Campaign For Real Salad: The story so far

salad, tomato, lettuce, meal, fork, dressingThe Campaign For Real Salad has been rolling on for nearly 4 months now. The weather is cold, wet and unappealing and so salad eating is at its annual lull, but I wonder if we’re making a difference. The petition only has 13 followers, but the posts about my Campaign have had nearly 1000 views in total so I hope that I have raised a little bit of awareness about the hidden fat and calorie content in pre-packaged salads.

Looking back at the examples I used, I can see that many of the products I was whinging about are no longer available. Is this a seasonal thing? Time will tell and I will keep my eye on the market. Here is a little breakdown of the products I have highlighted and their current status.

Tesco Complete egg and cress salad – No longer available, but nutritional info on residual web page still the same.
Waitrose Tuna Nicoise salad – Still available at £3.10 and with the same high levels of fat and calories.
Sainsbury’s Classic salad with creamy chive dressing – Still available at £2 and with the same levels of fat and calories.
Tesco Bright salad bowl – Still available at £2 and still one of the good guys, no additional dressing = no additional fat.
Tesco Prawn Pasta – one of the confusing labelling culprits, still available at £2, but happily no longer giving the nutritional information by the tablespoon. Now they are giving you the nutritional info by 1/2 a pack. Which is still a disturbingly high 430 calories and 21g of fat per 232.5g serving, making it nearly 10% fat – but at least the consumer is more likely to know what they’re getting. 

I chalk this one up as a victory, even if the Campaign For Real Salad cannot be directly attributed for the win! In fact, I decided to tweet Tesco to ask about the change and see if my campaign had helped and they said this:

We constantly put our products in front of customer panels and seek customer feedback. This can sometimes influence change 🙂

I take that canny smiley face to mean that we are making a difference – woo hoo!
Asda’s Caesar salad – In November, we compared some of the supermarket giant’s offerings for that notoriously unhealthy salad, the Caesar. In the interests of fairness, I’ve chosen Asda’s to compare in this retrospective, as I haven’t included them yet. Their salad is still available at 215g for £2 and the nutritional info for 100g is still, in my opinion, unnecessarily high in fat and calories.

I don’t expect the US has quite been taken by storm by my Campaign yet, but I did look at Walmart’s offering at the end of November. Their bistro chicken caesar remains the same – still healthier than its British competitors, but with a larger portion size. And the issue of having the weight of the product in ounces but the nutritional information in grams still remains.

Have you been keeping track of the Campaign? Has the way you approached the ‘healthier’ option of a pre-packaged salad for your lunch been influenced? I will keep my eyes on the skies and continue to report on the state of our salads. I hope you’ll choose to sign the petition and share it with friends so that we can strike a blow for consumer information, our health and other such worthy aims.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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