Birds Eye campaign sends message to food industry

LONDON - An unusual supermarket with farm animals and fresh vegetable patches in its aisles, instead of tins and bottles, marks part of a £25m rebrand for Birds Eye, designed to show how the Unilever subsidiary is going additive-free.

An advertising campaign, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, hit TV screens this week running with the strapline "We don't play with your food".

The spot aims to demonstrate that all Birds Eye products are free from added artificial colours and flavours, and that all it does to its food is freeze it, free of any artificial preservatives.

It is hoped that the campaign will send a bold message to the food industry, which is under fire for misleading consumers as to what it is they are buying and, at the same time, please consumers who are becoming increasinlgy concerned about what food they eat.

The ad shows a shopper passing the chilled cabinets, which are filled with fish swimming in water. A cow is seen being milked and hens roam the supermarket aisles freely as customers dig their own fresh vegetables from the ground.

The campaign will be supported by national radio and outdoor advertising later this summer.

Last year, Birds Eye, the largest food brand in the UK grocery market, made profits of £2.8bn. It has guaranteed that all of its products are free from preservatives, artificial colourings and preservatives, and E numbers.

The company has also reduced salt levels in its foods by 16%. It announced news of its global overhaul in February, when the famous gull-shaped logo faced the axe and been since replaced by an eye-shaped banner.

Last month, the Department of Health slammed 27 companies, including Nestle, Heinz and McDonald's, for failing to produce adequate plans to cut salt levels.

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