Discount retailer Lidl UK has won Produce Business UK’s inaugural International Marketing Award for Promotions Inspiring Children to Eat Fresh Produce. Sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK, the “Kids Are Our Future” award was presented to Emma Byrne, Lidl UK’s head of produce, at the London Produce Show and Conference held last week.
Lidl UK’s campaign, titled Oaklands Fun Size, is a targeted and holistic approach to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables. Through playful names and colourful characters Lidl UK has developed an ever-evolving range of children-sized portions of fruit, vegetables and salads under the Oaklands Fun Size brand.
The objective is to engage children, change their perception of fresh produce, encourage their participation in food shopping and inspire parents to be creative in their efforts to get kids to eat healthily.
The campaign benefits from the support of online channels, PR and in-store activity.
Launching in 2005 with small-sized apples, pears, bananas and easy peelers, the range expanded last year to include snacking salad items like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
Seasonal vegetables in child-friendly portions joined the line-up in February 2017 and new trial items are planned to launch this summer.
The discounter’s concept fought off strong competition from fresh produce players operating in a number of countries both inside and outside of Europe, including entries for British Leafy Salads Association, the Great Fruit & Veg Adventure, Help a South African School, Cool Fresh International and Casitas de Hualdo.
The panel of judges, which included the award sponsor, was especially impressed by Lidl UK’s Oaklands Fun Size concept. Previously, one of the judges had seen the campaign for himself in his own local Lidl store and such was its impact that it stuck in his memory for some time.
“The judges felt that Lidl UK had really made a significant effort to make fresh produce more appealing to children, and we particularly liked the new addition of vegetables to the range,” one of the judges told Fresh Fruit Portal.
“The judges liked the designs and playful names that Lidl UK used to engage children with their food choices and we were impressed with the public feedback that Lidl UK obtained and the number of consumers reached by social media too.”
Other entries included:
British Leafy Salads Association
Campaign: Leafy Salads: A Healthy Choice
Description: Working with PamLloyd PR (PLPR), the British Leafy Salads Association devised an 2016/17 campaign to educate seven to 11-year-old pupils and their teachers about the origins, attributes and benefits of eating leafy salads.
PLPR recruited and consulted with a teacher panel to create materials useful for teachers and fun for pupils to use in class and at home. The resources were tailored to pupils’ different ability levels. Supporting teachers’ notes and a healthy eating classroom presentation were created.
All materials were made available from the rebuilt, simplified Makemoreofsalad website. The resources were promoted to teachers by email and shared on Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness and downloads.
The campaign results significantly exceeded the KPIs agreed by the funding stakeholders. The first year was successful in bringing salad crops to the attention of teachers and pupils. In 2016, approximately 10% of UK primary schools contacts downloaded or requested campaign education packs and the campaign is building on these successful results in 2017.
Campaign: The Great Fruit & Veg Adventure
Description: The Great Fruit & Veg Adventure is an initiative designed to excite children, their schools and their families to buy, enjoy and consume more fresh produce. It’s the brainchild of fresh produce industry veteran Max MacGillivray who, dismayed when he discovered six out of 10 children in the UK have no idea where their fruit and veg comes from, created an adventure they could all follow.
The Great Fruit & Veg Adventure began when MacGillivray set off with a riding buddy on two Triumph motorcycles from London’s New Spitalfields Market in November 2016. After four months crossing 15 countries, 18,000km and meeting some 5,000 African kids, the duo reached Cape Town in South Africa.
They visited more than 50 growers and fruit and veg producers along the way to learn and report on where fresh produce comes from. Since their return, they have been teaching children and their schools the facts about the origins of their fresh produce in a fun and informed manner, whilst encouraging healthy eating and increased fresh produce sales.
To date the initiative has received over 350,000 hits to the trip website, gained over 100,000 “likes” on the trip’s Facebook page, and is marching towards 5,000 followers on Twitter. Over 500 schools are actively following the journey and its updates, equating to over 250,000 children.
Campaign: Help a South African School
Description: Hortgro, with the support of RED Communications, runs the Help a South African School initiative to introduce UK school children to South African fruit; allowing them to find out about where and how the fruit is grown, how it tastes and why it’s good for them. The project also teaches children about the difference that is made to South African workers in the fruit industry and their families when their fruit is bought in this country.
The project comprises a collage competition on the theme of ‘Flavours of South Africa’. Open to every primary school and middle-school-age children across the UK, to enter the children must illustrate what they have learned about the country and its fruit.
Secondly, there is a book donation scheme to support the 93% of South African schools without a library. UK schools and schoolchildren donate unwanted text and reading books, which Hortgro ships to schools in fruit-growing and other rural areas of South Africa thanks to partnerships with Hermes, Maersk and Damco.
The Help a South African School initiative is part of a wider campaign to promote South African stonefruit and topfruit in the UK, and is promoted on packs of South African fruit sold in Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose and Asda.
The project has received fruit collages from more than 120 schools, and book donations from 450 schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Cool Fresh International
Campaign: GO!RILLA and BONAPI
Description: In collaboration with the target group itself, Cool Fresh has developed two concept-based video campaigns which use the blurred lines between Generation Z (those born 1995-2010) and Generation Alpha (born after 2010).
‘GO!RILLA’ hones in on Generation Z’s attraction to sustainability, while ‘BONAPI’ capitalises on Generation Alpha’s inborn inquisitiveness. Both address the need for educational issues to be integrated into fresh produce marketing concepts.
Go!Rilla uses the preoccupation of Generation Z with the ‘Double A’: Attitude and Adventure. It connects Cool Fresh’s ethical brand Freedom Fruit with a talking gorilla who charges through their lives, telling stories of social projects in exotic, far-away countries. Go!Rilla opens up the way for adventurous competitions, off the wall in-store advertising and loyalty rewards (branded clothing).
BonApi is the primate offspring of Go!Rilla. The highly visual and friendly character literally and figuratively reaches out to Generation Alpha, and focuses on promoting the literacy and numeracy levels of children. BonApi is available as loyalty items, such as fridge magnets, Playmobil-styled toys, and puzzles which illustrate the character’s adventures, and provides fruit salads and smoothie recipes.
Casitas de Hualdo
Campaign: Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Children
Description: Eager to encourage healthy eating among kids, Casitas de Hualdo has launched an extra virgin olive oil specifically for children. The oil is a coupage made from the firm’s best olives – selected at the beginning of the harvest for their sweet and pleasant taste – mixed with olive varieties rich in polyphenols.
The colourful, fantasy-style illustration on the bottle is designed to identify with children and to encourage them to include this very healthy ingredient in their daily diet. It also aims to send a message to parents around the world who don’t know about the benefits of babies and children consuming extra virgin olive oil to promote strong bones, skin and neurological formation, aid digestion and prevent illnesses.
As part of its campaign, Casitas de Hualdo visited schools to talk about production and benefits of olive oil. The company also wrote a story book for children about an adventure on the Hualdo estate that concludes by providing the ingredients to bake olive oil cupcakes.