Press Centre

Superhero and supermarket join forces to get kids healthy

Friday 3 April 2009 – ASDA is teaming up with healthy superhero, Sportacus, from children’s TV phenomenon, LazyTown, to get a million kids moving by the end of the year and help hard pressed mums feed their kids the 5-a-day target of fruit and veg on a tight budget.

A shocking 88 per cent of people in Britain currently fail to reach the Government’s 5-a-day fruit and veg target, with 60 per cent eating two or less pieces with children suffering most as finances are stretched in the current climate1.

LazyTown creator, Magnus Scheving, says: “LazyTown’s mission is to MOVE the world and inspire children to eat healthy food and move through play. The healthy food option needs to be affordable, fun and easy for everyone. ASDA has shown that this is possible through their Great Stuff range.”

ASDA is committed to driving down the cost of healthy food with 250 fruit and veg, or ‘Sports Candy’ as it is known in LazyTown, currently available in its stores priced at £1 or less.

Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, says: “Obesity is the biggest long-term health issue facing this country. I am delighted that ASDA is encouraging children to be aware of the importance of healthy eating and enjoy a healthy active lifestyle. This is a step in the right direction to achieve our goal to encourage families to eat well, move more and live longer.”

What’s more the supermarket boasts the biggest own-label healthy kids food range, Great Stuff, which offers market-leading prices as well as being free from all artificial colours, flavours, sodium benzoate and hydrogenated fat.

The move by ASDA will come as welcome news to both parents and the government alike, as the supermarket taps into Sportacus’s appeal to promote healthy eating and regular exercise.

In the past, food manufacturers have been heavily criticised for using characters that appeal to children to endorse less healthy foods2, whilst the government is encouraging the food industry to increase the promotion of healthy options to children as part of its Healthy Food Code of Good Practice.

ASDA spokesmum and marketing director, Katherine Paterson, says: “When you look at what LazyTown has already achieved in Iceland, where it’s been credited with helping stem the rising tide of childhood obesity, it really is quite staggering. We’ve got a really exciting opportunity here to work together to help make a real difference, and make mum’s life a lot easier by making exercise and good healthy food more affordable and accessible – and more fun for kids!”

The tie-up will see life-size talking Sportacus cut-outs in every store encouraging children to move, jump and bounce as they shop. As part of the supermarket’s long-running Sporting Chance initiative, vouchers for free kids sporting sessions will also be available from stores throughout the Easter school holidays.

LazyTown branding will appear in all ASDA stores from Saturday April 4th to highlight great value, healthy products to busy mums from ASDA’s Great Stuff range, whilst the colourful world of LazyTown will be brought to life with in-store dance competitions and treasure hunts to get kids moving. Sportacus himself will be bouncing into the Derby store to deliver the message himself.

ASDA is also a supporter of the Department of Health’s Change4Life initiative and the lead partner for the cycling component Bike4Life, which kicks off this summer and will target those children and families most at risk of obesity.

Posted in Press Centre on 03 April 2009