New Zealand loves ugly, well, when it comes to fruit and vegetables anyway.

Sales of Countdown's The Odd Bunch have skyrocketed by more than 145 per cent in the past year as more and more shoppers get on board.

Just like humans, fruit and vegetables come in all different shapes and sizes and despite being perfectly edible, any strange looking produce would have been bound for the bin.

However, two years ago Countdown launched The Odd Bunch in a bid to reduce food waste, help growers and suppliers, and make products cheaper in store.

Advertisement

Countdown's head of produce Steve Sexton said shoppers once preferred perfect-looking produce but times were changing.

"Our customers have been very open to giving imperfect produce a go; a few hail spots or blemishes aren't a good enough reason to let good food end up in the bin.

"As well as reducing waste, we've also been able to deliver improved profitability to our growers as they are utilising more of their crop.

"This gives growers more confidence to invest in their own businesses for the long-term."

Misshapen carrots that would be sold as part of The Odd Bunch. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Misshapen carrots that would be sold as part of The Odd Bunch. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Globally, one-third of all food produced is wasted, Sexton said.

In 2017, new research revealed Kiwis were wasting a staggering $1.8 billion on food each week.

Findings suggest those who eat out more than three times a week are the most likely to waste food, wasting 21 per cent of the food they purchase.

Meanwhile, the leading contributor to food waste - 55 per cent - was food going off before being eaten.

Advertisement

And 15 per cent was found to be from unfinished food on our plates and 7 per cent was of food not tasting as good as expected.

Elsewhere, Anthony Blundell from Kaipara Kumara said it was great to be part of The Odd Bunch as it helped Kiwis eat healthy food at an affordable price.

"We're delighted that our misshapen and rough-looking kumara are making it into more Kiwi dinners across the country," he said.

"We know our Odd Bunch range of kumara are a little harder to peel because of their funny shape but they still taste great.

"We'd much rather see more families being able to enjoy the benefits of our freshly grown kumara than sending them to waste."