Vertas has joined the campaign to get the UK eating more veg.
Our commitment comes as Veg Power launches ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’, a radical new advertising campaign to get kids eating more vegetables. Independent think tank the Food Foundation estimates that for every three meals eaten out and on-the-go, we consume an average of half a portion of veg.
Vertas will be playing our part in increasing veg consumption in the UK, by pledging to develop our menus to ensure that a minimum six varieties of vegetables and salads are available each week in customers’ meal experiences. Extra vegetables will be added to some of their dishes (including our ‘Life on the Veg’ and ‘Pulse’ menu specials) and we will offer fresh homemade vegetable soup as a daily special during the winter months in high schools.
The new veg-promoting ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ campaign was devised by adam&eveDDB for ITV and Veg Power. The advert takes a bold new approach to promote veg, engaging kids and parents in a new way and looking to reinvigorate how vegetables are viewed and consumed. In a 60-second film children are cast as the heroes in movie scenario with a horde of vegetables emerging “from underground to take over the world”. The ad then depicts the kids chomping through a whole selection of veg in order “to eat them to defeat them”. The campaign, which launched in Coronation Street on Friday 25th January, is funded by the biggest ever coalition of supermarkets, Aldi, Asda, Coop, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose along with food brand Birds Eye. Supermarkets are also supporting the campaign in-store and online.
Peas Please is coordinated by partner organisations in each of the four UK nations, and aims to bring together business and brands from across the food system to secure commitments to improve the availability, affordability and quality of the veg offer in shops, schools, fast-food restaurants and beyond. Peas Please has delivered 4.8 million additional portions of veg in its first year.
Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, said: “Peas Please shows that it is possible to make it easier for everyone to eat more veg but it needs concerted leadership from progressive businesses. We’ve made great progress in the last eight months but the pressure is now on to change pledges into portions to ensure genuine impact on the nation’s health.”
Caroline Thompson-Barr, Head of Operations at Vertas, said: “We’ve already made great strides in reducing sugar and salt across our education menus. For younger students we’re using vegetables like beetroot and parsnip as natural sweeteners, for teenagers we have ‘Life on the Veg’ and ‘Pulse’ dishes, offering healthier, more sustainable options. Signing up to this national initiative was an obvious decision for us as encouraging children and young people to eat more vegetables makes perfect sense. We are looking forward to serving even more tasty veg across the business”.