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Jamie Oliver Is the New Face of Tesco

TV chef and cookbook author to draft up “delicious, healthier, affordable” recipes for U.K.’s biggest supermarket

Pete Maclaine / i-Images

TV chef and author, Jamie Oliver has been announced as the new face of Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco.

  • Together, Oliver and Tesco hope “to provide delicious, healthier options for the nation, making it easier to eat well without breaking the bank.”
  • Partnership coincides with new survey which revealed seven out of 10 families want supermarkets to help them lead healthier lives.
  • Oliver previously had a deal with rival supermarket Sainsbury’s from 2000 to 2011, from which the chef reportedly earned £11 million.
  • Oliver praised Tesco initiatives on food waste and provision of free fruit for children.
  • Chef says his job description is very simple: To come up with delicious, healthier, affordable recipes.
  • The Jamie Oliver brand remains untarnished despite his well documented struggles as a restaurateur.

Oliver, whose fee has not been disclosed, has drafted a series of recipes, which the supermarket says will be launched in store and online this month. Many of the ingredients from the recipes — which will focus on British fruit and vegetables — will be reduced in price and placed together for convenience for customers.

Tesco will couple that with price promotions in store and a “Jamie-approved basket of helpful little swaps suggestions” that are discounted by 12 percent and which are made up of ingredients chosen for reduced levels of sugar, salt, and fat.

The partnership comes after a survey found that almost 70 percent of 2,000 people asked said they would like more practical advice and inspiration on healthier alternatives.

Oliver said in a statement:

“I’m incredibly excited to be collaborating with Britain’s biggest and most progressive supermarket. In recent years, Tesco has consistently raised the bar when it comes to so many important initiatives: reducing food waste, leading on industry reformulation, and helping kids to eat more fruit with its brilliant ‘Free Fruit for Kids’ scheme.

“This is a real opportunity to show Britain how to enjoy more of the good stuff in easy, fun and delicious ways — that’s what makes the partnership so exciting. I’m going to work really hard to respond to what customers are asking for — creating delicious, healthier meals, shortcuts and tips to get people really fired up about cooking from scratch, and responding to the seasons. Tesco’s part is to make it more convenient and affordable.”

While Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer for Tesco, said: “Jamie’s passion and skill to inspire a nation to cook coupled with our experience and reach in providing millions of customers and colleagues with healthy, quality, affordable ingredients will be a great combination to help people take simple steps to leading healthier lives. This is a natural step in our ongoing work to make healthier eating a little easier.

“Together we want to make a real difference to our customers’ and colleagues’ health.”

Oliver, who called the partnership a piece of good news, has attracted negative headlines in the past 18 months — initially as his restaurant empire appeared to be crumbling, and which he last month conceded was two hours from bankruptcy; more recently, he was accused of cultural appropriation by the MP Dawn Butler for a “jerk rice”-labelled food product.