The Eat Happy Project reaches one million children
Tesco has today announced that one million UK children have now been involved in the Eat Happy Project, the retailer’s long-term commitment to help children gain the knowledge and skills they need to have a happy, healthy relationship with food.
The milestone comes just 18 months into the project, which was developed in response to new research that found 80% of children today were less healthy than their parents.
The Eat Happy Project was launched in March 2014 alongside an in-depth study highlighting a growing concern among British parents about their children’s relationship with their food. The study, undertaken by global consumer trends experts Future Foundation, also revealed that even though 90 per cent of children said they know which foods are healthy, fewer than ten per cent achieve their five-a-day target. More than half (52 per cent) believed potatoes count towards the total, and one in ten (10 per cent) counted carrot cake.
The study also found that two-thirds of parents believe children eat much more convenience food than they did as a child, and half said they feared the impact of their children’s diet on long-term health.
The Tesco Eat Happy Project takes education out of the classroom and actively shows children where their food comes from. Schoolchildren aged 4-11 have visited suppliers at their farms or factories and gone on in-store Farm to Fork trails at 787 Tesco stores UK-wide where specially trained colleagues provide practical demonstrations helping children explore fresh fruit and vegetables, taste cheeses, see how bread is baked and learn about the different species and origins of fish.
More than 18,000 pupils have also been transported around the world virtually using Google+ Hangouts for Online Field Trips, where they have talked to worldwide suppliers from banana growers in Costa Rica, to pasta makers in Naples.
The Tesco Eat Happy Project, however, does not just engage with children through schools. In January, a new partnership was launched with the Scout Association and since then almost 18,000 Cubs and Beavers have earned their Farm to Fork badge on the trails.
During school holidays, the Project invites parents to bring their children to free Let’s Cook classes in its stores in partnership with the Children’s Food Trust. To date these classes, teaching recipes from spaghetti Bolognese to veggie kebabs, have been held in 95 stores, with more than 7,000 children taking part. More than 10,000 children will also get the chance to learn to cook in after-school clubs set up through the partnership this term.
Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said:
“Our plans for The Tesco Eat Happy Project were always ambitious – through engaging one by one with a million children we have shown that we can play our small part in helping children have a more healthy relationship with food. We want to do everything we can to serve our customers a little better every day, and this is an important part of that.”
The Tesco Eat Happy Project has now set its sights on new goals, aiming to provide the next million children with an Eat Happy Experience within twelve months as well as increasingly engaging with parents for activities that can be undertaken in the home.