Healthy January stops here as the annual fruit and veg marketing budget runs out. £296.6 million gets spent on confectionery, snacks, fruit, veg and soft drink marketing in the UK each year. But when was the last time you saw a humble carrot ad? That’s because only 5% of that total is allocated to fruit and veg which means by the 19th January the total commercial marketing spend for fruit and veg could be used up.
Renowned TV food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has teamed up with the Peas Please initiative, led in Wales by Food Cardiff, to get a new Veg Advertising Fund off the ground to tempt us into eating our veg.
A dedicated Veg Ad Fund, made up from contributions from the Government, retailers and producers would enable vegetables to receive marketing investment to help compete with branded chocolates, fast food outlets and soft-drink firms.
The Peas Please initiative, led by Food Cardiff in Wales together with Cardiff Council, is marking the launch of the campaign for a dedicated Veg Ad Fund by unveiling the winner of the Peas Please vegetable ad competition organised last year. The competition, which asked design agencies and students to design a veg ad for children and young people, received over 60 entries. The winner was chosen by a panel of children from Ninian Park Primary School in Cardiff together with children from Scotland and England, and advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, from Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Michael Moszynksi from LONDON Advertising.
The poster ad aims to reach out to children and adults and is the positive, fun approach to promoting vegetable consumption that is severely missing from the advertising industry today.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “It’s time to shout about how great veg is, and how vital it is for families to buy, cook and eat more of it. But unlike all the junk food and confectionery we are relentlessly sold every day, our delicious vegetables are not “owned” by massive global brands – so they don’t get the marketing and advertising clout they deserve. Having a pooled marketing budget from retailers, producers and government is a brilliant idea – it means we can get top agencies behind the marketing of veg, which will drive up demand and boost consumption.”
The Council are backing the campaign and every school in Cardiff will be displaying the poster in their school canteen, as well as across the City, GP surgeries, hospitals, and planters and bins across the city.
In Cardiff, the poster will be transformed into street art located on Millennium Walk alongside the Principality Stadium. The pupils from Ninian Park Primary School who were involved in judging the poster were at Millennium Walk to see their winning choice spray painted next to the Principality Stadium in the city centre.
Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cllr Michael Michael, said: “More than 95% of children across the UK are not eating enough veg. Supporting children to eat more vegetables is no easy task but we must rise to the challenge to promote and protect their health and wellbeing”.
“We want local, healthy, affordable and environmentally friendly food to be a defining feature of Cardiff and we recently pledged to do all we can to increase the amount of vegetables eaten in our schools and council premises – starting with promoting the new Veg Power advert!”
Katie Palmer, who leads Food Cardiff said: “It’s fantastic to have so much support from the Council, the Health Board and local communities in promoting this advert across Cardiff. As the city strives to become a “Veg City” we hope to see Veg being promoted in shop windows, street corners and work places across Cardiff.”
The winning advert will also be displayed in over 5,000 locations across the UK, including every Co-Op food store, a projection onto the City Chamber in Edinburgh and in thousands of school canteens across the UK.
The Peas Please initiative is led by the Food Foundation, WWF, Food Cardiff and Nourish Scotland. This ground-breaking new initiative addresses declining levels of veg consumption and aims to bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors, broadcasters and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg.
If you spot our new superhero, fuelled by #VegPower, do share your photos with us! More information about the #PeasPlease #VegPower campaign is available on www.vegpower.org.uk