Sheffield Food Book

Promoting low-sugar lifestyles via a cookbook and OOH campaign

Pro­mot­ing low-sug­ar lifestyles via a cook­book and OOH campaign

Our ‘Sheffield is Sweet Enough’ campaign is designed to encourage an entire community to eat less sugar through information, education and inspiration. Launched on behalf of Sheffield City Council in 2019, this five-year-campaign aims to reduce tooth decay and obesity in the city by providing local people with the tools they need to eat healthy, nutritious meals. Over the past few years, we’ve been working with stakeholders to find new and exciting ways we can bring local people on the journey.


To cre­ate real and last­ing behav­iour change, it’s impor­tant to under­stand your audience’s needs and find the right meth­ods to engage with them. From the very begin­ning, we have had con­ver­sa­tions with local peo­ple that have informed our cam­paign mes­sages and strate­gic devel­op­ment. Our lat­est research revealed three core areas where knowl­edge was lack­ing among residents:

1) Peo­ple didn’t know what the rec­om­mend­ed dai­ly lim­its of sug­ar were for chil­dren and adults set by Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE)

2) Local fam­i­lies didn’t under­stand how these guide­lines relat­ed to the food and drink they were con­sum­ing each day

3) Every­one need­ed guid­ance on how to make health­i­er choic­es and low-sug­ar swaps

We had already addressed these gaps on the cam­paign web­site – www​.sheffield​is​s​weete​nough​.org – but need­ed to find a way to get the mes­sage right into the heart and hands of the Sheffield community.


We decid­ed to curate a book of low-sug­ar recipes to tack­le the three main bar­ri­ers to adopt­ing a low-sug­ar diet: cost, con­ve­nience and cook­ing skills. We want­ed the book to be writ­ten by the peo­ple for the peo­ple. So, we set to work con­tact­ing local nurs­eries, Sheffield Hal­lam Uni­ver­si­ty Nutri­tion stu­dents, busi­ness­es, nutri­tion­ists and fam­i­lies to sub­mit their recipes and start col­lat­ing con­tent for the book.

We sourced sim­ple recipes to suit all age groups: wean­ing, break­fast, snacks, lunch­box ideas, drinks and fam­i­ly meals. We were also keen to cov­er off some of the infor­ma­tion our audi­ence groups said they were lack­ing. So, the book con­tains advice on how much sug­ar is too much, includ­ing infor­ma­tion on the traf­fic light sys­tem and sug­ar labelling, as well as plen­ty of smart sug­ar swaps, oral health tips and a spice and sea­son­ing guide. To max­imise expo­sure, we planned to fol­low the book launch with an OOH cam­paign in the same graph­ic style direct­ing peo­ple to the web­site to find out more.


We got to work devel­op­ing a dis­tinct visu­al design for our book which was named The Sheffield Fam­i­ly Guide to Smart Sug­ar Swaps’. All recipes had to be checked and for­mat­ted for con­sis­ten­cy and we rewrote or edit­ed the copy for all one hun­dred pages.

Next, came the pub­lish­ing. To make the enter­prise more cost-effec­tive, we worked with local print house, Meze Pub­lish­ing, on a Buy One Give One con­cept. For every book sold, one is gift­ed to a fam­i­ly who either needs some low-sug­ar ideas; needs to eat less sug­ar due to health rea­sons; or couldn’t oth­er­wise afford one. The recip­i­ents of the free books are nom­i­nat­ed by our part­ners at nurs­eries, schools, health­care set­tings, char­i­ties and com­mu­ni­ty groups in Sheffield.

The Sheffield Fam­i­ly Guide to Smart Sug­ar Swaps went on sale in July 2021 at Water­stones and var­i­ous inde­pen­dent book­stores in the city. The launch was sup­port­ed by an OOH cam­paign which ran in two bursts on phone kiosks and bus shel­ters in our tar­get areas. This was com­ple­ment­ed by a social media cam­paign on Insta­gram and Facebook.

We’ve recent­ly devel­oped our online com­mu­ni­ca­tions so that more peo­ple can find out about and access the book and more deserv­ing fam­i­lies can receive one.