Mac n' Cheetos parlays popularity to the frozen food aisle
- Mac n’ Cheetos are now available in the freezer isle of major retailers across the country, according to a statement from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division. Cheetos had previously partnered with Burger King to offer Mac n’ Cheetos at its restaurants for a limited time in 2016 and earlier this year.
- Mac n' Cheetos is available in two flavors: Mac n' Cheetos Creamy Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Mac n' Cheetos Flamin' Hot Mac & Cheese Snacks. A 14.4 ounce box has an MSRP of $4.98.
- Fans of Mac N’ Cheetos are also invited to take part in a social media campaign to try to win free Mac N’ Cheetos for a year. Enthusiasts can enter by sharing a video declaring their love for Mac N’ Cheetos on Twitter or Instagram.
Clean labels. Simple ingredients. Mindful eating. For lovers of Mac n’ Cheetos, it doesn't matter. People can't seem to get enough of the mashup between a classic comfort food and an iconic orange snack, and Pepsico is smartly responding by giving them what they want.
The strong positive response to Cheetos-inspired innovations, such as Mac n’ Cheetos, reflects the desire by shoppers for indulgence products, a mindset that savvy snack makers are taking advantage of. It would appear that while many consumers are trying to eat better in general, they still like to cheat on occasion.
Burger King launched Mac n’ Cheetos, a fried macaroni and cheese stick dusted with Cheetos, in June 2016 and brought it back this May with great success. This ultra-indulgent product was a boon to both Burger King and Cheetos. Hostess and Wal-Mart had similar success with their delightfully sinful Deep Fried Twinkies collaboration.
Products such as these thrive on both one-time purchases and repeat customers. The novelty of the item is often incentive enough to get even traditionally healthy eaters to sample the product at least once. There also are the core Cheetos fans who would likely make Mac N’ Cheetos a regular addition to their weekly shopping list.
Mashups between popular brands are popping up more and more often, as consumers have shown interest in these innovations and limited-time offers. Cheetos’ partnership with Burger King must have been profitable, as the company is now cutting out the fast food chain to sell Mac N’Cheetos on their own.
Even if this latest launch doesn’t turn an astonishing profit for parent company PepsiCo, this marketing strategy is keeping the product top of mind for consumers, and giving the snack food a trendy halo. The company is targeting millennials with these munchies, and has underscored that commitment by going to Twitter and Instagram where consumers are invited to take part in a social media campaign to try to win free Mac N’ Cheetos for a year.
Mac N’Cheetos will have good company, as food product mashups are an increasingly popular way to cross aisles in the grocery store to sell to an audience they may not have yet reached. Dunkin’ Donuts has coffee-flavored Pop-Tarts, Kraft-Heinz recently launched Velveeta frozen snacks and Kellogg released Top Ramen Chicken flavored Pringles earlier this year. Mac N'Cheetos will have the advantage of being a known product that has been popular with consumers two years in a row. The question now is if they can successfully transition from the drive through to the grocery store.