Birds Eye has pledged to increase its advertising of vegetables to children by 42% until December 2019.
It will invest £4.8m into TV and online advertising of nine new products in Birds Eye’s vegetable range, to be shown during children’s programming and during peak family viewing.
It comes after the company joined the Peas Please initiative, which encourages children and families to increase their consumption of vegetables.
“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!” said Pete Johnson, general marketing manager at Birds Eye. “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.”
The Food Foundation, which started Peas Please and now has more than 40 organisations and government departments signed up to the scheme, as well as celebrities backing the initiative, has welcomed the move.
“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,” said Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation.
The Foundation has called for the creation of a vegetable marketing board, much like the former milk marketing board that successfully increased the nation’s consumption of milk. It argues that just 1.2% of all food and soft drink advertising goes on vegetables.