Yes, I’m fronting the new Sainsburys advert. (And I’ve been waiting to tell you all for AGES!)

I can finally let this enormous orange cat out of the bag now that the Guardian have run it – from January, I will be fronting a new ad campaign for Sainsburys.

I’m sure people have a LOT of questions and I will blog about it in more detail later on, but for now here’s the article from the Guardian website:

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I hope my readers are as happy for me as I am. I’m not quite on Jamie Oliver’s salary (in fact I don’t think I’m on 1% of it!!) but I’m happy to be working with the supermarket that I shop at – rather than any of the others that made ridiculous offers to try to coax me away from the orange and white packaged Basics range.

I’m not going to change – I call a spade a spade, a battery chicken a battery chicken, and a bargain a bargain, so I hope you all stay with me on the next stage of a fabulously exciting journey.

And re the money side of things, I am donating part of my fee/salary/whatever you call it to food projects both at home and in Africa – but more on that later! Keen Twitter followers will know I’ve spent the last week having all sorts of jabs for an upcoming trip with Oxfam, and this is why. Because I don’t want to “take the money and run”. It’s a hard thing to try to explain but having lived for so long with so little, I don’t want to just skip off into the sunset with all of my earnings – I don’t know what happens next or how long this is all going to last, so while I can, I want to take the opportunity to make sure that I am not the only person to benefit from my ‘success’ (I don’t really know what else to call it). I think I’ll be in a position to make a difference, no matter how small, and I want to give it a go.

In a years time this whirlwind might all be over, and I want to be able to look back and know that I’ve done something worthwhile, somewhere, and that it was all worth it in some strange karmic way.

I hope that makes sense!

And feel free to leave me any questions below, I’ll do my best to answer them.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @msjackmonroe
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

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Categories: Blog

147 Comments »

    • Hi jack glad you are heading the sainsbury campaign as I have just got back from there and I can’t believe that all the basics range have increased by at least 5p,some things gone up by 15p or 20p!!
      My 24 pound weekly shop for 5 of us has increased by almost a quid!
      So disappointed…. Can you have a word? Why can’t they increase the luxury goods instead of cutting the poor persons shop even further?
      Think I may have to shop elsewhere which is such a shame as I have shopped there for many years and I haven’t always been poor. I used to spend 5/6 times a week more at one time, (Disgusting I know).

  1. Oh, wonderful!! Bloody good luck and congratulations.. and yes, I get you. Taking the money and running didn’t seem your style… And well done on keeping it to yourself for so long!!

  2. Great news, Jack! No doubt there will be “sell out” jibes, but if it’s the range you use and have always used, then who cares? You’re not advertising any old tripe for a few quid.

    Good for you, and a lovely thought to donate to other causes with a % of your salary.

  3. Huge congratulations Jack. It’s a great platform from which you will be able to spread your message to an even bigger audience. The nation loves you (well mostly, except that silly Liz Woman at the Daily Mail!)

  4. Oh well done you! an advert we can believe for a change! I don’t have Tele so please put the advert on YouTube so we can all watch it and cheer you on!

    Brace yourself for Africa, you won’t know whether to cry or get angry at the level of poverty. I am from South Africa and its endemic there, let alone up country Kenya and above.

    Have a great journey and enjoy the sunshine!

    Much love and best wishes

    Patsy O’Malley

  5. Congratulations and I hope that things go well for you its about time one of us had a crack at it don’t forget that there are still thousands who can’t afford to feed there families so plz don’t forget to be you and remember that you went through and don’t abandon your views and values again congratulations babe xxxx

    • Massive congratulations! Bloody well done Sainsburys too! Not wishing to taint this announcement but it seems
      to make sense now why that twisted woman wrote that ridiculous article.
      Please join in with a sentence as you feel fit!

      Dear Liz Jones,
      It appears your lack of scruples is at last being unearthed for the pathetic sheep that you are……#dearlizjones

  6. Congratulations Jack – if it feels right for you then it is. You have always, as long as I’ve been reading this blog, maintained your integrity.
    Looking forward to seeing someone I not only admire but also relate to, in a major advertising campaign!

