Why Pringles put a burger in a can

Kellogg brings a Wendy's Baconator mashup to Canada as it innovates against increased pandemic demand for salty snacks.

baconator-pringles

Pringles is adding a new wrinkle to its lineup, at least temporarily: a Wendy’s mashup Baconator chip that taps heightened pandemic salty snack consumption.

The latest innovation from the Kellogg brand, introduced stateside last summer, is an LTO Baconator-flavoured chip that renders the burger into what the brand says is a “totally munchable” snack.

“As salty snack consumption grows, innovation continues to be a key driver of category growth as consumers continue to crave new flavours and formats,” according to Christine Jakovcic, VP marketing and nutrition, Kellogg Canada.

She tells strategy that according to brand insights, the salty snacks category continues to see increased consumption versus pre-COVID-19, with Canadians continuing to spend more time at home, watching more TV and spending more time online or gaming. And the Baconator chip is aimed at salty snack lovers who like to seek out unique and innovative twists on old classics, as well as adventurous foodies across all demos.

According to Jakovcic, the offering was a big success in the U.S. when it launched in June. And Pringles is applying learnings to the market north of the border, like creating buzz and engagement online with a logo mashup putting its Mr. P mascot’s moustache on Wendy’s mascot, Wendy Thomas.

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In non-pandemic environments, the brand is known for injecting silliness into its product launches, such as creating a 50-foot slide slathered in ketchup for the release of its ketchup-flavoured Pringles.

While grocery remains the lead channel for buyers, “overall, the category has strong omni-channel presence,” she says, and the company is seeing increases in club and dollar store channels, both of which contributed to Pringles growth in 2020.

As a result, she says, social as well as PR were the most effective channel mixes to deliver awareness and excitement, although the brand also had a pallet and shelf blade shopper marketing element which was timed to coincide with the Super Bowl, during which the brand also released a NASA-themed ad.

Jakovcic says Pringles will continue to lean into the variety-seeking segment as part of a flavour rotation strategy.

In the company’s February earnings call, chairman, president and CEO Steve Cahillane reports Pringles growth accelerated as the year progressed, gaining share in Q4 thanks to strength in its standard-sized can and core four flavours. Cahillane also announced new “sizzling hot flavours” for its European market at least, geared around a rescheduled Euro Cup soccer tournament.

And taste innovations aren’t the only changes on the horizon.

In many jurisdictions, the Pringles paper tube, foil lining, metal bottom can format cannot be separated out for recycling.

According to Jakovcic, as it relates to the circular economy, the brand is always exploring new purpose-led innovation, including testing and learning new packaging solutions for its brands.

“We can’t reveal too many details, but I can tell you that the development of new solutions for Pringles is part of Kellogg’s commitment to ensure 100% of its packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by end of 2025,” she says.

In September 2020, UK grocery chain Tesco trialed a Pringles tube made of recycled paper, a response to the heavy criticism the brand received from British recycling advocates.

For the Baconaor chip launch, Grey handled the campaign elements, Starcom the media side, Strategic Objectives the PR and SGK the packaging.