Eat Them To Defeat Them

The Mash Direct team Clare Forster (Head of Marketing), Jack Hamilton (Chief Operating Officer), Gemma Mc Adam (Digital Marketing Executive) and Reuben Mc Feeters (Digital Marketing Executive) launch the ITV and Veg Power campaign ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ to encourage kids to eat more vegetables to help tackle childhood obesity in Northern Ireland.

Mash Direct take the lead in Northern Ireland to champion Veg Power and ITV campaign on healthy eating for children.

Mash Direct have joined forces with Veg Power and ITV in an exciting new campaign, Eat Them To Defeat Them which launched last week across ITV. This is a new radical initiative to inspire children to eat more vegetables and Mash Direct are the driving force behind communicating this campaign across Northern Ireland. 

With the help and support of key influencers such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Veg Power and ITV kick started this campaign with a national TV ad which premiered during Coronation Street on Friday 25th January. It will continue to be aired during some of the biggest TV shows in the UK including The Voice, Dancing on Ice and Britain’s Got Talent reaching millions of viewers.

Eat Them To Defeat Them’s strategy is unlike the usual worn out health messages around vegetable intake and is fun and engaging to inspire both children and parents to view and consume vegetables differently. With a total advertising spend from ITV of £2m, the campaign will run for 12 weeks with a different vegetable focus each week. With the use of scary vegetable characters, the campaign depicts the kids as heroes as they help their parents save the world from being overrun by angry vegetables.

The much anticipated TV ad will be supported with in-store support across all major UK supermarkets as well as supporting creative that will be sent to schools. Mash Direct will be sending out 50,000 school packs to Key Stage 2 children across Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next couple of weeks promoting the Veg Power Campaign. If you want your school to be involved please get in touch with Mash Direct and be a part of this exciting healthy eating initiative. With the support from local governments, retailers, other food producers, schools and parents, everyone can together help tackle the rise in obesity and teach children to be brave with their vegetable intake as well as enjoying the vibrancy and nutritional benefits vegetables have to offer.

To officially launch the Veg Power Campaign in Northern Ireland, Mash Direct hosted a Veg Power Giveaway event at Belfast City Hall on Saturday 2nd February. Media, influencers and school children were invited to raise awareness of the campaign and were rewarded with a free pack of Mash Direct’s farm fresh Carrot & Parsnip from their Mash Bus as well as a picture with Maris the Mashcot to raise awareness of this campaign.

Chief Operating Officer at Mash Direct, Jack Hamilton said, “At the heart of Mash Direct our focus has always been on health and convenience. This campaign is the perfect way to engage with children and make them love the huge array of vegetables that we have to offer. We are thrilled to be driving this campaign across Northern Ireland and we hope that the whole initiative will have a tremendous impact on the long-term health here. I’d like to say a big thank you to those who visited the Mash Bus on Saturday to launch this ground-breaking campaign in Northern Ireland.”



Notes to the editor

About Mash Direct

Mash Direct is an independent, family owned farming enterprise launched by Martin and Tracy Hamilton and their two sons, Lance and Jack in 2004 at their family farm in Comber, County Down. We grow and produce over 42 quality, convenient ‘field to fork’ vegetable and potato dishes ranging from Mashed Potato to Croquettes which are 100% Gluten Free and free from artificial colourings and flavourings. These are sold in major supermarkets including: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.

The company were voted the UK’s #1 Branded Supplier in Fruit, Veg and Salads by a poll administered by The Grocer in 2018 and have a total of 21 Great Taste Awards to date.

Suitable for microwave and oven heating, the Mash Direct range is available to retail, foodservice and food manufacturing throughout the UK, Ireland, Middle East and beyond.

See the full list of products at:


About Veg Power

Veg Power was created as a result of the Peas Please campaign a collaboration between the Food FoundationNourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and the WWF to make it easier for people to choose veg. 

It aims to harness the great creative minds of the advertising and marketing world and turn their skills to making engaging and powerful content aimed at changing our perception of vegetables in order to encourage our kids to eat more. The Veg Power fund aims to use positive messages of vitality, vibrancy and wonderful taste to give vegetables a modern appeal.



About ITV

ITV is an integrated producer broadcaster and the largest commercial television network in the UK. It is the home of popular television from the biggest entertainment events, to original drama, major sport, landmark factual series and independent news. It operates a family of channels including ITV, ITVBe, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 and CITV, which are broadcast free-to-air. ITV is also focused on delivering its programming via the ITV Hub, mobile devices, video on demand and third party platforms

Key Sponsors

The campaign has been funded by a unique alliance of supermarkets and brands that have donated to the Eat Them To Defeat Them initiative. Aldi, Asda, Birds Eye, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose all coming together to help their customers live healthier lives.

Veg Statistics

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2014 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 7th January 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Getting kids to eat veg is a battle

  • Nearly half of parents (48%) agree that it can be a battle to get their kids to eat more veg.
  • 51.7% of parents have to tell their kids to finish their veg. 
  • 44% of children will remove at least some, if not all, of the salad from a burger.
  • 43% of adults say their children are fussier eaters than when they were children.
  • 96% of teenagers and 80% of primary school age children don’t eat enough vegetables.


Parents end up waiting for their kids to eat up veg

  • Nearly half of parents (49.2%) wait at least 5 minutes or more at family mealtime for their children to finish their vegetables, (that equates to 30 hours a year)


For some, getting kids to eat veg is a source of arguments

Nearly 1 in 5 parents (17%) agree that asking their children to eat up their vegetables is a source of arguments.