'Are we really that lazy?' The supermarket item drawing criticism from shoppers

A new addition in Coles’ produce section has raised eyebrows online, leaving people questioning just how “lazy” consumers are becoming.

The supermarket giant’s recent decision to sell pre-diced onion in plastic packaging was savaged by Sydney-based environmentalist group Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew.

“Are we really that lazy that we can no longer dice our own onions?” the group posted on their Facebook page with a photo of the offending product.

“So much unnecessary plastic!”

Containers of pre-diced onions sit on a shelf at Coles, with a bright yellow price tag reading $1.50.
Shoppers have criticised the new product, saying the amount of packaging is 'unneccessary'. Source: Facebook/Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew

The photo quickly drew the ire of others, with social media users calling the entire concept “absurd” and “ridiculous”.

One person even vented their outrage in all capitals: “WHY IS THIS AT ALL NECESSARY”.

Others vowed to boycott Coles over the extra packaging that would likely end in landfill.

A Coles spokeswoman told Yahoo News Australia that the retailer knows that cutting onions is a task many customers don’t like.

“It can quite literally bring them to tears,” she said.

“So this is another example of where Coles has done the work for you.”

“All the packaging for this product can be recycled through REDcycle soft plastic recycling bins which are available at all Coles supermarkets.”

The pre-chopped and unnecessarily packaged food trend isn’t a new one, nor is it confined to Australia.

Early last year, UK supermarket giant Marks & Spencer copped so much ridicule over its “cauliflower steaks” — pre-chopped then packaged cauliflower — it withdrew the item from its shelves.

“People who buy this must have more money than sense! What a wasteful item,” one person wrote on Twitter at the time. “The amount of plastic and processing involved in this is ridiculous. Like you say, buy a cauliflower.”

However, many of those who have criticised the pre-chopped food trend have also pointed out that pre-cut vegetables are often a nutrition-lifeline for many people with disabilities — and their gripe lay with the unnecessary packaging and price mark-ups of the items.

As one social media user who responded to the Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew’s photo of the pre-chopped Coles onions said: “I totally understand about the plastic... however some people are unable to cut their own fruits, vegetables etc due to having disabilities.”

Another person user wrote on Twitter: “It’s wonderful for me, I have arthritis in my wrists which makes chopping and slicing difficult and painful.”

Someone else on Twitter added: “These are a lifesaver to people with disabilities, not laziness.”

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