Woolworths shoppers divided over return of Discovery Garden

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Customers have expressed hesitancy ahead of the re-launch of Woolworths’ popular Discovery Garden promotion due to one crucial detail.

The small seedling pots which were released in 2019 were initially well received by shoppers who favoured non-plastic collectables in the wake of the controversial Ooshies and Coles Little Shop promotions.

Since Woolworths announced a return of the little planters however, which will be handed out for every $30 spent, a number of shoppers have revealed why they’re not looking forward to it.

The previous seedling kits were not made from 100 per cent Australian materials and customers are concerned the upcoming launch, due February 10, will be no different.

On the bottom of packs it stated the products were “assembled in Poland from imported components”.

Woolworths will relaunch its popular Discovery Garden next week. Source: Woolworths
Woolworths will relaunch its popular Discovery Garden next week. Source: Woolworths

Woolworths at the time said all components had “been cleared and imported in line with the requirements for the Australian Department of Agriculture”, but shoppers were still not impressed.

Eleven different types of seeds in the promotion were sourced in Australia while the soil tablets contained ingredients from Sri Lanka and were produced in the Netherlands.

The seedling kits were assembled in Poland using components from manufacturers across the world including Australia.

Woolworths claimed at the time “there is no manufacturing capability in Australia to produce the pot, the soil pellet, the seed mat to the quantity needed for this community program”.

One shopper on Tuesday claimed the materials used in the previous seedling kits caused her whole family to break out in hives.

“We were just allergic to what the pots were made out of... we all came out in hives. They were also made overseas out of foreign product,” Candace Wilson, from Spring Farm, NSW, said.

“It was from just touching the container that you were meant to plant them in. We used the seeds and they were great. But we had to wear gloves to take the seeds out of the little pots,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

Several others claimed they would not be partaking in the upcoming promotion unless Woolworths used 100 per cent Australian materials.

The supermarket has yet to confirm how much of the materials will be Australian made this time. Source: Woolworths
The supermarket has yet to confirm how much of the materials will be Australian made this time. Source: Woolworths

Some complained the kits were flimsy which interfered with the seedlings flowering and caused them to mould.

“The pots need to be stronger and they seem to grow mould a lot. And also not all seeds grow, some don’t germinate,” Mary Wiese from Townsville, Queensland, told Yahoo News Australia.

Ms Wiese said she “will give the second lot a go if they are Australian made”.

Some slammed taste of produce

Additionally, those that managed to grow plants from the seedling kits complained about the taste of the produce being bland.

“Mine grew so well, we even ate most of them. They had a plain taste though. But not long after a caterpillar ate everything and they all died,” one wrote on Facebook.

Others claimed that despite their best efforts, none of their seedlings grew.

Woolworths would not confirm whether the upcoming seedling kits would be produced using Australian made materials but promised such details would become available in coming days.

A spokesperson instead confirmed the February 10 start date and urged people to keep their ears to the ground for more information.

“We can confirm the buzz is true! Woolworths Discovery Garden is returning and we will have all new varieties this year with an increased focus on the environment,” they told Yahoo News Australia.

“We look forward to sharing more in the coming days.”

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