With one third of primary school children overweight, obesity is now the UK’s biggest health challenge, increasing the risk of 13 types of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
As part of the campaign, the Co-op Group will be backing Veg Power with promotions across its stores and website as well as involving 2,000 children who attend 10 primary schools within the Co-op Academies Trust.
According to Euromonitor data, the UK ranks 21st out of 28 in the EU for fresh vegetable consumption. A recent YouGov survey revealed that nearly half of parents (48%) agree that it can be a battle to get their kids to eat more veg while 71.4% of them wish their child ate more vegetables.
So far, 12 brands and supermarkets have joined the campaign designed to reinvigorate how vegetables are viewed and consumed.
Co-op Group members and customers can download a Veg Power reward chart to keep track of every time they eat veg.
“We aim to offer healthy choices to our customers, with a range of vegetables, which are always British when they are in season, and products containing vegetable portions available across our stores,” Cathryn Higgs, head of food policy at the Co-op Group wrote in a blog post.
Carolyn McCall, chief executive, ITV said: “This campaign will reach millions of parents and children through our biggest and most popular shows and it is unlike anything that has gone before. We’re proud to use the power of TV to take a new, bold and brave approach to encouraging kids to eat more vegetables.”
Baroness Rosie Boycott, chair of Veg Power and trustee of the Food Foundation also said: “We are delighted that Veg Power has joined with ITV to launch our very first campaign Eat Them To Defeat Them. With the aim of using ‘advertising for good’ and engaging and entertaining kids rather than using the well-worn health message, we can really shift the dial and hope to see long lasting behaviour change. Having all the major retailers will help us achieve huge reach and impact.
“It is vital that we achieve change in both supply and demand if we are to see real transformation of our food system and our work with both Peas Please and Veg Power are tackling both straight on.”