To get more Canadians in the kitchen, Sobeys is participating in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, a global day of action that encourages people to cook from scratch and share their cooking skills and knowledge.
Last August, Sobeys launched a new mission to better reflect the way Canadians are more interested in healthy eating. At the time, the grocery chain announced its partnership with U.K. celebrity chef Oliver, who appeared in a Sobeys TV spot in September.
“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day movement aligns very well with what we’re doing,” said Sarah Stover, communications manager of Sobeys Ontario. “It’s all about keeping cooking skills alive and the importance of cooking from scratch.”
Food Revolution Day launched in 2010. Last year, nearly 1,300 activities took place in 74 countries. This year, Oliver is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the “biggest cooking lesson in multiple venues over a 24-hour period.”
For its part, Sobeys is launching Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party on April 28, challenging Canadians to host a potluck leading up to Food Revolution Day on May 16. When participants share a post or photo of their potluck with the hashtag #PotluckChallege, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward Independence Project. The new initiative run by the Children’s Aid Foundation is designed to improve the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system when they turn 18 by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.
Until April 28, Canadians can test their own kitchen savvy and compare their skills against others with an interactive quiz available at www.BetterFoodForAll.com. The website also includes information about Food Revolution Day and, later this month, will feature ideas for potlucks and the #PotluckChallenge photo stream.
“We know Canadians want to eat better than they currently do and Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party is about inspiring them to eat, cook and share better food with family, friends and colleagues,” said Stover. “[Social media] is quite a fun and interactive way of engaging our customers and gives us an opportunity to connect directly with them.”
As part of the program, Sobeys conducted a national survey that found that Canadians are consuming too much processed or prepared foods, with only 18% preparing at least one meal a day from scratch or with basic ingredients. The survey also revealed a generation gap when it comes to food knowledge and confidence in cooking skills. Only 31% of 18- to 29-year-olds feel confident in the kitchen versus 48% of those 50 and older.
“The results demonstrate even more of a reason for us to get behind Food Revolution Day,” said Stover.