Hellmann’s continues campaign against food waste with branded show on C4

Prue Leith and Dr Rupy Aujla will lead the show teaching families how to meal-plan, batch-cook and re-use leftover food

Prue Leith (right) and Dr Rupy Aujla will help families reduce food waste
Prue Leith (right) and Dr Rupy Aujla will help families reduce food waste

Unilever brand Hellmann’s has recruited Prue Leith and Dr Rupy Aujla to host a branded entertainment series on Channel 4 helping viewers to get the most out of their food – and their finances.

Cook Clever, Waste Less with Prue & Rupy, a collaboration between the brand, broadcaster, media agency Mindshare and production company BBC Studios’ Science Unit, aims to educate viewers and inspire behaviour change by teaching families how to meal-plan, batch-cook and re-use leftover food to reduce food waste.

Launching on 24 May, the show will air over four weeks on Monday evenings at 8.30pm on Channel 4, with each episode featuring recipes and tips to give viewers practical ways to help reduce food waste and save money in the process. It is billed as the UK's first branded entertainment show focused on sustainability.

A broader campaign, planned by Mindshare, features a social teaser phase to kick things off, starting on Monday, followed by broadcast, online video and social activity to coincide with the launch.

The initial burst includes a bespoke branded manifesto spot featuring Aujla, outlining Hellmann’s mission to reduce food waste. The film, also produced by BBC Studios, will air in each episode’s ad break alongside bespoke brand idents, as well as across Channel 4’s wider schedule.

Other assets include show clips and leftovers recipes with Aujla, pushing to a food-waste hub hosted on the Hellmann’s website, packed with further recipes and useful tips on using your leftovers.

The brand’s food-waste elimination mission took a virtual form for Hellmann’s Canada last year with the creation of an island in Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, giving gamers the opportunity to make change in the real world by converting their virtual waste into real food for people in need.

Hellmann’s Island became a temporary trading spot for players to drop off their spoiled (virtual) turnips and swap them for currency, which the brand then donated to Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food-rescue charity, proving 25,000 meals for vulnerable communities.

At a live experience at the British Street Food Awards final in 2019, meanwhile, the brand offered a series of dishes made using the UK's most commonly wasted food products.

Fikerte Woldegiorgis, marketing director, foods at Unilever UK and Ireland, said: "At Hellmann’s, we believe food is simply too good to waste. We’ve been on a mission to help households across the UK cut down on food waste by providing them with simple hacks and tips to get the most out of what’s in their kitchen cupboards, and this show helps us do that in an entertaining way that resonates with people.”

Jem Lloyd-Williams, chief executive of Mindshare UK, added: “Brands have a unique role to play in helping to showcase and encourage the attitudes, lifestyles and behaviours which are consistent with a transition to a carbon-free world.

"This campaign is a perfect example of how a brand can bring its promise – helping people enjoy good, honest food for the simple pleasure it is, without worry or waste – to life. It shows the positive impact that brands can have in the world and we couldn’t be happier to partner with Unilever to bring this to life.”

Other recent branded entertainment projects from Channel 4 have included a two-part series from digital content unit 4Studio highlighting the Body Shop’s partnership with End Youth Homelessness.