  7. Austerity has yet to kick in for so many people. The governments 5 year plan is not ever half way implemented .. there is more to come .. so well done Jack. Stick to your principles and you will help many many people. I am really impressed by your determination and your message. x

  8. Great news, hope it is wonderful. If you are still writing on your phone perhaps the financial,gain could buy you a laptop and wifi….sounds like your career jumps will require it. Good luck.

  9. Congratulations Jack. You will get “sell out” comments without a doubt. But people need to look at the bigger picture. They will always pay someone to appear on their adverts – it sits well with me that it is you because you’re real and you’ve been there and your advice will be sound and realistic. And if you’ve always used their basics range and you’re happy with their ethics then it’s surely win win.

    So proud that you’re donating part of your fee to something so worthy as well. Wishing you all the best. Enjoy your success, you completely deserve this good stuff.

  10. I’m thrilled for you, Jack. No-one deserves it more and I might even pay attention to the adverts!!!
    I’m sure you won’t ever forget your roots though and that you will remain feisty and down to earth!
    Who would have thought Sainsbury’s had so much sense!!! πŸ™‚
    J x

  11. Fantastic Jack Can’t wait to see the ad! be great to see a normal person who so many of us can relate too, am I surprised you’ve decided to give a % to some worthwhile causes? nah that’s you and I know you’ll never change. Again fanflippingtastic so proud of you xxx

  12. Gobsmacked & delighted that Joe Sainsbury’s had the balls to approach you, & really happy for you. I’ve always done my main shop at JS too, so looking forward to your ads. Get in there girl & bugger the Liz/Littlejohns of this wicked world!

  13. You really deserve this good fortune, Jack. I’m so happy for you. That is one mother and her little boy who will never go hungry again. That makes me want to weep with pride for everything that you’ve done and will continue to do. Good for you.

  14. Very happy for you indeed, Jack! As for the money side of things, it will be the good that one’s wealth can bring about which counts. Your legacy will be judged on what and how you bring it about. You seem to know that anyway. Best wishes.

  15. Fantastic news and well deserved. What an amazing time for you. Can’t wait to see the advert and having already ordered your book am looking forward to receiving it as I’m sure the recipes will be great. I know through experience that even when things improve you never forget the anxiety of not being able to provide adequate food for your child/children. Sainsburys have made the right choice when choosing you for their campaign, someone who has had to budget and survive through hard times and not someone with a famous face who is just guessing as to what it would be like survive on “budget” food. You can make a difference.

  16. Oh well done Jack. So well deserved. Now I can say to everyone ‘ I knew about her before she was famous’ lol

    Things are getting better and better for you and small boy and it’s so wonderful because it gives all of us hope in the bleak times.

    Well done!

  17. Congratulations Jack- very well deserved and a tribute to your hard work. I hope it leads to a long and lasting relationship with Sainsburies and maybe makes other supermarkets sit up and take notice that not everybody has tons of money to spend on their food shop and also that many customers do care about animal welfare and where their food comes from.

    Not many would have donated part of the money to good causes either-much respect!

  18. Congratulations!!! Well deserved!
    Love to see what you come up with for left over roast dinners! And thank you for standing up to the nonsense printed by the daily hate mail!!!!
    x

  19. Aldi is far cheaper than Sainsburys and good quality. I used to always shop at Sainsburys, however financial circumstances now makes Sainsburys out of my price range, I now love Aldi !

  20. Good for you and actually good for Sainsburys too. You will do a great job, you won’t get your head turned or lose your values and you deserve to be paid properly. In advance, because they will soon be bleating, can I just encourage the the nasty, miserable people to get off their soap boxes, be quiet and find someone to do something nice for.

  21. Good on you! You are doing it right.
    You actually inspred me to explore my nearest Sainsbury’s, sadly, it is one of the tiny almost a corner shop stores they like to put in cities, so it wont do. But i will do almost anything not to shop at Tesco or Aldi, so when we finally move from our too tiny just-off-the-plane-gotta-get-a-flat-fast choice, maybe it will work out.

