If you’re a grocery store, and you want to make a LOT of people on the Internet angry, your best bet is to charge way too much for a product nobody needs. Whole Foods learned this when they tried to sell pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers for the whopping price of $6. And now, UK grocery store Marks and Spencer is learning that same lesson thanks to something called “cauliflower steak.”
Shopper Rachel Clarke was in one of the grocery chain’s Manchester locations when she spotted the dubious new food item, and she posted a photo of it on Twitter:
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 is cauliflower steak? Is it some kind of new meat substitute made from cauliflower? Is it a genetically modified cauliflower that tastes exactly like delicious sirloin? Nope. It’s literally just two slices of cauliflower, with a packet of lemon and herb dressing. And one cauliflower “steak” costs two pounds, which is more than twice what an entire head of cauliflower costs at the very same store.
Clarke outlined the reasons for her outrage in an interview with LAD Bible: “I think it’s just frustrating for a number of reasons. It might put people off trying a vegan or vegetarian diet if that’s on offer. Also, I understand how important and great food innovation is, but surely directing customers to fresh vegetables would be more effective? Then there’s the packaging thing…”
The people of Twitter chimed in with similar takes.
It’s not a cauliflower steak, it’s a slice of cauliflower. A piece of cauliflower that has been cut…
Either way, the 8 yr old still won’t eat it ?
— Laura McIntyre (@EasyBeesy) January 10, 2018
— Daria (@Daria_Ania) January 10, 2018
In response to the kerfuffle, Marks and Spencer have decided to stop offering cauliflower steaks, and a company spokesperson apologized: “We work hard to create quick and convenient meals for customers; however, on this occasion we didn’t get it right.”
Look, I’m not entirely against companies tricking us into spending too much on something we don’t need–that’s the basis of capitalism!–but they could at least be a bit clever about it.