New VEGPOWER fund launching today to inspire children to eat more veg

vegpower logo
  • New fund launching today to market vegetables to children
  • Supported by Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Dr Rangan Chatterjee
  • Low veg consumption contributes to 20,000 deaths a year
  • 80% of children don’t eat enough veg 
  • ONLY 1.2% of food and drink advertising spend goes on vegetables 

Today, a new fund is launched to tackle the critical issue of veg consumption which is contributing to 20,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

VEG POWER is a marketing fund that will use the top people in the advertising industry to create impactful, innovative digital campaigns aimed at children.   Sir John Hegarty has been supporting the creation of the fund and believes this is a real chance to use ‘advertising for good’.    We have hit crisis point with our children’s diets and 1 in 3 of our children are leaving primary school obese or overweight, leaving them at higher risk of developing diet related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Action is needed now.

VEG POWER is being backed by celebrity chefs (Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall), medical experts, food producers and teachers and will aim to transform children’s current attitude to vegetables. With strong simple digital content it will inspire children to embrace and love the huge variety of vegetables on offer. Currently 80% of our kids are not eating enough vegetables (1).

The fund will also support and help parents by offering an alternative to the junk food advertising that kids are exposed to everyday.

86% of children are reported by parents to pester them for junk food (3).  Parents and children are bombarded with advertising and promotions and currently only 1.2% (2) of food and drink advertising spend goes on vegetables.

Katie Palmer of Food Cardiif, the Wales arm of Peas Please said

“We will be supporting Veg Power in Wales and will be using all the tools and networks we have, both at the city level and National level, to ensure Veg Power has the maximum impact on the health of our children and the wider population”

Jamie Oliver said:

“I’m a parent and like everyone else, I want my kids to have a proper balanced diet, packed full of lovely veg!  But we all know that encouraging kids to eat more greens can be a challenge, so we need to get them really excited about veg by celebrating all the beautiful, colourful, fun things you can do with them.”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said:

“80% of our children are not eating enough veg and it’s impacting their health. There’s endless junk food advertising but why aren’t we marketing the good stuff to our kids? Let’s do something really amazing. Let’s power up the next generation with vegetables!”

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall - Veg Power

Dan Parker,  who is assisting the Food Foundation, is a former advertising executive and knows how to use digital and advertising to inspire people’s food choices. Parker, himself a Type 2 diabetic, is planning to use impactful and appealing content to get kids pestering for peas not pudding.

Dan Parker said:

Advertising works, which is why companies spend so much money to promote their products.  People buy happiness not health, so this is no longer about the health message & cartoon vegetables with smiley faces.  It’s about making veg cool and contemporary in a way that means kids don’t need to be bribed with dessert to finish their greens”.

There is already evidence that targeting advertising of fruit and vegetables has impact.    Since British Summer Fruits launched their PR campaign in 2002 the annual sales of berries has risen from £370m to £1.26 Billion (4).

The long-term goal is for VEG POWER to be sustainably funded by Government and the Food Industry and VEG POWER aims to prove that investing in promoting vegetables will change children’s attitudes and offer health benefits leading to huge savings across the NHS by reducing the cost of treating diet related disease. The NHS currently spends over £10 billion per year treating Type 2 Diabetes alone. (5)

It will also support our farmers to produce more vegetables in the UK and support jobs and the economy.   This will be hugely important in the lead up to Brexit and beyond.

A Crowdfund goes live today appealing to veg lovers, parents, growers and sellers across the UK to support the fund.  The aim is to raise £100,000.   Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Dr Rangan Chatterjee all appear in the Crowdfunding video (link below).

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