Leggo My Publicity
If there’s anything better than product placement, it’s free product placement.
Kellogg’s Eggo frozen toaster waffles have been the No. 1 seller in the No. 1 frozen
breakfast food category for decades, with $257.9 million in sales in 2017. But it’s a legacy brand
introduced in the 1970s, and legacies can always use some refreshing.
Enter the Netflix sci-fi series “Stranger Things.”
Set in the 1980s, when Eggo was at its peak of popularity, “Stranger Things” features Eleven,
a young girl who loves the hallmark waffles. In one sequence, she shoplifts four boxes of them,
using her psychokinetic powers to slam the supermarket’s doors in the face of a manager who
is pursuing her.
Eggo was one of multiple 1980s pop culture and product references in “Stranger Things,”
none of which were paid. It was “a happy surprise for the brand,” Eggo’s marketing director
told Fast Company—so happy, in fact, that Kellogg collaborated with Netflix on a TV ad for
“Stranger Things” that aired during Super Bowl LI in 2017. The ad opens with a clip from a
classic “Leggo my Eggo!” TV spot from the ’80s.
The result: According to a Kellogg presentation to financial analysts in New York, Eggo sales
rose 14% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to 2016—which Kellogg attributed directly to
the “Stranger Things” placement.
what’s driving the growth in the frozen breakfast category
are items that offer protein, which is something that consumers are looking to start their day off with,” Strauss says.
Bob Evans, now a division of Post Holdings, counts
both croissants and biscuits with sausage, egg and
cheese among its single-serve top sellers. Newer offerings include a sausage biscuit sandwich and a Canadian
bacon, egg and cheese English muffin sandwich.
“Consumers are prioritizing protein consumption,
especially for breakfast, when they want to load up on
energy for the day,” says Chris Lambrix, SVP of retail sales
for Bob Evans.
Protein in forms such as eggs, sausage and cheese helps
explains why sandwiches are on the verge of dethroning
waffles and pancakes as the top frozen breakfast category.
According to Nielsen, frozen waffles and pancakes had
$1.17 billion in sales in 2017; breakfast sandwiches were
just behind, at $1.14 billion. Sandwiches are poised to take
over the No. 1 spot this year, with sales soaring 15.2% from
2013 to 2017, while waffles and pancakes declined 2.5%
in that period.
Breakfast sandwiches first came on the market about a
decade ago, when Jimmy Dean (now a division of Tyson
Foods) introduced sausage biscuit sandwiches. Jimmy
Dean has since added croissants with sausage, egg and
cheese; biscuits with bacon, egg and cheese; and English
muffins with Canadian bacon, egg and cheese.
Conagra Brands also is heavily represented in the breakfast sandwich space, with biscuit sandwiches under the
banners of both Banquet and Odom’s Tennessee Pride,
the latter of which was acquired in 2012. In addition,
Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin, bought by Conagra last year,
offers a line of flatbread pocket sandwiches with proteins
including eggs, cheese, and regular and turkey sausage.
Breakfast sandwiches have something else going
for them besides protein: handheld convenience. This
is especially significant because when time is a factor,
handheld meals require little or no cleanup and can be
consumed on the go.
Wraps and burritos offer the same convenience, which is
why they’re making their presence felt in the freezer case.
Along with other frozen breakfast products, Good Food
Made Simple markets wraps and burritos, several of them
with a Latino influence. Wraps include chicken chorizo,
huevos rancheros with bacon, spicy veggie, and spinach
and mushroom; burritos come in organic spinach and cheddar, veggie jalapeno, Sriracha scramble and the Himalayan.
“There is research that clearly shows millennials are
returning to the frozen food aisle, and that finding a
solution for breakfast is very important to them,” says
Russ Williams, VP of brand management and sales for
Good Food Made Simple. “Retailers have begun to stock
cleaner, more interesting breakfast offerings to cater to
this demand. GFMS, with our delicious, clean-ingredient
and healthy options, is providing the perfect solution to
this highly sought-after group.”
Senior analysts at The Hartman Group agree that
health and wellness is a major factor in breakfast choices:
“Simple, real ingredients and the absence of negatives
(i.e., artificial ingredients/no chemicals) are important
Fridge & Frozen Center Store
There is research that clearly shows
millennials are returning the frozen food
aisle, and that finding a solution for
breakfast is very important to them.”
—Russ Williams, Good Food Made Simple