YouTube videos aimed at making the food industry more appealing to 16 to 18-year-olds are being deployed by the Food and Drink Federation.

The FDF said it hoped the videos would change the perception of careers in the industry as being “boring, low paid and all about ‘hairnets and wellies’”.

‘Chilli Baby’, which features a baby with a liking for hot food who incinerates a man with her potent chilli breath, has proved the most successful video to date, generating well over 2,000 views in a week.

The goal of the campaign was to tackle serious misconceptions about the industry among teenagers, said FDF director of communications Terry Jones.

“We’re used to lobbying and we’re very comfortable in Westminster and Whitehall,” he said. “This is about as far away as you could get from that and we’ve really had to step out of our comfort zone.

“We know that the perception of food and drink manufacturing careers is not high, when in fact we employ some of the most innovative scientists, technologists and engineers who can work on the world’s most famous brands.”

The FDF recruited digital agency Glow Labs to help create the videos, launched at The Big Bang science, engineering and technology careers fair at the NEC, Birmingham, last week.

Alongside the videos is a Facebook page where viewers can vote for the ‘sexiest foods’.

Last year, The FDF launched a campaign to encourage more people to consider a career in the industry, entitled Taste Success. It has been targeting people as young as 13 through a range of new initiatives and said more were in the pipeline.