A major new advert created by Tesco has been described as 'brave' by the retailer's Head of Plant-Based Innovation Derek Sarno.
The advert, which has screened on televsion and played on national radio, promotes Tesco's new Plant Chef Meat-Free Cumberland-style Bangers, is called Carl's 'All-Change' Casserole.
'I don't want to eat animals'
It features a father called Carl, who reformulates his sausage casserole recipe after his young daughter comes home from school one day and says: "I don't want to eat animals anymore."
"Carl never thought it would come to this. But his little girl always comes first," says the supermarket in its description of the advert.
"Find out how he switched up daddy-daughter dinner time with our new Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Cumberland style Bangers in his Food Love Story."
'A food love story'
Tesco's Head of Plant-Based Innovation, Derek Sarno, told Plant Based News that his favorite part of the advert is the line about not eating animals.
"The whole team wanted a food love story focusing on plant-based [food] and the new launch of Plant Chef," he said.
"We just recipe approved and encouraged them to be brave and keep the part when the girl says she doesn't want to eat animals. It's the best part."
Many social media commentators were positive about the advert, with one taking to Facebook to write: "Well done Tesco, loved seeing this on the television. Pretty emotive using a young person, but it's the truth. Children feel compassion for animals and when they make the connection between what's on their plate and the animals, it's upsetting. But because eating meat is normalized by caregivers, these feelings are suppressed. The world is waking up, though."
Another said: "YES, Tesco. For being brave enough to say what so many are saying... 'I don't want to eat animals anymore'. Clearly driven by understanding where the market is heading, but brave nonetheless."
Despite the many positive reactions, the advert's launch has not been without controversy, with the National Farmers Union releasing a statement accusing Tesco of 'demonizing' farmers.
"The NFU believes that messaging such as this is demonizing meat as a food group, which not only has negative connotations for farmers but also for the avocation of customers eating a healthy balanced diet," it said.
"The NFU is clear that food and nutrition must be looked at as a whole, rather than food groups in isolation. Meat as a food group provides naturally rich in protein and are a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins.
"There are certain parts of the population, especially teenage girls, who are currently not eating sufficient quantities of these micro-nutrients to fulfill their dietary requirement."