Dole, 7 retailers back hugely successful Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign for kids

Produce Business report

Seven retailers and one big brand, Dole, are sponsoring this year’s national Eat Them to Defeat marketing blitz which aims to get children to eat more fresh produce.

 “This is our second year supporting this incredibly worthwhile campaign,” Vincent Dolan, Head of Corporate Communications in Dole, said. “By bringing fresh produce to primetime, and by doing so in an innovative and fun way, Eat Them To Defeat Them fundamentally challenges children’s perceptions of vegetables – a process in which we in Dole are very proud to be able to play our part.”

Since its launch three years ago, the television campaign fueled by Veg Power and ITV has managed to increase sales of vegetables by nearly one billion small portions, or the equivalent of £92 million. That is quite a feat in a sector that for years has struggled to get children to eat even one serving of fruits or vegetables per day.

“Our latest evaluation shows the Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign is having a much-needed, positive impact on children’s veg consumption,” Baroness Rosie Boycott, Chair of the Veg Power board said. “Now in its fourth year, we hope the campaign will encourage children to adopt life-long healthy eating habits which will in turn improve our nation’s health.”

Aldi, ASDA, Coop, Lidl, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose are all involved in helping fund and drive the campaign, which says that more than half of kids across the UK believe it helped them consume more vegetables. The goal of this year’s pitch is to reach 70% of all households that have younger school-age children.

One of the big marketing pushes includes its schools programme that not only give kids a weekly look at a “family-favourite veg” to eat and defeat but also offers taste tests in schools, teachers’ aids and posters that highlight fresh, healthy foods. The campaign is giving one million children a vegetable reward chart and sticker pack to chart their progress. 

“It’s never been more important to make sure our kids eat well, and the best way of doing that is to make it fun,” said Susie Braun, Director of Social Purpose at ITV.



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