The pre Christmas festivities have begun and one of the nations highlights is the big reveal of the supermarket Christmas TV adverts.

One-by-one the supermarkets are now revealing their hands as we prepare ourselves for the annual advert emotional rollercoaster… will we laughing our heads off, bowled over by cuteness or reaching for the tissues to mop up the tears?

Last week Asda kickstarted the 2018 battle with its energetic ‘Bring Christmas Home’ ad but the the advert that’s got everyone talking is Iceland’s ‘Rang-tan’. Blocked from TV for being too political, this animated short film hammers home the devastating impact of rainforest destruction, caused by palm oil production.

Originally produced by Greenpeace and voiced by actress Emma Thompson, the advert ends with the poignant words “Dedicated to the 25 orangutans we lose every day”, highlighting Iceland’s pledge to remove palm oil from all its own-label food by the end of the year.

So share the video and encourage all to think carefully about the products being purchased this Christmas, whether it’s palm oil or sustainable, Fairtrade or plastic pollution related.

Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue.

Richard Walker

Iceland’s Managing Director

Palm oil, the facts:

  • Palm oil is a vegetable oil, and is the most widely used of its kind in the world. Oil palms grow in tropical climates with plenty of water, which is why they thrive best in the rainforest.
  • 50% of the packaged foods, baked goods, cosmetic and cleaning products that can be found on supermarket shelves contain palm oil, or palm kernel oil; these include cosmetics, shampoos, bread, cookies, chocolate, and even milk (information from
  • To obtain the palm oil, up to 300 football fields of forest are cleared every hour to make room for palm plantations.
  • In the last 20 years, over 3.5 million hectares of Indonesian and Malaysian forest have been destroyed to make way for palm oil.
  • As a result, almost 80% of orangutan habitat has disappeared in the last 20 years, we are losing over 6,000 orangutans a year and there are now only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

What you can do:

Do your research into which brands and products use palm oil and make a conscious choice to select those that are palm oil free. Some of the biggest household items contain it, from bread, margarine and crisps to soap, ice cream and pizza but there are also plenty of palm oil alternatives available as well. It just take a little research to know what’s what. Create a list of the items and brands to avoid and those to seek out and print it off for your next food shop or download a sustainable palm oil shopping app.