  22. Congratulations Jack, that’s fantastic news. Your success is so very well deserved. And Sainsbury’s have made an excellent choice I think.

  23. I take my hat off to you. Good luck. By the way, talking of Africa, have you heard of a charity called ‘Mary’s Meals’? If you haven’t I think it might be of interest to you. All the best.

  24. Just great! Congratulations. No, it is not a sell out. Getting a message to a wider audience is good. Interesting politically that Sainsburys are looking in your direction. Very interesting indeed….

  25. I’m glad I came at this with your comments included rather than just the Guardian article. The article title sounded almost like a sell out. I hate the fact that the government seems to punish the poor for being poor. Whilst anyone who works hard (depending on the spin) is on one hand a scrounger, and on the other a striver.

  26. I tend to think that the supermarkets are all as bad as each other, but if you say that Sainsbury’s have better ethical policies, then I’m inclined to believe you. That’s why you deserve whatever they’re paying you (so long as it’s somewhere near what I imagine people get paid for adverts!)

  27. Congratulations. Lovely to hear someone has had the courage to hold firm to their beliefs and have come out on top. Keep up the good work, you are changing life for many people I am sure.

  28. Jack, Congratulations. Still sending us giddy with your many activities. People with a conscience and a message last quite a while..strength to strength and all that πŸ™‚

  29. It makes perfect sense – and I have enormous respect for you for sharing the fruits of your good fortune, and hard work too. Looking forward to seeing the ads.

  30. well done honey best news I have heard for ages.At least your on the side of the hard up people from everywhere and don’t bang on about ‘hard-working people’ as though they are the only ones around .There are thousands of people who you have helped with your inexpensive recipes and I for one can’t wait for your book to come out I bet it will top the best -seller list
    Congratulations and well done to Sainsbobs for realising that there are ‘ ordinary’ people out there who are struggling to get along and cannot afford the expensive stuff that is on offer.Better to sell 10 tins of beans at 30p than one at a pound πŸ™‚

  31. Excellent news! You have given us insight and entertainment with your positive outlook on your situation. You deserve success andThank you for reminding us to remember others in our success.

  32. You’re so wise, Jack. I learn from you all the time. Recognising that your ‘success’ may only be fleeting is something that so few of us have the sense to understand and I feel a bit teary about you giving away a proportion of your fee. It’s incredibly heartening and challenging to see the decisions you are making. Keep up the brilliant work and stay strong against the people who have very different agendas from you. xx

  33. Thanks for the recipes and showing that grit and good sense win out, even on a budget! I live in an area where 2 supermarkets (including the white and orange) live side by side – and we have a twice monthly market that provides fresh fruit, veg, organic free range meat (of all sorts) and products like jam, cheese and eggs too.
    If anything the market is growing stronger and stronger and shows now sign of slowing.I shop there because of the direct relationships you can create with farmers and producers with no middlemen, and plan to shop there more and more next year.

    Thanks for the help. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  34. I am delighted for you, Jack, you deserve the success, because it is success! You have fought a long battle and deserve to have a good break. Sorry you did not do Waitrose, I am one of their customers and can testify that they have some fantastic bargains (and still properly reduce their goods at the end of the day!) but I understand why you want to stick with Sainsburys (my second choice anyway!). Good luck!

  35. Congratulations.

    One note of caution to sound here…I’m not very up on these things…but I think Sainsburys might be one of the worst (supermarket) offenders as regards stocking genetically-modified food. I have a very vague recollection of some top-ranking Sainsburys executive doing some lobbying of the Government to make it easier for supermarkets to stock G.M. food without being forced to label it as such. Just a cautionary note urging a bit of research on this so as not to inadvertently get caught up into advertising unethical ingredients. Do be careful not to do recipes containing any GM ingredients. As I understand it – soya beans are ALWAYS GM (unless they specifically state they are “organic”) for instance. One cheapo ingredient that a lot of Skinny Budget Cooks seem to use, for instance, is that fake mince stuff marketed for vegetarians and made of soya – so please don’t use that in a recipe or Sainsburys will be crowing with delight at being able to flog off some of their GM products on unsuspecting hard-up consumers. Cornmeal/polenta is another product I would wish to investigate thoroughly in your position before putting up a recipe containing this – as its another cheap ingredient – but I believe its very difficult to get corn that isn’t genetically modified too.

