Kraft Heinz is getting cheesy and playing on the nostalgia of their consumers. The company is bringing back recognized snacks from the 90s, including Planters Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls which will be hitting store shelves this month at a retail price of $1.99. This snack was removed from the market 12 years ago.
The company said they will be launching Planters Cheez Curls in 2.75-oz canisters and Planter Cheese Balls in 4-oz canisters. This launch might be a big risk considering the snack market seems to be leaning towards healthier foods recently. The snack market has been seeing healthy innovations involving ingredients such as nuts, grains and seeds – Cheez Balls fits more closely into the not-so-healthy potato chip category.
However, this particular snack was brought back due to consumer demand. According to the food giant, fans of the snacks sent messages to the company explaining that they wanted their favorite snack to come back onto store shelves.
Kraft Heinz isn’t the first company to try and bring back snacks from the past. Wacky Wafers were also re-introduced to the market in late December of last year. A key difference here is that Wacky Wafers was being introduced to a new generation, whereas the Planter snacks are being brought back for the same generation that grew up with them.
“We heard many impassioned pleas for us to bring Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls back over the years and we wanted to give our fans a chance to reunite with their most-missed cheesy snack,” Planters head of brand building, Melanie Huet told FoodDive.
In addition to winning over their original fans, the company also found it important to relate to the newer generation. This was done by making sure the product was also capturing consumer attention online. The snacks were promoted on social media by Planters’ mascot Mr. Peanut, who arranged a scavenger hunt, hiding the first 59 available canisters across the internet. These were found by consumers within 24 hours.
Social media marketing helps retailers connect to millennials in particular. This marketing tactic has been seen in food marketing recently; earlier this summer, the DFA attempted to get millennials to drink more milk by creating an imaginary drink on social media. Though it didn’t work out too well, they were able to accumulate some followers.
Whole Foods also used social media to start a campaign to save the bees; though there was no particular product being sold, they were showing Instagram followers that they stood for a cause. Kraft could be using social media to remind the millennials of the snack they might have seen as young children while also allowing them to be part of the conversation online.
The snack market itself worth $89 billion annually and is growing by 3 percent each year. Retro snacks could be a new competition to the health trend that the market is currently seeing. According to Food Dive, consumers want healthier snacks but still tend to lean to the saltier, more unhealthy ones. This might be fact might benefit Kraft and their re-launch of Cheez Balls.