ITV and Veg Power’s Eat Them To Defeat Them launches new 2022 campaign

ITV and Veg Power’s award-winning health-eating campaign, Eat Them To Defeat Them, returns for 2022 with the aim of one million children receiving activity packs.

Since the campaign debuted in January 2019, Eat Them To Defeat Them has led to sales of almost one billion additional children’s portions of vegetables – worth just under £92 million. 

Proven to get children to eat more vegetables, this year the TV campaign aims to reach 70 percent of households with primary school-aged children, with further reach through a schools programme designed to inspire kids to eat vegetables.

The £3 million campaign launches on Saturday night (February 12) with an advert to be shown during the primetime finale of The Masked Singer on ITV and is part of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky’s £10m commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles for children.

The campaign’s schools programme will launch just after the ads have appeared in primetime family viewing slots and will run for five weeks, with a different family-favourite veg featured each week. 

Participating schools will enjoy veg tasting sessions, posters, teaching aids and games, and one million children will be given a vegetable reward chart and sticker pack. 

The campaign is funded by eight major food retailers and brands  –  Aldi, ASDA, Co-op, Dole, Lidl, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose. It was developed by advertising agency adam&eveDDB who work on the campaign pro bono. 

The Welsh Government are supporting the campaign by funding a bilingual schools programme for all primary and special schools across Wales.

Media agency, Essence, have planned the off-air media for the campaign, securing pro-bono contributions from advertising and media partners, including Acast, Spotify, Mail Online, Yahoo, LadBible, Mail Metro Media, Ocean Outdoor, Clear Channel, JCDecaux and others in a huge drive to encourage children to feel more enthusiastic about eating vegetables. 

Eat Them to Defeat Them takes the unique and unusual approach of agreeing with children that vegetables are evil. Not just evil, but taking over the world – and the only way to beat them is to eat them. 2021’s campaign evaluation found that just over three-quarters of kids confirmed they found it fun, with nearly 60% of children who participated in schools claiming they ate more vegetables as a result.

Baroness Rosie Boycott, Chair of the Veg Power board said: “Our latest evaluation shows the Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign is having a much needed, positive impact on children’s veg consumption. Now in its fourth year, we hope the campaign will encourage children to adopt life-long healthy eating habits which will in turn improve our nation’s health.”

Susie Braun, Director of Social Purpose at ITV, said: “It’s never been more important to make sure our kids eat well, and the best way of doing that is to make it fun. Eat Them to Defeat Them has proven to be an incredibly effective way of changing children’s eating choices, and ITV is proud to once again be behind it.”

Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Revenue Officer at Channel 4, said: Eat Them To Defeat Them has been a fantastic success and delivered amazing results. Channel 4 is delighted to be part of such an important mission which has real impact on children’s lives and well-being. Introducing healthy eating from the outset doesn’t just mean children are getting more vitamins and fibre into their diets, it helps develop healthy eating habits which will last a lifetime.”

Patrick Behar, Chief Business Officer at Sky said: “The results show that the ‘carrot and celery stick’ approach really works. We’ve been proud to play our part, collaborating with ITV, C4 and Veg Power on this important campaign.”

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