RITZ teams up with Leylah Fernandez, Nazem Kadri to celebrate diverse lunch choices
By Jeff CottrillGeneral
New All Flavours Welcome initiative aimed at schoolchildren new to Canada
TORONTO – When Canadian tennis star Leylah Fernandez was growing up in Quebec, her immigrant grandparents did not know how to speak the local languages. But Fernandez, who is half-Filipino and half-Ecuadorian, found a special way to communicate with them.
“They knew how to cook, and food was their way to communicate love,” Fernandez says about her grandparents in a CNW Group press release. “The love for food and sharing a meal together has always played a big role in my culture. Creating a space for newcomers – especially children – to feel proud of their culture and celebrate these cultural differences is so important to me.”
This is why Fernandez is teaming up with RITZ Canada to launch All Flavours Welcome, a new initiative celebrating diversity in lunchboxes. The initiative, which is also supported by Calgary Flames centre Nazem Kadri, aims to create a safe space for young Canadian newcomers who may experience what RITZ calls “The Lunchbox Moment” – the anxiety of opening a lunchbox in front of other children to reveal food choices from a different cultural background.
All Flavours Welcome is a celebration of different foods and cultures that begins in school lunchrooms, according to the CNW Group release. Despite Canada’s reputation for diversity and multiculturalism, some children may still feel pressure to conform. RITZ intends to highlight how a celebration of different food cultures can make Canada even greater.
“As Canada’s most-loved cracker brand, RITZ is no stranger to unique flavour combinations,” says Jaclyn Campbell, Mondelēz Canada’s director of marketing for crackers, in the release. “We want to be the connecting canvas celebrating all the cultures that, together, make Canada stronger.
“At RITZ, we believe that opening your lunchbox with friends shouldn’t be stressful and that diversity should be celebrated,” Campbell continues. “We’re encouraging Canadians to try more delicious new dishes and cuisines, to help eliminate stigma around food and make people feel welcome.”
As of Nov. 15, RITZ has launched the All Flavours Welcome microsite, on which web visitors can learn how to bring this conversation to their own tables. Fernandez and Kadri share their own childhood lunchbox stories, and RITZ will encourage Canadians everywhere to try a new food for the first time on the first day of every month. Those who do so are encouraged to post about the experience online, as part of RITZ’ Firsts on First social series, with the hashtag #allflavourswelcome. The site also includes a short film called The Lunchbox Moment.
“The Lunchbox Moment is when you’re nervous or anxious that your peers will judge you for what you have in your lunchbox,” Fernandez explains on the site.
RITZ has also hosted a lunch with local children to chat about their experiences, fears, and anxieties, while encouraging them to try new recipes, according to information from the microsite.
In addition to RITZ, Mondelēz International represents such popular snack brands as Oreo, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Toblerone in more than 150 countries.