Eat Them to Defeat Them

Veg Power and ITV

Children in the UK aren’t eating enough vegetables. While traditional public health messaging around 5/day is well known, it hasn’t translated into increased veg intake. To help change this, Veg Power, the not-for-profit focused on increasing vegetable consumption in the UK, joined forces with ITV in 2019 and created The Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign, combining the power of advertising with a schools’ programme. Developed to engage children on this topic in a fun and creative way it has involved a collaboration of creative talent, celebrity support, local government support, schools and catering companies. We created a positive buzz and a central narrative which is fun and, critically, puts the parents and kids on the same side. The 2021 campaign, its third consecutive year, was our most successful yet, with impressive results: the advertising campaign reached 42m people, social media reached 15.2m and an assortment of coverage appeared in national newspapers. The schools’ programme was our largest yet and our evaluation found 59% of participating children and parents said the children ate more vegetables. We also made vegetables fun. The retail sales data, the survey data, using two different methods, and the anecdotal evidence all point toward high engagement and lasting behaviour change. 85% of the schools have participated again in 2022, now reaching over 1 million children.