Danone, Eat Like a Champ

South East Local Impact Award 2013: Building Stronger Communities - Highly Commended.

Eat Like a Champ (ELAC) was born following Danone’s discovery that there was a gap in knowledge surrounding healthy lifestyles amongst teachers, parents and children. Danone partnered with the British Nutririon Foundation (BNF), The Children’s Food Trust (CFT), the Department of Health on the Change4Life campaign and with Ealing Council, the local authority for Danones UK head office.

Business benefits

  • In 2012 54% of employees volunteered – 94% had a fantastic or very good experience.
  • Employees who volunteer in schools attend a two hour training session covering key messages that children learn during the ELAC programme.
  • There was an increase in scores related to corporate responsibility in employee surveys.
  • Cross-departmental collaboration took place between CRS, HR and Research and Development.

Societal benefits

  • 500 UK Year 5 classes participated in ELAC in 2012, numbering approximately 15,000 9 or 10 year old children in total.
  • In 2012 30 teachers from participating schools received full day training in nutrition.
  • There was increased awareness of healthy eating amongst young people and their families .

Danone logoDanone’s mission is to bring health through food to the maximum number of people. Their priority is to provide customers with quality nutritious products whilst helping people and the planet stay healthy.

ELAC is a healthy eating educational programme aimed at primary school children aged 9 to 10 Research identified that this was a crucial age for children’s eating habits, as they start to buy their own food and snacks.

In Ealing one third of 10 and 11 year olds are affected by obesity. The campaign aims to tackle the growing issue of poor nutrition and obesity amongst children through six specially tailored nutritional lessons. Lessons are supported by a free toolkit, with each child being responsible for an ELAC passport that contains homework to do with their parents. They also take home a healthy eating wheel with handy tips for the whole family.  At the end of the six lessons every class receives a personalised poster from the Diversity dance group as a reward.  

Since the launch of ELAC, Danone has committed to invest in the short and long term development of the campaign. Danone actively encourages employees to take up to two days of paid leave to contribute to community initiatives and volunteering. Employees from all departments and all levels of the organisation get involved.

In 2012 Danone partnered with the CFT to conduct robust academic research on the impact of ELAC on children’s eating behaviours. Over 1,000 London school children filled in four-day food diaries before, after and six weeks after completion of the lessons during the 2012 campaign.

Since launching ELAC has grown from 25 to 1,000 classes, reaching approximately 30,000 children per year throughout the UK.

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