The grocery sections in UK supermarkets must now show clear signage saying that ‘all of the fruit for sale here is for home display purposes only’, and ‘under no circumstances should anyone ever attempt to eat it’.
A retail industry spokeswoman explained, “What we realised in 1988 was that the vast majority of the UK public had a strong desire to display bowls of lush-looking fruit at home, but no member of the family was actually allowed to eat it. 93.7% of all fruit purchased was to impress friends and neighbours, projecting the image of a household with a healthy-living lifestyle. Ironically, the fruit was ‘off limits’ to the household for as long as it still presented well in the bowl. The problem with the consumer behaviour cycle was that by the time it didn’t look good any more, no one wanted to eat it. So the lead household fruit purchaser would have bin the rotten fruit and go out and buy new fruit which would then again be strictly eyes only for as long as could be stretched.”
“This led supermarket purchasing departments to buy and stock ever-increasingly unripe fruit. ‘Aesthetically pleasing’ became the mantra in all outlets. Green bananas and rock hard nectarines became the retail industry standard. We have now reached the edibility horizon where no fruit is sold which ever reaches a ripeness window. So it is now a legal obligation for supermarkets to warn their customers that they should never actually attempt to eat any of the fruit they purchase.”