Supermarket bosses are to use milk bottles to promote a Scottish Government scheme that helps some poorer families with shopping bills.
From April, milk bottles in Iceland stores will carry the message “Could you get this milk for free?” as part of an “innovative approach” to boosting take-up of the Best Start Foods scheme.
The scheme provides a pre-paid card to eligible families with children under three and mothers-to-be, which they can use to pay for healthy foods, such as milk, fruit and vegetables.
The campaign comes at a time when the cost of living is rising rapidly, and labels on larger bottles will also feature a QR code people can scan, taking them directly to the Best Start Foods website where they can find out if they are eligible for help.
The move means Iceland will become the first UK supermarket to use milk bottles to promote a public service, with a similar campaign also due to run in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to promote the UK Government’s Healthy Start scheme.
In the 1990s the supermarket chain was the first UK retailer to feature photographs of missing children on its milk bottles, and managing director Richard Walker said he was “proud” the company was now working with the Scottish Government, the Food Foundation and others to promote awareness of the Best Start Foods scheme.
He said: “From April this year our ‘Could you get this milk for free?’ campaign will be on every single one of our milk bottles, enabling us to reach millions of homes across the UK with details of the scheme.
“We understand that many families are facing tougher financial situations than ever as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and the continued pressing need to help from our interactions with millions of customers each week.
“At Iceland we have a long history of supporting our local communities and offering great quality, low cost food and I hope this innovative approach will make a real difference to those families who don’t realise they are eligible.”
The move was welcomed by Scottish Government social security minister Ben Macpherson, who told how the Best Start Foods scheme “supports low income households to purchase healthy food”.
Macpherson said: “Iceland’s initiative is an excellent example of how companies can take an active role in promoting Scottish social security.
“We can all play a part in making sure people are aware of the financial support that’s available.”
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