Jamie Oliver, 43, [VIDEO] has recently signed a new deal with Tesco, which he says has the potential to be the “most important partnership” he will ever have. Tesco and Oliver have teamed up to make it easier for people to cook healthier, delicious and affordable food, each day of the week.

As reported by PR Week, from this month, Jamie will be the face of the supermarket chain’s “helpful little swaps” in-store promotion. This promotion offers shoppers healthier alternatives with lower salt, sugar and fat, but which are also cheaper items to put in their shopping trolley. According to Tesco, a basket of these “helpful little swaps” will cost shoppers 12 percent less than the regular options.

Healthier eating alternatives from Oliver and Tesco

As someone who has been placed on a special diet, I have been studying labels on supermarket items much more closely than in the past. Sugar especially tends to feature strongly in almost every item, including processed and prepared foods. Tesco boss Dave Lewis said in a statement that people now want to eat more healthy food and he hopes that signing up Jamie Oliver to the cause will help to change people’s eating and food shopping habits.

Oliver is set to appear in various in-store material, which will include posters, making him the new face of Tesco.

However, Tesco did say Jamie will not appear in “above-the-line” advertising during the initial round.

Oliver speaks about new deal with Tesco

Jamie recently spoke to the Metro and explained that data procured by Tesco showed that people need help with their choices. He said the timing is perfect, adding this is one of the most important partnerships or relationships he has ever had. Oliver said he has definitely chosen the right partner to do this type of thing. He said poor people spend twice as long suffering from bad health as compared to richer people.

Jamie also pointed to Tesco’s efforts in the past, including introducing colour-coded labelling on the front of packs, taking tempting chocolate away from the tills and the “Free Fruit For Kids” promotion. He said being involved with Tesco will allow him to do more in promoting healthy eating.

A survey of more than 2,000 shoppers found that seven families out of every 10 wanted supermarkets to help them make better and healthier choices.

Around 70 percent of them said they would like to receive inspiration and practical advice on how do eat healthier alternatives.

Tesco Club Card data to help in the cause

Tesco and Oliver say they will be able to use anonymous data from the over 17 million currently active Tesco Club Card members, to ascertain whether their efforts have made a difference. Lewis said they will be able to measure their impact, but said the question still remains as to whether the impact will continue to persuade shoppers to buy the healthier alternatives in future.

Jamie went on to explain how different the Tesco partnership will be to his 11-year partnership with the competing supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, which came to an end in 2011. He said that all other partnerships had involved him being in adverts, but the Tesco relationship is not like that. Lewis also stressed that this will be completely different to Jamie’s former partnership, saying it is not about advertising [VIDEO] but is all about a “behavioural trend.”