Premier Foods’s Bisto campaign to help elderly

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Rachel Riley serves up lunch as part of Spare Chair Sunday
Rachel Riley serves up lunch as part of Spare Chair Sunday

Related tags Premier foods Gerontology

Premier Foods, the makers of Bisto, has launched a campaign to encourage families to invite a lonely elderly person round for Sunday lunch.

Bisto and charity Contact the Elderly have started the nationwide initiative, called Spare Chair Sunday, which was backed by Countdown host Rachel Riley.   

The campaign came after research showed that a third of UK residents aged 70 and over eat alone every day and many feel lonely as a result. 

Riley took part in Spare Chair Sunday by serving up lunch herself and encouraged other people to follow her example. 

Survey results at a glance

  • 32% eat alone every day
  • 20% of solo diners feel lonely as a result
  • 49% ranked roast dinner as their favourite meal

‘Most uplifting experience’​ 

“It was the most uplifting experience to share a meal with an older person and chat away for a couple of hours,”​ she said.  

“When you think of all the spare chairs there must be around the dinner table every Sunday, even if we fill a small percentage every week, it will really add up to make a huge difference.”​ 

About 20% of solo diners feel lonely as a result of eating alone, according to a poll of 1,200 people commissioned by Bisto and Contact the Elderly. 

Bisto Together Project​ 

Bisto marketing director Helen Warren-Piper said: “We have had over 100 years of bringing people together around the dinner table, and continue to do so through the Bisto Together Project. 

“Loneliness is a real problem in the UK and for older people specifically. The work that Contact the Elderly already does is proven to work and uplift the community as a whole.” ​ 

Premier Foods’s largest brands include Mr Kipling, Oxo, Ambrosia, Batchelors, and Sharwood’s. The company has about 4,000 workers operating from 13 sites across the country.

For more information visit www.bistotogetherproject.com

View from TV personality

“It was the most uplifting experience to share a meal with an older person and chat away for a couple of hours.”

  • Rachel Riley, host on TV show Countdown 

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