The pledges were unveiled at the first ever Vegetable Summit, being held simultaneously in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, today (October 24).
The Food Foundation has named the companies pledging support as “The Veg Trailblazers”.
Mars Food UK has promised to update its on-pack and online recipe suggestions to encourage people to add more vegetables to the meals that they create.
In the catering sector, it said it would be working with customers, using its Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s products to encourage the use of more vegetables.
Pledged to support the campaign
Nestlé has also pledged to support the campaign and will update its retail Maggi dry recipe mix, stock cube and stock pot meal recommendations to include at least two portions of vegetables per serving.
It said this would be implemented by the end of 2018 and would encourage the 3M people who buy Maggi every year to eat more veg.
Meanwhile, Welsh foodservice company Castell Howell said its manufacturing partner Authentic Curries and World Foods would ensure that all new product development contained a “minimum portion of veg where appropriate”.
Retailers have also pledged to support the initiative. Tesco already unveiled its plans earlier today which include increasing its vegetable options available with evening meal deals.
Sainsbury said it would increase the amount of products that contain the ‘one of your five-a-day’ message by at least 30.
It said it would also include a ‘one of your five-a-day’ promise to new product development briefs for soups, sandwiches, salads and ready meals.
It also pledged to promote the benefits of vegetables through digital channels to include at least two portions in its ‘main meals’ recipes. In store vegetables would always be positioned in higher footfall areas, it said.
Lidl UK has said it will increase its range of fun sized veg to make it more appealing to children. It will also include one portion of veg (80g) in every ready meal or an equivalent serving suggestion on pack.
Meanwhile, the Co-op said it would promote veg consumption and include a weekly feature on vegetables on its social media. The chain said it would advertise at least one seasonal vegetable in its magazine, online and on social media every month.
Operators in the eating out sector also pledged support to help people eat more vegetables. Greggs, Sodexo and Bidfood are just some of those that have signed up.