COI picks DM agency for healthy food voucher push

The Central Office of Information (COI) has appointed agency CMW to handle direct marketing for the Department of Health’s Healthy Start voucher scheme.

Health kick: Healthy Start’s vouchers are worth up to £3.10 a week
Health kick: Healthy Start’s vouchers are worth up to £3.10 a week

The scheme is aimed at pregnant women and mothers of young children to encourage healthy eating.

The DM campaign is likely to focus on monthly voucher mail-outs aimed at women in low take-up areas. A review of the scheme in April found that despite achieving an almost 80% take-up rate target, there were still areas with low engagement.

The Healthy Start programme provides families on means-tested benefits with vouchers worth £3.10 each week to redeem against purchases of fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula milk.

Healthy Start was introduced in 2006 to replace the long-standing infant and milk tokens that were developed in the Forties.

Retailers, from corner shops, chemists, food co-operatives to milkmen and market stalls are encouraged to sign up to become Healthy Start suppliers.

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