    Use them – don’t let them use you. They know very well that where you lead a lot of budget cooks will follow and I would be willing to bet they are hoping to mislead you into inadvertently putting up recipes with these GM products in (let’s face it – I would if I were in their position and I’d be willing to bet they are hoping to catch you out with this).

  36. Just to follow that thought with saying you are perfectly intelligent enough to “see through” any attempts Sainsburys makes to “use you to flog off the more unethical products they stock” – but many of your readers won’t be and herein lies the responsibility you now have. You’re also gobby enough (to use your own words) that I think you probably would “bite the hand that feeds you” if need be and tell Sainsburys where to get off if you find their agenda doesn’t match yours. Don’t get bought off…so many people are…

  37. Dead right about the “hard working” bit with its weasley implication that the noble sentiments and crocodilian sympathy are reserved for proper working people who have real jobs involving hard work and who spend every working hour grinding away at them

  38. I’ve been living on a very tight budget for 4 years and the one thing it has taught me is that you really can’t rely on one supermarket. Sainsbury’s was the nearest prior to a recent move, and Oh dear another branch is also my nearest – but there are less than 6 products that I ever buy from there as it is so expensive. And a particular gripe of mine is that in every branch I have been into, they have the cheek to sell smelly, decayed fish over their fish counters. So I am a tad surprised by the adulation this company is receiving on this comments page – but I look forward to seeing how the next stage of your career pans out for you. Good luck,

  39. Im a 26 year old mother with a partner and a 3 yr old son. My partner is from eastwood so the locality element made me chuckle. Fortunately Im currently employed but as we all know nothing is ever certain and were all one redundancy or similar away from hardship.

    I have to say I’m impressed at the work you are doing but most of all the hard work you’ve put in to help yourself and your son. You’re now in a position where you can use what you’ve learned to help others.

    As for the sainsburys deal, you use their ingredients because they were and are the local shop. It makes precious difference to me about whether x or y is cheaper because its all about accessibility when people are short of funds so cant drive or travel 5 miles for cheaper shopping. It seems right that the deal comes from the store who you bought all those many products from. I always thought when I saw the pictures look at all that free advertising they are getting. You may aswell make something back from that in my view.

    On the food bank issue…I wonder if your next move could be to encourage all those people you’ve found keen enough to sign up to donate 1 tin or packet of food this week or in January? Im sure many people signing already do or are recipients of parcels but there must be a big margin of “will get around to its” like myself. Im going to ensure I donate something this week. But if all of us “one day soon”ers actually did so, we could fill a few shelves!

    Xx

    • Actually Jack why not ask Sainsburys to have a big container near the exit for people to drop a tin or packet into as they leave the shop ..Im sure many would put something in from their shop even if they hadn’t thought about it prior to going in…just make it easy for people to help!

    • Our local Sainsburys has a trolley near the door where people can leave donations. My husband volunteers at the local food bank and he says that this has been successful as they deliver a substantial amount of food to the food bank each week.

  40. Thrilled to hear this news! And humbling that you are selfless to give a chunk of your fee away. But… As you acknowledge, success can be fickle, so please ensure that you put enough aside for you and your son too, be generous to him and to yourself as much as you are generous to others. A rainy day fund is a good thing to have.

