Our Journey

Dev is a young brown skinned man with a black Bite Back hoodie on. He is sitting on a train with Maya, a young blonde woman who is also wearing a black Bite Back hoodie. They are speaking to the cameraman sitting opposite them.

We’ve been biting back for five years — but we’re just getting started. Here are some of our highlights since 2019.

Bite Back's Youth Board in 2019: eleven teenagers stand in a courtyard together with chef Jamie Oliver.

Bite Back is Born

October 2019 – 12 youth activists hungry for change release Triple Dipped Chicken, a film capturing the sinister tactics that advertisers use to shove junk down our throats. Our Youth Board has been biting back at corporate manipulation ever since.

Christina, a young black woman, and Jacob, a young white man, talk to a guest at Bite Back's launch event.

Fighting for Free School Meals

April 2020 – One of our founding campaigners, Christina Adane, petitions for free school meals in the holidays. She gets 430k signatures, sparking Government u-turns for the Easter break and May half-term.

A teenage girl sits looking at the camera. She has her hair styled in long braids and is wearing a black leather jacket, black jeans and a white tshirt. She has one hand on her knee and the other on the table.

Switching Off TV Junk Food Ads Before 9pm

July 2020 – Lewisham-based activist Tasha challenges then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver on his Obesity Plan. We publish an open letter in The Guardian. Success! Boris announces a 9pm watershed on TV junk food advertising.

A young woman standing on a platform speaks through a microphone to a larger crowd.

Challenging Food Giants to Do Better

October 2020 – We launch our Feed Britain Better report. Our Youth Board presents it at our first Youth Summit. We start showing our teeth by challenging executives from Tesco and Nestle to respond.

A teenage boy speaks passionately, with chef Jamie Oliver watching on.

Minimising Online Junk Food Ads

January–May 2021 – How many junk food ads do companies shove down our throats every day? Enough that Dev, one of our activists in Leicester, was hearing from Uber Eats more than his grandma. He campaigns to end junk food advertising online. After he presents new evidence to MPs, Bite Back research is discussed in Parliament and we meet the Public Health Minister. The Government announces an end to online advertising in the Queen's Speech.

Three teenage girls stand in a row, holding signs reading 'take charge, raise your voice, make change', 'people before fast food company profit' and 'protect our health'.

London and Birmingham Join the Fight

August 2021 – We welcome a host of new campaigners from London and Birmingham ready to bite back at the flood of junk food advertising in their cities by launching their own local campaigns. They call on the Mayor of the West Midlands and London Councils to protect child health, gathering over 1,000 petition signatures, launching a youth manifesto, and meeting directly with people in power.

A crowd of teenagers stand in Dulwich Hamlet FC stadium in front of a sign saying 'let's kick junk food out of sports'.

Kicking Junk out of Sports

August 2021 – Sutton-based activist Jacob launches a campaign to end KP Snacks’ sponsorship of The Hundred, a new cricket tournament that aims to get young people into the sport. We sponsor Dulwich Hamlet FC to help make a case for healthier sponsorship options.

A young student wearing school uniform leans against a desk.

Introducing School Food Champions

September 2021 – We welcome 50 schools to our first School Food Champions programme. Over the next year, they recruit teams of passionate young changemakers to lead on social action projects to improve school food, and how and where it's served.

A group of teenagers stand outside Kelloggs HQ, holding protest signs that read 'Don't Hide Whats Inside'.

Telling Companies: Don’t Hide What’s Inside

October 2021 – At our second Youth Summit we launch our new campaign against misleading health claims. Whether it’s “High in protein”, “No Added Sugar”, or “All natural ingredients” – companies wrap products that aren’t good for us in language that makes us think they are. Our second major film, Mascot Anonymous, kicks off a campaign for repeat offenders like Innocent, Müller and Kelloggs to stop taking us for fools.

Former Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi with Bite Back campaigner Gavriella.

Spilling the Beans on School Food

February 2022 – We chat with 13-18 year olds across the country, and reveal that school food is a postcode lottery. We release an open letter signed by 600 teachers calling on the Education Secretary to act, and young activist Gavriella meets with Nadhim Zahawi. In response, the Government announces new measures for schools to report on the School Food Standards.

A young black man speaks to a corporate leader at our Food Systems Accelerator.

Putting Positive Pressure on Business

April 2022 – Our new Food Systems Accelerator programme challenges senior executives from Chartwells, Costa Coffee, Danone, Deliveroo, KFC, Jamie Oliver Group and Tesco to make commitments to prioritise our health. We tell leaders what young consumers really want from their products.

A young black woman with afro style hair and wearing a brown square necked top is playing rock, paper, scissors with someone out of frame. She has a beautiful smile and her hand is outstretched in a paper formation.

Introducing Community Food Champions

July 2022750 young people became Community Food Champions. Delivered in partnership with UK Youth, the programme helps young people learn about the food system and investigate the challenges they face in accessing healthy and nutritious food locally.

Two teenage girls stand in front of a brick wall, holding handwritten signs reading 'stop junk food taking over' and 'end food injustice'.

Getting Bigger and Bolder

August 2022 – We welcome young campaigners to the movement in Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester. They work with local councils to protect child health by restricting junk food advertising in our streets, public transport, and in council-owned spaces. They challenge the role of junk food marketing in sport by asking local teams to prioritise child health over easy cash from junk food sponsors. And work with students to explore how the cultural variety of school food impacts their health.

Two posters on the tube one showing a clock saying "The time to act is NOW #FreeSchoolMeals", the other saying "Dear MPs, I am not eligible for the free school meals I need to do well in school. How can that be ok? The time to act is NOW #FreeSchoolMeals"

Making Free School Meals Fairer

June 2022-January 2023 – Gut punch: there are 900,000 young people in England who are currently living in poverty but don’t have access to free school meals. We gather 250k signatures on our petition to extend eligibility. Then 50 Bite Back youth activists deliver our petition to 10 Downing Street by hand, while the rest of us protest on parliament square. We take out ads in Westminster tube station to make sure MPs see it.

Two girls in school uniform look at a sheet of paper on a table, taking part in a Bite Back in Schools session.

School Food Champions: Part II

September 2022 – We take things to the next level with 100 schools and 750 young people joining School Food Champions. Our activists drive real change in their schools, like going water only, introducing salad bars, and selling more fruit.

A young woman speaks through a microphone, wearing a t-shirt with the Bite Back logo on it.

Inspiring Food Activists Around the World

February 2023 – Christina Adane and the Bite Back team join forces with UNICEF to inspire young food activists in Bangkok, Thailand to campaign for change.

A group of teenagers stand together inside a corridor.

Standing Up to Junk Food Giants in Tower Hamlets

June 2023 – We challenged the Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets and the Tower Hamlets Youth Council to end junk food advertising in the Borough. After a year of relentless campaigning, our work finally paid off.

A crowd of young people, with one young man holding a hand-written sign that says 'fork the system'

Introducing Bite Back 2.0

September 2023 — Don’t recognise us? We’re still Bite Back, but we’ve got a whole new story to tell. We’re taking the tactics of big food companies and throwing them back in their faces, calling out manipulation as we see it.