Seventy-two percent of Canadian parents believe their children don't throw away lunch items, but 31% of Canadian children admit that they throw out some of their lunch items, survey says; children who learn about food 67% less likely to discard lunch

TORONTO , October 3, 2012 (press release) – A recent study for the Hellmann's® brand at Unilever Canada revealed that parents may not be as aware of their kid's at-school eating habits as they might think. In fact, while more than two thirds (72%) of Canadian parents who were polled believe that their children do not throw away lunch items, almost a third (31%) of Canadian children polled admit they throw out some of their lunch items, and nearly half (46%) report that they regularly trade some of their lunch items with friends.

What's a parent to do to ensure that what's packed actually gets eaten? According to the national survey: it's all about food awareness. In fact, children who learn about food are significantly less likely (67%) to throw out their lunch.

"We know that food education matters but we were surprised at how it relates to lunchtime eating behaviours," said Stephanie Cox, Senior Brand Manager for Hellmann's at Unilever Canada. "Our survey demonstrates a few of the positive ways food education can change children's attitudes towards food."

Canadian parents also believe that food education has a positive impact on their kids' interest in meal preparation. The survey found that of the 22% of kids who are receiving food education, parents reported that they are very involved in packing their lunch. Educating kids and families about ways in which they can become more engaged with real food is one of the establishing principles of the Hellmann's Real Food Grant Program. The grant program was founded in 2010 and designed to fund community-led initiatives across the country.

To date, the program has provided over $310,000 of funding to 69 projects in communities across Canada. This year, the Hellmann's brand has again awarded $ 110,000 in Real Food Grants to 21 initiatives including, $15,000 to help St. Patrick's School in Saint John, NB renovate their school kitchen. Another worthy initiative is Project CHEF in Vancouver, which received $10,000 in funding for their program. The organization visits schools, teaching children where their food comes from, how to prepare it and the joys of eating with others.

"It's really amazing how easy it is to get kids excited about real food," says Chuck Hughes, celebrity chef and longtime champion of Hellmann's® Real Food Movement. "We see the way kids connect with food through the programs we fund with Hellmann's® Real Food Grants and the result is really powerful. They want to eat it, they get excited about it - it changes their whole perspective."

For easy school lunch ideas visit or join our Facebook page at for more tips, ideas and real food inspiration.

About the Real Food Movement

Hellmann's® mayonnaise was founded on the principle of starting with real, simple ingredients - like eggs, oil and vinegar. This commitment to real ingredients is why Hellmann's® launched the Real Food Movement - a mission to help get more real food on Canadian tables by inspiring families to smell, taste, touch and learn about the pleasure that comes from eating real food. Canadians can join the real food conversation and learn how to eat real at

The 2012, cycle three, Real Food Grant Recipients:

St. Patrick's Elementary, Saint John, NB - awarded $15,000

Markham Fair, Markham, ON - awarded $5,000

Apple Grove Community Complex, Toronto, ON - awarded $7,000

Kitchener Market, Kitchener, ON - awarded $2,500

Niagara Federation of Agriculture, ON - awarded $2,500

Project Chef, Vancouver, BC - awarded $10,000

Boys and Girls Club of South Coast, Vancouver, BC - awarded $5,000

Galbraith Elementary, Lethbridge, ON - awarded $4,400

Geary Elementary, Geary, NB - awarded $2,500

Quispamsis Elementary, Quispamsis, NB - awarded $1,000

Nokomis Junior Chef, Nokomis, SK - awarded $400

Barrie Farmers' Market, Barrie, ON - awarded $5,000

North Columbia Environmental Society,Revelstoke, BC - awarded $4,700

Jeune Pousse, Montreal, QC - awarded $2,500

St. Jude Elementary, Deux-Montagnes, QC - awarded $5,000

About Unilever Canada

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 190. With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. In Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe®, Becel®, Ben & Jerry's®, Breyers®, Clear®, Degree®, Dove® personal care products, Hellmann's®, Klondike®, Knorr®, Lipton®, Magnum®, Nexxus®, Popsicle®, Q-Tips®, Simple®, Skippy, St. Ives®, TRESemmé®, and Vaseline®. All of the preceding brand names are owned or used under license by Unilever Canada Inc. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 1,600 people across Canada. For more information, visit

Unilever's ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental impact (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal). We are also committed to doing what we can to improve health, nutrition and hygiene, with a target to help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, as well as sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. All of these goals are itemised in around 60 time-based commitments in our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

About the Survey

From August 14 to August 17, 2012, an online survey was conducted among a randomly selected sample of 1331 Canadian parents/guardians of children aged 7 - 15 years, who are also Angus Reid Forum panelists, and 1331 youths, aged 7 - 15 years of age, who are the children of the same Angus Reid Forum panelists who were surveyed. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.7% (19 times out of 20) for both sample groups. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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