve been shopping in Asda in the past week you may have noticed something strange – the supermarket giant has started selling its strawberries in 1lb punnets.
If that sounds a little like a blast from the past, that’s because it is – this is the first time the shop’s used imperial measurements in over 10 years. The plan is to see if there’s enough shopper demand for the old system – and if so, it could be rolled out to other fruit and veg.
Having grown up with metric measurements, being presented with food weighed by the pound isn’t going to make my life any easier. A pound of sugar is about all I have to draw upon as a comparison tool, which isn’t going to help me when I want to buy a couple of apples or a bunch of grapes.
Is buying by weight going out of fashion?
I’d even take it a step further and say there’s a whole generation of us who don’t pay attention to weights at all when shopping. Most fruit and veg is pre-packed in supermarkets nowadays so we don’t have a clue what it weights.
Take many people to a market and they wouldn’t have a clue what their punnet of strawberries or shrink-wrapped broccoli equates to, grams or ounces. I tend to ask for ‘eight carrots’, ‘four onions’ or ‘a few handfuls of potatoes’ when I’m at my local farmer’s market – it works for me.
But, if Asda’s research is anything to go by, there’s plenty of demand to bring back the old system. It found that 70% of its shoppers were confused by metric and would prefer products to be labelled in pounds. And 20% even said the confusion was taking them longer to shop.
Metric devotees needn’t worry though – all packs are required to display metric weights by law, with imperial an optional extra. But, with so many confusing logos, lists and schemes already competing for space on our food labels is there really room for two different weight measurements as well?