Birds Eye pledge to increase veg appeal for kids

Birds Eye has today committed to increasing TV and online advertising for vegetables by 42% to £4.8m until December 2019. The new campaign looks to positively portray vegetables to children and their families as part of a long-term drive to increase veg consumption and improve the health of millions of Brits. The ads will be shown during children’s TV programming times as well as during peak family viewing, with the nutrition message reaching social media users through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Buzzfeed.

This advertising commitment forms part of a wider pledge, as part of the Peas Please initiative, in which the frozen food provider will increase its vegetable product range, invest in consumer health messaging, and work with all major supermarkets to grow the number of veg promotions in store to attract more families into vegetables and pulses. Birds Eye is adding nine new products to its vegetable range over the next 12 months including pulse and veg mixes.

In October 2016, the Peas Please initiative saw 40 organisations and government departments making pledges to help increase the nations veg consumption. The lack of vegetables in our diet contributes to tens of thousands of premature deaths every year.

Advertising during children’s TV is particularly important, as 80% of children and 95.5% teenagers don’t eat enough veg. Recent press reports have suggested restrictions may be extended for junk food advertising during popular shows watched by children, meaning Birds Eye’s announcement comes at a crucial time.

Anna Taylor, Food Foundation executive director, said: “This is an extremely important commitment from Birds Eye and provides a signal that junk food could be replaced with healthy food in key advertising slots.”

Crisp, confectionary and sugary drinks brands put over £143 million a year into advertising their products whilst only 1.2% of all food and soft drink advertising goes on veg. This pledge marks a change in the right direction.

Birds Eye’s pledge is being announced as 35 organisations, who made pledges last October, including Lidl, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Mars Food and government departments, gather together in Birmingham today to ensure maximum impact of the initiative. The conference will build on the trailblazing pledges made last year and look at ways organisations can further their commitments to increase vegetable consumption by making it easier for people to eat veg.

Pete Johnson, general marketing manager at Birds Eye says: “Making these pledges to the Peas Please campaign comes with a new financial commitment for 2018, but it is not a major change in strategy for the Birds Eye brand – Peas are very close to our heart! When Clarence Birdseye first found a way to flash-freeze veg and fish to preserve freshness and nutrients, millions of families were given access to better meals. Strong, emotional advertising on TV and online video is our 21st century effort to make sure veg finds its way onto more dinner plates.