It’s no secret that we’re in dire need of more plant-based options to keep our meals interesting, especially with the rising popularity of veganism. And when it comes to spending money, we’re a group of consumers who will pay for convenience. Still, there’s something kind of ridiculous about the idea of a company selling cauliflower ‘steaks,’ a.k.a. cut up cauliflower, for three times the cost of a whole head of it.
That’s the latest marketing scheme from British grocer Marks and Spencer though; for £2.50 ($4.21 CAD) shoppers can purchase a plastic-wrapped piece of cauliflower with a small herb packet to season it with. To compare, a fresh cauliflower across the pond would cost roughly a third or fourth of that.
Marks and Spencer stores are selling sliced cauliflower as ‘Cauliflower Steak’ with lots of lovely plastic and charging £2 (normally £2.50). A cauliflower costs about 69p from a local veg shop. 😑 pic.twitter.com/v9ocsIAB0R
— Rachel Clarke (@rachclarke27) January 5, 2018
What do you think, convenient or a rip off?
“We have launched a ready-to-cook Cauliflower Steak with a herb dressing as part of our new Veggie range. This is for customers looking for a quick and convenient vegetarian meal option,” the company said to Metro in a statement. “The plastic tray protects the product and is widely recyclable. We continue to look at ways to optimise our food packaging and ensure it can be widely recycled.”
Naturally, people had some strong reactions to the entire concept online, either applauding the company for attempting to dish out plant-based options but questioning its methods, or downright mocking the product for both taste and execution.
My kind of cauliflower steak pic.twitter.com/CoUBcnlWv9
— Matthew Schellhorn (@schellhornmusic) January 5, 2018
Really, you can’t blame Marks and Spencer for trying. It’s not like we haven’t purchased pre-cut veggies or fruit before. How many of us are guilty of snapping up plastic boxes of pre-washed lettuce or spinach rather than buying a whole fresh head and then washing, drying and shredding it ourselves? Or how often have we bought the pre-spiralized zucchini or cubed squash in order to make carb-free pasta night that much quicker in terms of meal prep? And we’re sure some of you have even brought those pre-wrapped potatoes in foil to a barbecue, despite the fact that a pack of three or four costs about as much as a sack of potatoes on sale and an entire package of aluminum foil combined.
Still, there are times that companies definitely go too far. Like the time Whole Foods tried to sell ready-to-eat oranges…
If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them. pic.twitter.com/00YECaHB4D
— Nathalie Gordon (@awlilnatty) March 3, 2016
Or water with a few sprigs of asparagus in it…
Okay, sure. For some people with chronic pain or other health related issues, having access to pre-cut produce is actually a great idea. But why does it have to cost so much? At some stores you can still ask your grocer to core your pineapple or slice your watermelon before you take it home, for example. But more often than not you’re asked to pay a higher price for smaller, pre-packaged portions.
Or, in other cases, the sheer amount of plastic wrap used to make an item look like a convenient product is actually really laughable.
— Aaron Gillett (@aaron_gillett) May 10, 2016
We’re telling you, the world has gone bananas…
If only bananas had robust, natural, bio-degradable packaging of their own. Some sort of peelable skin, perhaps. pic.twitter.com/QyJ6Ew6V4w
— Tim Brannigan (@tim_brannigan) November 6, 2014
Looks like convenience wins again, no matter how you wrap it. In the meantime, if it’s a plant-based meal you’re looking for and you don’t mind cutting up your own cauliflower, here’s a mouthwatering cauliflower steak recipe worth trying.