The ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ campaign takes the unique approach of agreeing with children that vegetables are evil and taking over the world. The only way to beat them is to eat them.
The figures are based on Econometrics analysis of retail sales from the campaign’s launch in February 2019 through to July 2020. The sales equate to 517m of children’s vegetable portions.
The campaign helped to change shopping behaviour after having a 2-2.5% impact on vegetable sales during the on air advertising campaign across both 2019 and 2020.
Dan Parker, chief executive of Veg Power, commented: “It has never been more important for us all to eat our vegetables. Eat Them To Defeat Them makes veggies fun, it engages kids through the buzz of a brilliant TV campaign supported by activation in stores, schools and homes across the country and amplified by a host of celebrities and supporters on social media. These hard retail sales data confirm our extensive survey data - kids are eating more veg thanks to this campaign.”
The 2020 campaign, which returned to screens in February, reached 46m people and 87% of households with children between the ages of four and nine.
There were over 400,000 children across 1,500 schools participating in ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ events. Research in schools found 81% of teachers surveyed agreed the campaign was more popular than any other healthy eating campaign in schools.
The campaign will return for a third year in February 2021. It will be part of ITV’s wider ‘Better Health’ priorities to encourage ten million people to take action in supporting their physical or mental health by 2023.
Clare Phillips, director of social purpose at ITV, said: “Every parent knows what it’s like trying to encourage children to eat something they don’t want to eat. It’s no wonder only one in five children has the recommended daily amount of vegetables. The magic of this initiative is coming at the issue from a child’s point of view and making eating vegetables genuinely fun.
“We’re so grateful to all the supermarket and food brands, broadcasters and media partners that have made this campaign possible - getting over 500 million additional kids’ portions of veg into tummies across the country.”
The ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ campaign received support from major supermarkets including Aldi, ASDA, Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.