FoodStorm was launched by sKids in 2016 in response to the rising obesity levels in young children, and insight that teaching kids to cook may make them eat healthier.
Come 2018, sKids wanted to grow the number of franchisees using FoodStorm, from 10 to 20, with a target of 500 sKids kids having the opportunity to learn to cook.
Meanwhile, Nestlé New Zealand was already running programmes supporting health and wellbeing of Kiwi youth – one programme being Nestlé Healthy Active Kids.
sKids approached Nestlé with the opportunity to collaborate, with the challenge to develop a programme that both kids and families would benefit from, at no extra cost to parents.
Together Nestlé and sKids launched the co-branded “Nestlé Healthy Active Kids FoodStorm Collectors Edition” modules, giving children fun hands-on experience with food preparation, nutrition and cooking skills.
Representatives from the Heart Foundation NZ, the NZ Nutrition Foundation, Food magazine editor Sophie Gray, Olympian Rob Waddell in addition to sKids franchisee owners themselves all endorsed and promoted the partnership and programme goals.
The new programme was pre-launched to franchisees at the sKids National conference, with subsequent email updates to keep momentum going.
Incentives were introduced to encourage franchisees to run the programme, including a credit on food costs to help reduce one of the key barriers to running the hands-on sessions. Competitions were also run over the period for the kids to further engage with the programme.
The results surpassed expectations with Nestlé’s involvement boosting the number of sKids centres participating in the FoodStorm programme by up to 40 percent.
For the first time ever, over 65 sKids sites nationwide were teaching the same recipes and delivering consistent nutrition messages.
The target was 1,000 sKids children to participate in the NHAK FoodStorm programme between October to December 2018 with the result being 1,100 kids participating. Another target of 25 sKids franchises to run the NHAK FoodStorm programme across 50 schools with the result that 25 franchisees ran the programme across 60 schools. This is compared to five franchisees and 10 schools in 2017, a fantastic number given term four is the busiest of the school year.
The launch event, held at Don Buck Primary School with celebrity participants, rose the profile of the programme across New Zealand and gathered media coverage across TVNZ’s Breakfast, Radio New Zealand, Radio Rheema and Food magazine.
This is not the end of the collaboration. Based on the success to date, Nestlé and sKids will be building on the partnership, extending the programme into the school day so more children will have the opportunity to learn to cook as part of the general school curriculum.