Is it possible to reach customers who turn their noses up at tasteless packaged foods with your tasteless packaged foods? That’s the dilemma that the nation’s food business faces as they try to attract the attention of a generation of farmer’s market-loving food snobs. How can they coax these people to buy canned soup and Hot Pockets?
Campbell’s already tried this, putting soup in packets instead of cans and using ingredients that they had finally heard about, like chorizo, chipotle peppers, and quinoa. Now Nestle’s brand Hot Pockets are rebranding to draw in millennials, with fancy crusts and pocket fillings that they claim are actual meat and stuff.
60% of Hot Pocket eaters are young men, who are more knowledgeable about food than the company’s executives had assumed. “Two-thirds say they consider themselves foodies and they talk about being into prosciutto and angus beef,” the company’s marketing director told Time magazine. “I was shocked at how knowledgeable they were about food. I know I didn’t talk about food like that when I was 21.” As consumers have come to prefer fresher, healthier, more local food, how can frozen food that’s often the very opposite of all of those things compete?
They’re trying. You may have noticed the ad blitz for the new Hot Pockets. Spots with alleged sandwich expert Jeff Mauro look at the Hot Pockets test kitchen and introduce us to the chefs who make them.
Viewers also get a look inside a real production line at the Hot Pockets factory, which is much more interesting than the test kitchen. I’d rather see more of the Hot Pocket factory, where pepperoni comes in vats.
Presumably, they only called up Mauro because Jim Gaffigan was not available as a spokesman.