The ‘Plant Chef’, the advert, & the uproar!

Who would have thought one young girl saying “I don’t want to eat animals anymore” would send the media into a frenzy that has led to meat farmers starting a ‘let’s boycott Tesco’ mission!

Watch the ad HERE.

This ad was to promote ‘Plant Chef’, the new affordable, plant-based range available at the UK’s largest supermarket, Tesco.

“We love and support farmers here at Wicked, British farms and everywhere else. We’d be doomed without them! We particularly support arable farmers, the more mushrooms, fruit, veg, grains and potatoes we can grow for human consumption, the better. Not everyone wants to eat animals (for whatever reason), and many people are trying to cut down on the amount they do consume for health and environmental reasons.”

“Lots of people want delicious, easy, affordable, convenient options that are free from animals, and we’re finally seeing these become more readily available in both high street markets and Tesco. The more choices, the better.”

``the more mushrooms, fruit, veg, grains, and potatoes we can grow for human consumption, the better``

Unfortunately, this ad was not taken well by the National Farmer’s Union.

The NFU president, Minette Batters, has been up in arms about the language within the advert and how it has caused ‘significant distress for British Farmers’ and is ‘demonising meat’.

You can read the full story HERE.

But it certainly didn’t stop there. The Tesco ad was a hot topic of conversation on our UK tv screens too. Reaching prime shows ‘Loose Women’ and ‘This Morning’.

We’re grateful to our friend, Lucy Watson, for speaking out in support of the ad and veganism. Her new food range ‘Feed Me Vegan’ has just launched in Tesco too – hooray for yet more options on our shelves!

You can read more HERE.

Janet Street-Porter, ‘Loose Women’ presenter, joined the conversation.

“I looked at this advert, and I wonder what has happened, what world am I living in now that a child can come into the kitchen and instead of the dad saying ‘let’s talk about it darling’, he says ‘alright, let’s change it and have vegan sausages’,”

“The success of the brainwashing campaign by a relatively small number of loud and pushy vegan activists can be measured by a hard-nosed retailer like Tesco choosing to promote vegan sausages in such a controversial way, implying shunning meat buys you love,”

“According to Plant-Based Head of Innovation Derek Sarno, the creators of the ad were ‘encouraged to be brave’. Pass the sick bag! This is what modern life has come to. Chloe isn’t offered an Indian or ethnic vegetarian dish from an ancient culture, but some lab-made product that is ‘Cumberland-Style’.”

Read more HERE.

Derek replied with:

“Janet, I’m so glad you’ve seen the advert and feel so strongly about it, you seem like a very lovely and sweet person with a good head on your shoulders.”

“Going meat-free now and again is simply amazing, I applaud you for that, sounds like you’re well on your way to being vegan. Thank you Janet! And if you’re feeling nauseous I’ve got a few great plant-based recipes and dishes that can help comfort you and help you feel up to date, in this day and age. ”

“I love my job and what Tesco is doing to drive more plant-based options for the country. You’re helping the world to see what a good decision I made in taking this ‘ridiculous’ position.”

Earthling Ed’s brilliant breakdown of the situation in his ‘Farmers and media lose their minds over Tesco ad’.

Then our good friend, vegan activist and educator, Ed Winters (Earthling Ed) spoke up. He dismantled the media’s outrage at the Tesco ad situation, in his classic articulated and educated manner. Legend.

Watch his full video HERE.

Ed on the National Farmers Union stating that the messaging in the advert demonises meat as a food group:

‘There’s no reason, there’s no explanation, there’s no discussion about the ethical or environmental implications of eating meat. That’s all there is. So how can that possibly demonise meat as a food group.” – Ed Winters

Could this media backlash actually be a good thing, for ‘Plant Chef’?

“The NFU outrage about the advert has actually led to it being debated on numerous occasions on television and radio. You can be certain that millions more people are now consequently aware that Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK, have just released an affordable range of plant-based foods and ready meals.”

He ends with:

“on behalf of all Vegans, thank you to Minette and the NFU. Thank you to Janet Street-Porter for bringing this advert to so many people’s attention and hopefully making more people aware now that Tesco has this vegan range and encourages them to buy it as a result”.

We’re so grateful to the vegan community for being endlessly supportive and of course to Ed for backing up what we are doing at Wicked Healthy.

Farmers don’t seem to be stopping any time soon.

This letter, allegedly written by a 7-year-old and posted to the ‘Farmers Guardian’ Facebook Page. This has roused much suspicion about whether a child would ever say ‘welfare standards used and nutritional benefits of eating British meat.’ We’ll leave that one up to you to decide!


What’s next for the meat farmers? “A boycott for November will send a clear message that their behavior towards British Farming is unacceptable.”

We stand by our decision to create more budget-friendly vegan food for Tesco, giving people more delicious options.