Kraft Heinz is introducing a new Jell-O Play product in line with the latest social media trends: edible slime.
Packaged in neat aluminum cans with graphics evocative of children's cartoons, the gelatin slime mix will be available in two flavors: unicorn-themed strawberry and monster-themed lime. Each can will make two batches of slime.
The new product from Kraft Heinz grew out of the slime-trend on social media. There are more than 20 million slime-related posts on Instagram and thousands of how-to videos on slime on YouTube, the company noted — but no national brands had made edible slime.
With the new Jell-O slime from Kraft Heinz, kids everywhere have another excuse to play with their food. Edible slime is the latest arrival to the company’s line of edible toys, launched this summer as part of the Jell-O Play line. Tempting as the giggly blob chopped into a salad, or served as cafeteria dessert is to poke and prod, the new line could possible be even messier, and perhaps more fun.
The company bills the product as a way for parents and kids to interact in the kitchen, too. Edible slime can be fun for the whole family.
Since Kraft Heinz's Springboard platform took on the management of Jell-O this year, the goal was to bring entrepreneurial spirit and startup-style innovation to the 121-year-old brand, Sergio Eleuterio, general manager of Springboard Brands, told Food Dive. Springboard works with some of Kraft Heinz's more staid legacy brands to bring them in line with today's trends, and the whole goal with Jell-O Play was to make the gelatin more experiential and fun for kids.
"Transforming Jell-O into a toy brand, ... that’s one of the largest brand repositionings that I’ve seen," Eleuterio told Food Dive in September. "... Getting Jell-O Play Jurassic World on the shelves of Target in the toy aisle, that to me was a major accomplishment."
The new launch is grounded in several social media trends. Not only does this hit on the slime trend, but it's also the latest in a series of unicorn-themed food products. In the past year, companies like Kellogg, Starbucks, and Pop Tarts have rolled out their own interpretations of unicorn flavored and colored treats.
But companies aren’t just taking cues from social media. They’re also hoping that by responding to what's buzzworthy, they’ll encourage customers to interact with their brands online. Companies develop products based on social media trends in hopes that customers will share images, videos and more as they buy, play and eat them.
But just how sustainable of a business model is this? Social media trends tend to change fast, and such platform-driven product design could leave companies in a lurch. Fads come and go by nature. Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino exploded and faded out quickly. The company announced earlier this year that it would cut back on such limited edition, trend-driven products altogether — though it seems to be having a difficult time getting away from products that are Instagram-worthy. Will consumers will stay interested in unicorn-themed edible slime? It's something of a gamble, but for now, play on.