Marks and Spencer is experiencing some Whole-Foods-style backlash after debuting a new product, pre-sliced avocado.
According to Mashable, which claims the pre-prepared food is for customers “who are just too lazy to use a knife,” there has been quite a bit of debate about the value of selling the pre-peeled, pre-sliced fruit.
“Customers love an avocado – but they’re sometimes not the easiest to prepare," said Marks and Spencer Product Developer Erica Molyneaux. "So we’ve done the messy bit for them and created a ready sliced, fully ripened option, perfect for adding to sandwiches, salads or as a simple healthy snack."
In March 2016, Whole Foods sparked outrage as photos of its pre-peeled oranges hit social media. Many criticized the chain for the seemingly unnecessary packaging and price of the fruit, whereas others commended the brand for providing accessible food for those with arthritis and other conditions that affect mobility. Nevertheless, the controversy led the store to remove the product from their shelves.
As noted in The Guardian, pre-prepared foods are not necessary harmful for the environment. Although the added packaging may seem wasteful, it may actually prevent food waste, which is said to cause much more environmental damage than packaging waste.
Furthermore, as pre-prepared fruit salads, vegetables, lettuce leaves, and sandwiches have been available in stores for quite some time, where should the line be drawn, if at all?