  41. I admire your pragmatic approach and your sensible realisation that you could be dropped at any time when the media don’t see you as flavour of the month any longer. Maybe there will be a career in the charity sector as well as freelance writing for you. Re Ceridwen’s reference to Quorn – knitted protein. I have tried it for myself and also for when my vegetarian son visits and it is disgusting. If one is vegetarian, then why would one want imitation meat? I would calculate that I am about 85% vegetarian as using meat and poultry is expensive and time consuming for one who lives alone.

    I am still confused about the difference between “free range” and organic chicken after some research. For the sake of your integrity, can you also research and pin down Sainsbury’s in this subject? ****************

    • Don’t see how Quorn can be GM can be in the traditionally understood sense, as it is made of fungus, not soya or wheat. Quorn costs a fortune but it helps non veggies like me feed vegetarian guests without too much hassle, very useful.

      Organic and free range are generally understood to be different things; one is about the land and feed the animals get, the other is about how they are housed – the difference is clear isn’t it?

  42. Id also be interested to know what sainsburys definition of free range is. I posted on the facebook page. As you are so well known now, that comes with responsibility. I posted some links on the facebook page from viva campaigns that showed the happy egg was nothing but. That Marks and Spencers ducks were certainly not bred in good conditions. The thing is, its not easy to live a one hundred per cent ethical lifestyle. I try as much as I can to buy second hand clothes for example and not buy sweatshop. I noticed on your twitter feed that you said that you use sainsburys basics range for certain things and Body Shop for others? Why not use toiletries from superdrug, cheap and vegan and approved by the BUAV. You can get astonish cleaning products for 89p to 99p, again BUAV approved. No animal suffering. As far as I am concerned people can eat meat if they like, but it totally concerns me that large supermarkets stamp the free range on a lot of products and that goes to making people feel that the animal has had a better life. Its not always the case. And it will certainly meet the same horrible end, just to end up on peoples plates. You have a chance to make a massive difference in a lot of issues. I was vegetarian for a long time and didnt realise how cruel dairy was, now I do and I dont eat it. But if you are broke like I am but still want to buy cleaning products, make up and cheap toiletries. Id go to superdrug way before I would ever go to sainsburys. Im also sure that sainsburys sell clothes that are made in sweatshops, in the same way that other supermarkets do. Thats not ethical in the slightest. Again, with a profile like yours, you might go some way to trying to get changes made. A lot of people are fooled by the free range label. Thats all it is, a label. I posted something on your facebook page last week. I was in London on a course and the nearest shop was a sainsbury local. There were very few products in that store that were basics. I appreciate its London, but the products were eye wateringly expensive. If I had been on benefit and lived in that area, no way would I be shopping in sainsburys. You have the right to take any work you are offered, but when it comes to ethical, I think the big 4 supermarkets have a very long way to go. As for the tonnes of food that they discard every day, well something is obviously still very wrong in that some people are literally starving and the supermarkets make millions of pounds of profits and are chucking away food. There are tons of truly ethical companies trying to change the world for the better, places like ethical superstore and natural collection, I dont think any of the supermarkets, including aldi, where I shop, comes anywhere close. The co op is probably one of the most ethical supermarkets on the high street, my local one closed down due to the asda in the same town it couldnt compete with. Its very difficult to be skint and ethical. Ive stopped buying new clothes and Im still wearing ones I bought ten plus years ago because I wont buy sweatshop. Ive some items from a company called gossypium, fitness clothes that Ive had for about 4 years, 20 pounds a pair which is expensive, but theyve been washed and worn, washed and worn and are still in excellent condition and when I say worn, I mean in the hundreds. No one needs to change their to a degree of a complete 360 turn, but buying your toiletries from superdrugs own rather than sainsburys, you’d be doing animals a massive favour.
    Lush is also a cosmetics company with an ethical outlook. We can all do more, including myself. All information about free range will be out there, but the truth might make some difficult reading, its easier for people to shut their eyes and pretend no suffering went into their bar of dairy milk for example.

