Source: M&S

England men’s manager Gareth Southgate says the partnership aims to ‘help families across the country make healthier eating choices’

M&S Food has partnered with the home national football teams to help drive its healthy eating message.

The supermarket has joined forces with the England, Scotland, Cymru and Northern Ireland national football teams for the ‘Eat Well, Play Well’ campaign, which is set to promote positive healthy eating messages for children and adults.

“Through our partnership with M&S Food and Eat Well we are aiming to help families across the country make healthier eating choices using the power of football,” England men’s manager Gareth Southgate said.

“We believe the fuel and recovery habits of all England players play an important role in their development and performance, and partnering with M&S Food on joint initiatives will help inspire and influence this across the England pathway of teams from men’s, women’s, youth and disability teams.”

The multi-year marketing deal will be easily spotted across all UK M&S Food Halls from July, as healthy products will be marked with an ‘Eat Well’ flower to encourage shoppers to incorporate them in their diets.

The products featuring an ‘Eat Well’ flower meet evidence-based nutritional criteria developed in consultation with the British Nutrition Foundation.

The campaign will also include other initiatives to inspire people, such as Fresh Market Specials on seasonal fruit and vegetables, free fruit for kids, and recipes and eating plans drafted by the footballers.

“We have nearly 2,000 delicious Eat Well products across our Food Halls and online through Ocado, from great quality fruit and vegetables to meals, snack and drinks, all at trusted value,” said CEO Stuart Machin.

“We’re constantly developing and improving our ranges to give our customers delicious, healthier choices every day.”

The partnership is part of M&S’s larger plans to reach 50% of all food sales volume under the Eat Well accreditation by the end of this year.

Despite the government’s latest u-turn on upcoming HFSS legislation, which has scrapped proposals for a ban on volume promotions and restrictions on junk food advertising, many grocers are still pushing healthy eating marketing campaigns.

Tesco has announced it will go ahead with axing volume promotions on HFSS products from October, while Sainsbury’s has slashed prices across fruit and vegetables as part of its ‘Helping Everyone Eat Better’ campaign.