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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Asda brings back pounds and ounces

If like me, you can remember the good old days when fruit and veg was sold using imperial measurements as opposed to metric, then you'll look back on those days with a sense of fondness and even nostalgia. Now, sixteen years after shops in the UK were required to display weights in grams, Asda has said it will return to the imperial measures of pounds and ounces.

From Monday, Asda shoppers can once again buy strawberries by the pound, with plans to roll this out to other fruit and vegetables if it proves popular.

"We have had a steady stream of shoppers asking us to put imperial measurements back on packs as they are still confused with how much they get in grams," explained Andy Jackson, Asda's strawberry buyer.

"We have taken the common-sense approach and are trialling putting pounds and ounces back on our strawberries this summer season and see what the response is. No one wants to order a litre of beer in the pub, so why do we have to buy 453.39g of strawberries?"

The UK moved over to metric units for most items in 1995, with the final switch — loose goods — being made on 1 January 2000. The only exceptions allowed being pints of beer, cider and milk (588ml) and the Troy ounce for precious metals (31.1g).

But the move proved highly unpopular. One grocer — Steve Thorburn — was found guilty of selling a pound of bananas using Imperial scales after the January 2000 cut off. The public rushed to his aid, sending more than £300,000 to his defence fund, however he was still found guilty of the offence despite several appeals — receiving a six-month conditional discharge.

Anyone for a punnet of strawberries?

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