  43. Oh how fantastic, not just the Sainsburys thing but the Oxfam trip too. You certainly are living a life Worth living, bloody well done you!! xxx

  44. Brilliant news Jack. You just keep on going from strength to strength. You can now add Sainburys poster girl to your CV (only joking) as well as inspirational cook and voice of the silent majority!!! πŸ™‚

  45. I use Sainsbury’s Basics range for feeding my family, I try and cook all my food from scratch it is the cheapest option for me as times are really tough. Well done Jack, on your new adventure with Sainsbury’s and I can’t wait for your new cook book to come out next year!

  46. Personally i think most of the Basics range is pretty awful and also pretty poor value. Some is okay though, and I guess I’m luckier than most in having better-value options available to me.

    • Oh please, Dan. I challenge anyone to do a blind taste test of the Basics range and they probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

      Hey, there’s a thought. A subject for your next blog post, Jack, or something to do at your next WI appearance?

      • The frozen peas are dreadful. The mozzarella is OK in a lasagna or something, but not good enough for a salad. Kidney beans and tomatoes, brilliant. The bread is dire. The chocolate is great, depending what you do with it. I would never, ever buy cheap pasta.

  47. Congratulations Jack -what a difference a year makes,hmm? Sainsburys is as good a place as any,yes we’d all love to shop local etc but it takes forever to trail from shop. You keep up the good work.
    Have a great christmas

  48. Listening at the computer by chance to radio 4 and heard you on Woman’s hour. I was feeding a family of 5 children and realised that fresh food was not only best but also cheapest and more importantly in some ways, more inspirational and satisfying both to cook and eat. I feel quite sad when I am asked for powdered potato for a food bank as I was the last time I was in a supermarket.

  49. Brilliant. Well done! Remember to save wisely, and if it all goes Pete Tong, you’ve got something to fall back on πŸ™‚

  50. Hi Jack, just wondering why you turned Waitrose down? (I know it’s middle-class but it does share its profits with its workers unlike the stock and share-floaters…)
    Thanks for reading this! Ali D

  51. I too heard you on Woman’s Hour this morning and signed up. I do not have a young family to feed but am struggling to feed myself on a low budget at this time of year when I can hardly afford to have the heating on ! So, you young mums do a great job, and now you have an old wrinkly eager to try all your lovely receipes

  52. Wonderful news! Did you hear the Radio 4 Food Programme from 1st December with the wonderful Chef and Campaigner Alice Waters? I have the mp3 and can send it onto anybody interested.

    On 15 December 2013 18:05, A GIRL CALLED JACK

  53. this is alike to opposing homelesness by advising people on how to build better shelters and find nicer shop door ways to sleep in. how did you lose your cause? shame, shame and shame on you, a nd shame again.

    • Janet, did you want Jack to stay impoverished, living on nothing, with both she and her son freezing in the winter? Is that the only way Jack can represent this “cause”?

      For me, the loud voice of one with a following, a career and a passion for justice, even though she no longer starves, is one far more likely to be heard, than the quiet desperation of so many who must rely on food banks this winter.

      She speaks for them. Those ones who are unable to speak for themselves.

      Get a grip.

      And Jack? I’ve watched with cynicism as the insults have become more and more vituperative. Just you ignore them, girl.

      You’re an inspiration. Keep on keeping on.

  54. I would never compare myself to others and think I’m luckier than most soon as you start thinking those thoughts your in the danger zone you never know what tomorrow may bring I just do feelings of gratitude but never compare I’d rather relate and have understanding each to their own hey

  55. Congratulations Jack, that’s very good news for you. I’ll still be here in a year’s time waiting for your new recipes, so please keep up the good work. And a very merry Christmas to you and yours xx

  56. I work for Sainsbury’s and Jack has absolutely not sold out. Of course I’m biased but I genuinely believe we are the most ethical supermarket around. Yes, we do some stuff knowing we will get pr from it, but as an insider I know we also do loads of good stuff we don’t shout about. Also, if you are a regular reader of her blog, you’ll know that Jack tells it as it is , so I’m sure she will give us a piece of her mind if we do stuff she doesn’t like. I was ecstatic when I found out she would be working with us. Well done Jack x

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