Agency: Carat UK, The Story Lab
Client: Co-op, ITV, Hubbub / Market: United Kingdom

Co-op has long been committed to reducing their food waste in stores and helping their customers reduce their food waste at home. Their community fridges help reduce food waste by redistributing surplus food, while meeting the needs of diverse populations in a shifting economy. This commitment is more important than ever with an increasing cost of living and poverty crisis impacting homes across the United Kingdom. Co-op community fridges are places to bring people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste. 

To get the word out they ran a Community Fridges initiative with food waste charity Hubbub and partnered with dentsu to promote it. Having funded 350 community fridges with Hubbub already, this partnership aims to grow across the United Kingdom, eventually preventing up to 26 million meals from going to waste annually.

To foster this growth we launched the ‘Community Fridges at Christmas’ campaign to inspire our audiences around this sustainable consumption issue and demonstrate the power of the initiative. During a two-minute live film, we ran a TV campaign showcasing one of these community fridges in action at an Afghan- and Central Asian-associated community centre. Collaborating with ITN, ITV and Lucky Generals, the live ad, which showed celebrities Dermot O’Leary and Big Zuu learning to cook using community fridge ingredients, filled an entire advertisement break during the Christmas season. To maximise the impact the campaign also went live during popular television show Coronation Street. 

The campaign highlighted the significance of community in a positive way with real-world impact, driving awareness of growing food-security issues in society. Audiences were inspired to think about food waste and poverty in society by the ad spotlighting volunteers and their important work at the vibrant community fridge. The impact of the campaign was heightened by corresponding with the unique time of reflection that accompanies the festive holiday season. The ad premiere reached almost two million people when it aired, and the total activity went on to reach over four million people. Speaking about the impact of the campaign, Ali Jones, Customer and Community Director at Co-op, said: “Our unique live advert will remind people that while not everyone can enjoy the same Christmas this year, by cooperating we can create a fairer world in the future'.