Hellmann's® new Animal Crossing island converts players' virtual food waste into real food for people in need

For each spoiled turnip donated on the island, Hellmann's will donate a meal to Second Harvest.

TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2020 /CNW/ – As part of its global brand mission to help people be more resourceful with food and waste less. Hellmann’s® Canada has created an island in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons game, that offers a five-star virtual island experience and escape, as well as the opportunity for gamers to make change in the real world, by converting their virtual food waste in the game into real food for people in need.

The world of Animal Crossing sees gamers create their own virtual havens in the form of an island for a peaceful escape from everyday life. There is a variety of food that players can acquire and sell for large amounts of Bells, a form of currency within the game. Turnips are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the valuable food items players can acquire to increase their wealth.

Each week, Animal Crossing players purchase turnips on the ‘Stalk Market’ that will spoil if not sold within the week, becoming virtually worthless in the game. From 3PM EST on Monday, August 17 to 12.15AM EST Saturday, August 22, players will be able to visit the Hellmann’s Island to drop off their spoiled turnips and explore the other beautiful attractions on the island. In exchange for these spoiled turnips, Hellmann’s will donate to Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity, to help provide 25,000 meals in total for vulnerable communities across the country.

“Whether virtual or real, at Hellmann’s® we believe food is too precious to waste and we’re thrilled to partner once again with Second Harvest to provide meals to Canadians in need,” says Gina Kiroff, Director of Foods at Unilever Canada. “When we noticed spoiled turnips is a real tension point for many Animal Crossing players, we wanted to take advantage of the insight to create a fun consumer experience that would have real world impact. We’re hopeful Hellmann’s Island will not only be an incredible virtual experience, but also will inspire players to think differently about real world food waste.”

How it works:

1. Hellmann’s Island will be open to visitors from 3:00 p.m. EST on Monday, August 17, to 12.15 a.m. EST on Saturday, August 22.

2. To access the island, gamers will direct message Hellmann’s Canada on Twitter @HellmannsCanada to receive their personal dodo code which will be shared on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. Selected visitors will be provided with a 15-minute timeslot to drop off their spoiled turnips. For each spoiled turnip dropped off, Hellmann’s will donate a meal to Second Harvest until the 25,000 meal target is achieved.

4. After dropping off their spoiled turnips, guests will have the opportunity to explore the rest of the attractions on Hellmann’s Island including:

• Hellmann’s Farm – visitors can take a peaceful stroll through the picturesque canola fields or catch a glimpse of other Hellmann’s ingredients, including freshly laid eggs from free-run hens and barrels of vinegar.
• Second Harvest Outdoor Kitchen – here, guests can relax and unwind by a waterfall with a healthy sandwich and fresh produce prepared by Second Harvest.
• Able Sisters Merch Shop – fun merchandise can be downloaded at the local store, including items such as Hellmann’s-inspired dresses, t-shirts and jackets.
• Resident Services – guests can stop by to check out the bulletin board for more tips on how to be creative and make the most of what’s in their fridge and reduce food waste.
• Ribbon Island – if they’re feeling adventurous, guests can pole vault over to an island shaped like Hellmann’s iconic ribbon for a quick photo opp.

“Big thanks to Hellmann’s for raising awareness of Second Harvest’s food rescue mission in such a high-impact and fun way!” says Lori Nikkel, Second Harvest CEO. “For 35 years, we have recovered healthy, unsold surplus food from farms, processors and retail, keeping it from being wasted, and making sure it reaches frontline non-profits and charities across Canada that provide vital services. With Hellmann’s generosity, we’ll be able to provide food for 25,000 meals to communities in need of support.”

Hellmann’s has been on the side of food since 2007 with the introduction of the Real Food Movement. This has included brand initiatives such as “Urban Gardens”, Real Food Grants and, most recently, the Real Food Rescue which looks to address the issue of food waste in Canada. To date, Hellmann’s has donated 102,250 meals through the Real Food Rescue program for Canadians in need. An additional 25,000 meals will be provided in partnership with Second Harvest through Hellmann’s Island, the latest in the brand’s efforts to combat food waste and extend awareness to a new platform to reach a new generation of Canadian gamers.

Hellmann’s Island will be open from 3:00 p.m. – 12:15 a.m. EST, Monday 17th to Saturday 22nd August, with dodo codes provided on a first-come, first-served basis on Twitter @HellmannsCanada.

Visit RealFoodRescue.ca for more information and simple tips and tricks to reduce your personal food waste.

About Unilever Canada:
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe®, Ben & Jerry’s®, Breyers®, Degree®, Dove® personal care products, Hellmann’s®, Klondike®, Knorr®, Lipton®, Love Beauty and Planet®, Magnum®, Nexxus®, Popsicle®, Q-Tips®, Seventh Generation®, Simple®, St. Ives®, TRESemmé®, and Vaseline®. All of the preceding brand names are owned or used under license by Unilever Canada Inc.

About Second Harvest:
Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader on food recovery. Working across the supply chain – from farm to retail – we capture surplus food before it ends up in landfill and has a negative environmental impact. Since 1985, Second Harvest has redirected more than 172 million pounds of food and prevented over 262 million pounds of greenhouse gas equivalents from entering our atmosphere. Supported by hundreds of corporations, foundations, and the community at large, Second Harvest rescues and delivers enough food to provide over 50,000 meals every day, benefiting a growing network of over 1,500 social service organizations across Canada. Second Harvest also developed FoodRescue.ca, a free online platform that directly connects businesses with surplus, unsold food to local organizations to positively impact our environment and ensure good food gets to people who can use it. With the global pandemic, Second Harvest is leading the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA), that brings together government, private and non-profit sectors to ensure food reaches the most vulnerable members of our communities, from coast-to-coast.