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The Joy of Eating Better Movement: a year of success and counting

Sobeys Québec helps 84% of Quebecers to eat healthier

Montreal, May 25, 2015 – One year ago, Sobeys Québec made a major directional shift after asking themselves how they could build on their role as food experts in order to have a concrete, long-term impact on consumers' lives. They thus created a new movement, The Joy of Eating Better, that from that point on would guide everything their employees, customers, and partners did. After a year full of initiatives, the company is taking stock and committing to do even more to help Quebecers eat better.

Concrete actions of a wide-scale movement...

Sobeys Québec's objective was to demonstrate that eating better is simple, affordable, and doesn't require sacrifice. Here's how they did it:

  • introduction of cooking courses for employees
  • development of partnerships to promote local products
  • organization of a food forum for suppliers to encourage their participation and commitment to offering Quebecers innovative products and products with better nutritional composition
  • a $500,000 donation over five years to the Pediatric Intervention Centre for Heart Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation (CIRCUIT) at CHU Sainte-Justine to create a nutritional platform aimed at preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease in children.
  • the launch of a new flyer containing several recipes and tips
  • organization of in-store food fairs so consumers could discover new products and ways to prepare them
  • creation of a virtual Gourmet Squad available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to respond to online users' food-related questions and offer them advice about meal preparation.

In addition, a Sobeys Web survey of 1738 people in charge of food buying for their Quebec household showed that IGA was helping them to realize the four pillars advocated by the movement by enabling them to eat healthier (84%), providing tools for cooking at home more often (81%), providing access to local products (81%), and helping them discover new flavours (79%) .

The Joy of Eating Better was a vision that has now become a reality. "We are proud of the progress we have made and honoured that our movement has had a real impact on Quebec consumers' consumption patterns," says Sobeys Québec president Claude Tessier. "We – the employees, merchants, ambassadors, and partners – are passionate about food, and this movement that we created and started together is a long-term vision that will continue to underpin all our business practices."

1Results of a Sobeys Québec Web survey of 1738 people in charge of food buying for their primary or secondary Quebec household (June 2014)

...rewarded by industry professionals

The Joy of Eating movement has recently received various awards and prizes. It was named the Public's favourite and also walked away with the honours in the Communications category for a food manufacturing, food processing or distributor company at the DUX Contest which celebrates initiatives that help Quebecers to eat better. Sobeys is also a current finalist in two categories for Awards of Excellence at the Société Québécoise des Professionnels en Relations Publiques (SQPRP), and an Award of Excellence at the Excellence in Retailing Awards for the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). Winners for both contests will be announced on June 2nd.

...and supported by food lovers

IGA's three high profile ambassadors, Josée di Stasio, Christian Bégin, and Stefano Faita, were seduced by the Joy of Eating Better movement and hopped on board in its early stages. Today, Sobeys Québec is proud to announce that the ambassadors have decided to renew their commitment after remarking the great efforts that have been made and the true impact the movement has had on the lives of Quebec consumers.

For information, contact:
Laurie Fossat
514-324-1010, ext. 2158