Dr Mumbo

Did Woolworths shoplift free fruit for kids from Harris Farm Markets?

Woolworths logoDr Mumbo wonders if things have got so bad at Woolworths they have started shoplifting from rivals?

The growing pressure on the supermarket giant to turn the tide has manifested itself in an unusually generous gesture offering free fruit to kids.

But the tactic appears to be straight out of the textbook of burgeoning family-owned fresh fruit rival Harris Farm Markets.

With Coles still ascendent and German upstart Aldi snapping at its heels, Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns last week told investors the performance of the business was “frankly unacceptable”.

Woolies is now rolling out the placement of baskets in more than 950 stores nationwide offering a choice of fruit to children which they can have for free while their parents shop.

But the idea is far from fresh, with kids having feasted regularly on free fruit over the last couple of years while visiting Harris Farm Markets, which operates 24 stores throughout New South Wales including two Butcheries.

Harris Farm started the free fruit baskets two years ago and have introduced it as a staple in every store with no fanfare, simply allowing customers to discover the free fruit baskets on their own.

Woolworths announced it would be offering free fruit to children in stores several weeks ago, with the program being rolled out during December.

And it doesn’t appear to be the first time Woolies has found inspiration on the shelves of Harris Farm.

In November last year the retailer announced “The Odd Bunch”, cheaper misshapen fruit that would have traditionally been thrown away.

That tactic appeared on the shelves just six months after Harris Farm launched its own range of “Imperfect Picks”.

Asked about the coincidences a spokesperson for Harris Farm said the company congratulated Woolworths for helping introduce children to healthy eating.

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