Tesco new fresh veg range to charm kids

The UK’s first ever range of fresh vegetables aimed at encouraging kids to eat healthier food is being launched by Tesco.

The range, which goes on sale from today, will begin with easy-to-eat, star-shaped butternut squash bites. It will then roll out to include other fresh produce including smiley sweet potato faces.

Traditionally a technique used for products like tinned alphabet spaghetti and frozen potato dishes, this is the first time this approach has been used for fresh fruit and veg.

Tesco has taken learnings from how children relate to foods with interesting shapes and sizes and hopes it will help make mealtimes more engaging and fun and encourage them to explore a wider range of vegetables.

Tesco vegetable buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“We want to give parents a helping hand with encouraging their kids to eat more vegetables.

“We’ve taken away a lot of the hassle out of preparing vegetables like butternut squash, which might deter busy cooks at home, whilst also making them more appealing for children.

“We hope by adding a touch of novelty, we can make vegetables the deliciously nutritious and fun part of every meal”

The move by Tesco to create the child-friendly vegetable shapes has been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Ali Capper, chairman of the NFU’s Horticulture Board said:

Congratulations to Tesco for addressing how we can we can instil a love of fruit and vegetables in children from a very young age.

"We have long been calling on food manufacturers to create fun-shaped fruit and veg for children in smaller-sized portions, which we believe could have a role in helping reverse the current obesity crisis.”

The creation of the butternut squash stars is the latest way Tesco partners with growers so that no edible food goes to waste.

Elizabeth Hall added:

At Tesco we’re passionate about tackling food waste from farm to fork.

We work with our growers and suppliers to make sure we use as much of their crops as possible to prevent food waste.

“Besides these stars, butternut is used to make our carb alternatives such as fusilli, spaghetti, lasagne sheets, as well as wedges and soups.”

“These Butternut squash stars are brilliant way to excite kids with great tasting, high quality vegetables that also helps producers who are able to sell even more of their crop.”

The Butternut Squash Stars will be available in 200 Tesco stores across the UK and will cost £1.50 per 250g pack.


Note to editors:

Butternut squash is fat free, salt free and low in calories and a good source of good source of vitamin A which is beneficial to the immune system and keeps skin, teeth and gums healthy and strong. It is also a source of vitamin C which among other benefits contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Three heaped tablespoons of diced butternut squash count as one of your 5-a-day.

Tesco believes that no food that could be eaten should be wasted. That’s why we've committed that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from Tesco UK retail operations by the end of 2017.

Other recent food waste initiatives by Tesco include:

Perfectly Imperfect  

The range which includes apples, pears, potatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, courgettes, strawberries and frozen mixed berries   has proved popular with customers which in turn has benefitted suppliers.

In March 2016 Tesco launched our ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ range of wonky fruit and vegetables –using produce that falls outside of our specifications and is available to customers at lower prices.

Crop flushes  

Earlier this summer there was an unexpected bumper crop of strawberries, cherries and raspberries and we worked with our growers to make sure none went to waste by selling them at market-leading prices in kilo boxes.

In spite of our advanced forecasting and ordering systems, at certain times of the year we have to manage crop flushes, or ‘bumper crops’. 

Re-sealable salad bags 

Earlier this year Tesco launched salad bags with a sliding lock similar to the ones used on cheese bags to keep the contents fresher and stop them from spilling out inside the fridge.  Salads are one of the UK’s most wasted foods by households.

Community Food Connection

Last year we launched Community Food Connection. This is a programme in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare and social enterprise FoodCloud which connects Tesco stores to local charities and community groups allowing us to redistribute food that’s left over at the end of the day.


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