Written by Daniel Weiner Brunner, CNN Business
Pepperidge Farm, which makes the biscuits, is introducing a new line of snacks called Goldfish Mega Bites, designed to appeal to adults. Megabites come in two flavors: Sharp Cheddar and Jalapeno Cheddar.
Mega Bites crackers, which are larger than traditional Goldfish, are available to buy now at a suggested retail price of $2.69 per 5.9 oz. luggage.
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During the pandemic, weary and homebound consumers have turned to snacks and convenience foods. Demand for nostalgic products helped drive sales of these types of products, and Goldfish was no exception.
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Campbell Soup, who owns Pepperidge Farm, said snack sales in 2020 jumped 5%, thanks in part to Goldfish. In the third quarter of this year, Goldfish’s sales continued to grow — even as Campbell’s other products declined. Campbell hopes Mega Bites will help inject further growth into the powerful Goldfish brand by expanding its appeal.
“The craving has been and continues to be huge in snacking and providing comfort, especially for the past couple of years,” Ganda Luken, head of marketing at Campbell Snack, told CNN Business. “With Mega Bites, we’re giving adult consumers – many of whom grew up eating Goldfish – a new way to experience their favorite snack.”
Adult flavors and cocktail pairings
Pepperidge Farm launched Goldfish in the United States in 1962. At first, the snacks were aimed at adults: Early on, pretzels were marketed as a bar snack, Lukin said. She noted that Julia Child used to pair goldfish with an upside-down martini.
Since the 1990s, goldfish has been marketed as a snack for children. But the adults did not stop eating it.
In fact, “about 47% of goldfish buyers do not have children in their home,” Lukin said. “Taking advantage of this opportunity, we were on a mission to expand our audience and become an adult-loved brand,” she said.
To attract big consumers, Goldfish is experimenting with spicy flavours.
In the spring, Goldfish teamed up with Franks’ RedHot on a limited-time collection flavored with Goldfish Hot Sauce. And in September, it introduced another limited-time spicy flavor, Jalapeño Popper. This item was launched in partnership with JNCO, the maker of the ultra-wide leg jeans that were popular in the ’90s, to up the nostalgia factor.
Goldfish has also gone back to its roots by suggesting the cocktail pairs with its signature snack. A video recently posted on the brand’s TikTok page showed Grahams eating Goldfish Vanilla Cupcake while sipping an espresso martini.
“We’ve heard anecdotally that many adult consumers of Goldfish enjoy crackers along with their favorite adult beverage,” Lukin said. “We’ve worked with our chefs to develop some ways to perfectly pair different types of goldfish with different drinks.” (She noted that Mega Bites isn’t meant to be a bar snack. Instead, it’s designed as a “hand-held snack.”)
Campbell isn’t the only brand that relies on yearning to please consumers. PepsiCo recently brought back Crystal Pepsi for a limited time, and brought McDonald’s Hi-C back to restaurants last year after a nearly four-year hiatus.
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