IGA campaign gets shoppers cooking

Offers kitchen tips and recipe suggestions to cook one more meal at home

There's been the One-Ton Challenge to raise climate change awareness, and the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS research. Now IGA has thrown down the +1 Challenge to encourage Quebeckers to eat healthier.

"It's a perfect fit with our Joy of Eating Better movement," said Guy Térroux, vice president marketing of Sobeys Quebec. "We want to help people to eat Quebeckers eat better by cooking just a bit more."

Launched on Oct. 1 across all Sobeys Quebec's promotion channels, the +1 Challenge throws down the gauntlet in flyers, in-store, on the web, and in hashtags on social media by asking Quebeckers to prepare and cook one more meal per week for them and their families.

To help them do that, IGA is also providing easy tips, recipes and ingredients for the cooking of quick, tasty and economical meals.

The recipes are being both provided and promoted by IGA ambassadors and Quebec food celebrities Josée di Stasio, Christian Bégin, and Stefano Faita, as well as IGA's Gourmet squad of virtual cartoon characters.

This week's recipe, for example, is Swiss chard chop suey.

"Want to prepare Swiss chard another way?," reads an accompanying 'Tip of the Week' on the +1 Challenge page of the Quebec grocer's website (www.iga.net).  "Enjoy it in a frittata, a really simple recipe that's perfect for weekday meals or even lunches."

READ: IGA enhances online shopping experience with Gourmet Squad

The web page also offers kitchen tips for food storage, preparation, and hygiene, as well as cooking techniques, a cuisine lexicon, and basic recipes.

According to Térroux, the campaign was designed by Sobeys Quebec in response to the findings of a 2014 CROP survey for the Melior program, a Quebec initiative to promote the food industry and to help put foods with higher nutritional values on the market.

Nearly half of Quebecers — 46% — said they wanted tips or recipes that would inspire them to eat better.

READ: Sobeys introduces IGA ambassadors for Quebec

Other studies, added Térroux, suggest cooking in general - and even one additional meal a week in particular — can provide a plethora of health and social benefits.

Those benefits include better nutrition, more time spent with family members in the kitchen and around the dining room table, and even money savings, since a 4.75% annual increase in the number of homemade meals means less a similar decrease in meals with prepared foods and/or at restaurants.

"Our goal with +1 Challenge is to offer achievable goals for people to eat better," said Térroux.  "Our hope is to that by motivating and enabling them to cook a little more, it will lead to real and lasting change."

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