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Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign celebrated at FDF Awards

23 September 2016

Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign celebrated at FDF Awards

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Premier Foods won the coveted 'Campaign of the Year' title at last night's prestigious Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards for the Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign. The ceremony at London's The Brewery celebrated the leading businesses and people in the food and drink industry.

The team behind Bisto, the nation's favourite gravy, discovered that a third of people over the age of 70 in the UK eat alone every day. Bisto saw the opportunity to make a difference to elderly people's lives by creating the 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign with Contact the Elderly, a charity that organises volunteer-led monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for older people living alone across Great Britain. Bisto reached out to consumers through a co-ordinated media campaign, including radio and television, and encouraged them to become a volunteer for the charity and to host a lonely, older person from the local community at home on a Sunday for a roast dinner.

As a direct result of the Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign, more than 5,500 older people are now enjoying the opportunity to meet new people and share Sunday roast dinners with their neighbours. Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' was the brand's first such community outreach programme and aimed to position Bisto as a brand that has 'togetherness' as a central message; has longstanding experience of bringing people together at mealtimes; and also to decrease loneliness among people over the age of 70 in local communities.

FDF's Director General, Ian Wright, said: “Premier Foods is a worthy winner of the coveted 'Campaign of the Year' award. The Bisto 'Spare Chair Sunday' campaign was a great example of a brand making a genuine difference to people in communities up and down Great Britain.

“Social loneliness is sadly too common an experience for many older people today. This campaign helped to highlight and bring to people's attention the difference that can be made by bringing individuals together round a table to enjoy a simple Sunday dinner and to get to know their neighbours and community. Over 5,000 older people have benefited directly from this initiative, with thousands more being inspired to welcome a new friend in need into their homes.”

In addition to this award, Premier Foods also won the prizes for Food Scientist of the Year, Product Reformulation, and highly commended in the Rising Star category.

More information

Event photos are available on FDF's Flickr page

The 2017 FDF Awards will launch in November 2016.

Notes for editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.
  2. View the winners' case studies
  3. Premier Foods plc is a British food manufacturer headquartered in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index. The group owns brands including Mr Kipling, Ambrosia, Angel Delight, Homepride cooking sauces, Sharwood's, Loyd Grossman sauces, Oxo, Bisto and Batchelors.
  4. Contact the Elderly is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people. Supported by a network of volunteers, the charity organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people, aged 75 and over, who live alone. Offering a regular and vital friendship link every month.

Contact Matthew Evans, Corporate Affairs Division, at:, or (0) 20 7420 7152.

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