When most CPG companies would have focused on the functional “new and improved” premium ingredients, Nestle makes a bold move and goes directly for the emotional appeal to the largely ignored stoner cohort for the high-opportunity, late night munchie occasion. Hot Pockets has steadily worked to create an authentic core of a hip, edgy brand, allowing it to navigate in territory a typical CPG brand would never touch.
Millennials grew up with Hot Pockets as an after-school snack, but Nestle now faces the challenge of keeping them in the franchise as they mature. Millennials are known for their sophisticated palates, ingredient awareness and general dislike of mass produced processed foods, so the likelihood that Hot Pockets are going to stay in the freezer of the grown-up Millennial are quite slim. Unless you’re talking late night. Now that’s a different story.
Having unapologetically honed in on its authentic core this past year with other popular, musical YouTube commercials featuring Snoop Dog and comedian Toby “Tobuscus” Turner, the brand now owns the emotional street cred to be a quintessential stoner snack. And its functional offerings seal the deal: buttery, seasoned crispy crust, premium cuts of meat and real ooey gooey cheese.
Rather than get in a healthy snack fight – be who you are – the cheesy, meaty, fatty, funny, “I can’t believe I ate half the box of Hot Pockets last night” snack. It’s either that or a greasy burrito, so way to go Nestle. Huge marketing props for being bold, courageous, authentic and right on target.