Sobeys research drives company’s commitment to get Canadians cooking for Food Revolution Day

STELLARTON, NS, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Research released today by Sobeys Inc. has revealed a generation gap when it comes to food knowledge and confidence in cooking skills. Only 31 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds feel confident in the kitchen versus 48 per cent of those 50 and older. The national survey conducted in late February also revealed Canadians are consuming too much processed or prepared foods with only 18 per cent preparing at least one meal per day made from scratch or with basic ingredients.

Both findings point to a trend in Canada that could lead to significant health consequences. A 2012 study¹ showed that approximately 62 per cent of dietary energy in Canada comes from ultra-processed products and states these products are unhealthy with significantly more fat, sugar, sodium and not enough dietary fibre. The study recommends diets that minimize processed foods in order to prevent obesity and chronic diseases.

“The research results are worrisome. We know a lack of confidence in cooking and food skills leads to less time planning and preparing healthy, wholesome meals,” said Cheryl Turnbull-Bruce, Registered Dietitian and Manager of Sobeys’ team of dietitians. Sobeys employs more than 40 in-store nutrition experts including dietitians and wellbeing counsellors.

To encourage more Canadians to get cooking, Sobeys is participating in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills.

“Sobeys is on a mission to help Canadians eat better and feel better and we know cooking skills are an important element of that. It’s why we’ve partnered with Jamie Oliver who is so passionate about sharing his food knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to get cooking,” said Doug Brummer, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Sobeys Inc.

On April 28, Sobeys will launch Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party 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 #PotluckChallenge, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward Independence Project. The new initiative run by the Children’s Aid Foundation will improve the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system across Canada when they turn 18 by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.

“Food Revolution Day is all about cooking from scratch and sharing cooking skills and food knowledge. Sobeys’ research proves it – not enough Canadians have cooking skills to pass down. I’m excited to be working together to change that,” said Jamie Oliver.

Beginning today to April 28, Canadians are invited to 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 potluck inspiration and the #PotluckChallenge photo stream.

Sobeys Inc.’s research also found that:

  • When cooking skills are passed down from generation to generation, there’s more enjoyment and collaboration in the kitchen.
  • Canadians who cooked with their parents (57 per cent) are much more likely to love cooking as adults and are more likely to involve others in their own cooking, fuelling a virtuous circle.
  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of Canadians who say they love to cook also agree that tasty, healthy and cost-effective meals can be planned, prepared and served in a limited time.

About the research
In late February 2014, 1014 online interviews were conducted with Canadians between the ages of 18 and 80 years old, representative of the overall population by age, gender and region.

About Sobeys Inc.
Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 106 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 330 retail fuel locations. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 124,000 people. The company’s goal is to be widely recognized as the best food retailer and workplace environment in Canada. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at www.sobeyscorporate.com.

About Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. Most famous for his Emmy-Award winning television series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on CBC, Jamie has become a campaigner for better school food and food education. The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation has created an annual global day of action – Food Revolution Day www.foodrevolutionday.com – inspiring people all over the world to stand up for real food, and Canada has been one of the most active countries for the past two years.

His television programs are broadcast on Food Network Canada and the accompanying bestselling cookbooks are published by HarperCollins Canada.

Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their children, Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy.

¹Moubarec, J.C. et al. (2012). Consumption of ultra-processed foods and likely impact on human health. Evidence from Canada. Public Health Nutrition, 16, 2240-2248.

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For further information, please contact:

Allison Colalillo
High Road Communications for Sobeys Inc.
Allison.Colalillo@highroad.com
416-644-1644