Industry responds to Uber Eats’ ad change amid allergy backlash

Posted: 12 February 2024 | | No comments yet

New Food speaks to industry members about Uber Eats making changes to its Super Bowl advert following negative response to a peanut allergy related clip.


Uber Eats has made adjustments to its Super Bowl advert, removing a clip that has raised some concerns about food hypersensitivity representation.

The original advert, titled “Don’t Forget Uber Eats”, contained various clips of consumers forgetting significant information about their order. Included in the minute long advert were celebrities including Victoria and David Beckham, Jennifer Anniston, and David Schwimmer.

In one segment of the clip, a man was shown eating from a jar of peanut butter however he was shown to have a swollen eye and hives on his skin. The actor in this clip stated “There’s peanuts in peanut butter?… Oh it’s the primary ingredient.”

According to the BBC, the original advertisement received backlash from “Fare and other allergy groups”, and reported that FARE spoke out and said “food allergies were not a joke and the juxtaposition was ‘inappropriate’”.

Just several days after launching the original campaign, Uber Eats released an edited version of the ad, cutting the scene that referenced peanut butter entirely. However, the company has not issued an official statement about the advert edit.

Speaking to New Food, Liljia Polo-Richards, Director and Founder of Allergy Companions said that “Uber Eats’ last minute decision to change the Super Bowl advert is a huge sign of respect towards the millions of people who live with food allergies all around the world.”

Polo-Richards went on the explain she believes the original advert “clearly did not receive the feedback that the global delivery giant expected.”

“The allergy community was not prepared to see the entertainment industry use allergies again as  a laughing matter, and spoke up to have the advert changed and have any belittling allergy references removed,” continued Polo-Richards.

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The advert was originally scheduled to be aired during Super Bowl LVIII, a highly anticipated match between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. According to Reuters, the game was “expected to shatter viewership records in the US”. In fact, it claimed that it “could be the most watched NFL game ever around the world”.

In response to the commercial, The Allergy Team took to Instagram to share its stance. Sarah Knight, Founder of The Allergy Team told her following: “As the mum of two boys with severe food allergies I would LOVE to order them a takeaway delivery but I worry a lot about communication between a delivery company and a restaurant so I haven’t ever risked it.

“The recent advert by Uber Eats makes me think customers with allergies aren’t important to them. Or worse, that people like my sons are to be laughed at. An advert would not include a disabled person “forgetting” something key to their disability. So why is mocking a chronic medical condition that could kill, considered okay?”

Knight went on to write that she believes the original Uber Eats advert is a “commercial error”, explaining “with  three million people in the UK (and many more in the states) the allergy market is worth winning. And when you get us, we are loyal. I just can’t believe how poorly judged this was.”

Speaking to New Food regarding the commercial adjustment, Knight said: “I am very pleased that they listened to the allergy community and that they removed the clip. I hope this is the beginning of a programme of allergy awareness throughout the company, so it can support customers with food allergies to receive a safe meal.”

Meanwhile, Polo-Richards addressed the significance of adverts in the twenty-first century as have the ability to reach millions of consumers across the world, stating: “Companies have such a big opportunity to make a positive impact on so many people and raise awareness of allergies, and they should use their social media and entertainment platforms to educate the wider population on the impact that food allergies have on the people living with them.”

Uber Eats and Special Group have been approached for a comment.