Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Riverford veg box: Week three


Last week I spoke to Riverford about the veg boxes I've been receiving. Even with the vast quantities of veg I eat I just wasn't getting through the whole box, and whilst it is value for money I had another issue with overripe fruit last week (the first week I had the same issue with pears, last week with nectarines - no compensation has been offered for these items, something interestingly Abel and Cole always did when I called to complain yet again). The discussion I had with the lady on the phone resulted in me opting to try alternating a fruit bag with my regular box on the week's between. Hopefully this would overcome my issue with not having enough room in the fridge for the veggies, and I wouldn't be stuck with no fruit in between times.

At the moment I've been supplementing the fruit and veg with potatoes for Mark, and bananas for both of us, as well as anything that partifularly grabs me owing to a special offer when I do the weekly shop. Part of me resents this, the other part accepts it as par for the course with a fruit and veg box - not being able to choose your contents means you are sometimes pleasantly surprised but may need to supplement with the things you need, be they for packed lunches or standard recipes.

Truth be told, at first glance I'm not that impressed with the fruit bag, 3 relatively dull types of fruit: grapes, satsumas and apples. The grapes, like all of the soft fruit I've been sent, need to be eaten today and are a small bunch - 300g. .  The apples and satsumas will hopefully last longer, and quanitity wise I would say that is perfect, 6 apples and 8 satsumas (I typically take an apple and two satsumas to work each day). I used Mysupermarket.c.uk to compare prices from my local supermarkets (and by local I mean the ones I can walk or take the bus to):

Tesco: £1.34
Ocado: £1.79
Sainsbury's &; Asda: £1.49

Bearing in mind that the fruit bag cost £6.45 - if we put Riverford's grapes on a par with Ocado's then we're looking at a cost of £4.66 for the apples and satsumas. This got me to thinking - what would be their cost at the local supermarkets too.

Apples Clementines Total
Ocado  £      2.83  £        2.49  £    5.32
Tesco  £      2.25  £        1.50  £    3.75
Sainsburys  £      1.50  £        2.09  £    3.59
Asda  £      1.80  £        1.77  £    3.57
Grapes
Tesco  £      1.34  £    5.09
Ocado  £      1.79  £    7.11
Sainsburys  £      1.49  £    5.08
Asda  £      1.49  £    5.06

I was surprised at just how much more Riverford are charging - and I've deliberately not compared them with Basics or Economy range fruit and veg as I didn't feel that would be a fair comparison. Interestingly with the exception of Waitrose (where I would automatically buy their Essentials range anyway) Riverford fruit is around £1.50 more expensive for the 3 types of fruit. Now obviously I am getting it delivered, which accounts for some of the cost, but I think for me the quality of the fruit is such that I can't justify this difference. I need fruit to last a week, to be fairly transport friendly - as well as fitting in to my budget. I think for me, this is just too much which is a shame. So, despite the convenience being a huge bonus for me, the fruit is going to have to go.

Next week, I'll do a similar compare and contrast with the veg, but truthfully I'm much happier with the veg box, so I'm hoping to be able to justify retaining that.

4 comments:

richard judd said...

I TOO STOPPED THE FRUIT ORDERS FROM RIVERFORD..........SINCE CHRISTMAS BUT I AM GIVING IT ONE MORE TRY THIS NEXT WEEK. i LOOK FORWARD TO MY VEG BOX DELIVERY ........AND THE ORGANIC EGGS /MILK/BUTTER. WHENEVER I HAVE COMPLAINED I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CREDITED SO NO PROBLEMS THERE. I ENJOY THE LITERATURE AND INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE...........I CERTAINLY FEEL PRIVELAGED TO BE A CUSTOMER OF RIVERFORD.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Anonymous said...

Seems as if you were comparing organic (Riverford) with non-organic (supermarkets: "I've deliberately not compared them with Basics or Economy range fruit and veg as I didn't feel that would be a fair comparison.").

Which is not a fair comparison.

Penny Aylwin said...

Sorry anon, maybe I didn't phrase that well but the comparison was with supermarket organic produce. Obviously prices will have changed in the 2 years, but it was accurate at the time.

Penny Aylwin said...

Sorry anon, maybe I didn't phrase that well but the comparison was with supermarket organic produce. Obviously prices will have changed in the 2 years, but it was accurate at the time.

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