March 16, 2016 11:51 am
Updated: March 16, 2016 4:56 pm

Sobeys criticized for selling avocado halves packaged in plastic, cardboard

ABOVE: Packaged avocados raise concerns among consumers. Mark McAllister reports.

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Supermarket chain Sobeys is being criticized for selling pre-cut, pitted avocados that have been repackaged in plastic and cardboard.

Last week, Daniel Moshe snapped a photo of the packaged avocados in a Sobeys store in Thornhill, Ont.

“Packaged, overly priced and it’s just like a joke to me,” Moshe told Global News. “It’s like, wow they have gone that far to package this product, it’s nonsense.”

Moshe posted the photo the $4 product on Facebook, where his friend Christine Kizik shared the image on Sobeys Facebook page.

“Surprised and disappointed after a friend posted a picture of an avocado for sale at his local Sobeys in Thornhill, ON. It’s been precut, then wrapped in plastic and cardboard,” Kizik wrote. “Avocado’s [sic] have their own perfect, compostable, wrapping. Adding packaging to an avocado is strange to say the least.

WATCH: Normal vs. Pre-Peeled avocados: Which is faster?

 

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This is wasteful and I’m curious about the reasoning for Sobeys stocking avocodo this way? Looking forward to a response. Thank you,” Kizik wrote.

The supermarket responded by suggesting the halved fruit product was to attract shoppers that are complete rookies when it comes to the pitted fruit.

“This product was developed for people who might be new to using avocados and for a little more convenience,” Sobeys wrote. “It eliminates the guess work when it comes to ripeness and any challenges if you are not familiar with peeling and seeding a fresh avocado.

READ MORE: Whole Foods apologizes for selling whole, peeled oranges in plastic containers

“The packaging is there to keep the fresh wholesome appearance and quality of the avocado without it browning prior to consumption,” the supermarket wrote.

Social media users were quick to criticize the store’s packaging decision.

“Are you going to start feeding it to people too? How ridiculous and needlessly wasteful!,” Verna Chan questioned on Facebook.

“How “fresh” is the product when it has been peeled, seeded, and packaged in a factory?” Leets Bakker wrote. “Not to mention the obvious distance the fruit travelled to come to Canada in the first place.”

Other shoppers saw the useful side of packaged fruit.

“I would love to send this to school with my kids when I am in a rush to make lunch. Great idea!,” Sarah Kelly chimed in.

“Also useful for people with disabilities who may have trouble opening avocados! I support this product,” Sabrina Scott wrote.

It turns out the product was part of a pilot project and was only sold in select stores in Ontario.

READ MORE: Whole Foods mocked for selling 3 spears of asparagus in a bottle of water for $6

“This product, like all others we introduce, will be reviewed and re-evaluated to determine whether it will become part of our regular offering,” Sobeys spokesperson Vicki Leung told Global News.

Earlier this month, American supermarket chain Whole Foods was forced to apologize for selling whole, peeled oranges in plastic containers at one of its California locations, after a shopper tweeted a photo of the product, questioning the company’s packaging methods.

Nathalie Gordon tweeted a photo showing whole, peeled oranges packaged in a plastic container.

“If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them,” Gordon questioned.

Last year, Whole Foods was targeted on social media after a customer shared in image of $6 bottles of water containing three spears of asparagus.

The bottles of “asparagus water” were spotted by a Los Angeles-area shopper who snapped a photo of the $6 product and shared it on Instagram.

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