Sobeys gets customers to eat their greens

Power Up with Green campaign helps shoppers add veggies to meals

Who needs Popeye when you have Jamie Oliver? The celebrity chef is the fresh face encouraging Canadians to eat their spinach.

Oliver is working with Sobeys to promote the retailer’s latest healthy eating campaign that asks shoppers to “Power up with Green.”

The campaign highlights Sobeys’ produce section and encourages shoppers to not only eat more greens, but to find new ways to incorporate veggies into everyday cooking.

Paul Kurvits, director of brand marketing for Sobeys, said the initiative stemmed from the idea that Canadians want to eat healthy after the holidays.

But Sobeys wanted to do more than merely tout the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Instead, it wanted to provide cooking solutions and ways that Canadians can try new greens.

“For example, we know that kale is a vegetable that’s very popular and on trend, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people know how to prepare it,” Kurvits explains. “ is really as much about the cooking and preparation as it is about getting Canadians to explore new vegetables.”

The idea of adventure and accessibility is very much in line with Jamie Oliver’s approach to food, said Kurvits. “It’s not about being fancy or complicated.”

The national campaign features prominent in-store displays in the produce section, showcasing recipes as well as tips and tricks for cooking greens.

Additional support for the campaign is coming through digital and social initiatives.

On the Sobeys website, for example, one tip from Oliver recommends scratching the skin of a cucumber with a fork to create a bigger surface area to absorb dressings.

The site and Facebook page also showcase recipes where greens take centre stage, such as warm kale with gnocchi or a sweet pea fish pie.

“Power up with Green” is one of several campaigns Sobeys has launched this year. In January it began a contest giving Canadians a chance to win a cooking lesson with Jamie Oliver in London. Another contest involved giving away Vitamix blenders.

Oliver, the famed British chef and TV host, became Sobeys' pitchman in 2013.

Kurvits says before Sobeys gives the go-ahead on any campaign, it asks if the campaign makes Canadians eat better, feel better and do better.

“We make sure it aligns with our Better Food for All strategy,” he said.

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