- Planters Cheez Balls is running a social media promotion that offers consumers the chance to win a Cheez Powder shaker that can coat other foods with the snack's signature flavor, the company revealed in a press release.
- People can comment or tweet to Mr. Peanut's Twitter account, @MRPEANUT, and share the food they would cover in the Cheez Powder using the hashtag #CheezBallContest. The effort running from Aug. 20 to Sept. 1 will see the brand give away 350 limited-edition shakers.
- Planters brought back Cheez Balls in a limited run last year, but is now resurrecting the product for the long term. To promote the occasion, the Kraft Heinz brand also partnered with New York City food truck Made from Scratch and chef Richard Blais to add Cheez Powder to various menu items, including mac and cheese poppers and grilled cheese. The Mr. Peanut mascot will make an appearance in his NUTmobile with Made From Scratch at Astor Place today.
With the social media contest and in-person activations around the permanent return of Cheez Balls, Planters looks to provide fodder for online conversations and reasons for fans to share images of cheesy dishes in their social media feeds.
Planters is leaning into the nostalgia that millennials and older Gen Zers might have for Cheez Balls, which were popular in the '90s but discontinued in 2006. The marketer first brought back the puffed snack last year after years of petitions pushing for its resurrection, according to Business Insider. The limited test was clearly successful enough to warrant a more permanent return to shelves.
The Mr. Peanut mascot activation in a crowded neighborhood near New York University will get the message in front of a young target audience and likely increase brand visibility. Partnering with a popular food truck could also help Planters court choosier foodies looking for unique dishes.
The strategy has been deployed by cheesy snack makers before. Frito Lay's Cheetos hosted a pop-up restaurant called The Spotted Cheetah during Restaurant Week in New York in 2017. The brand served recipes like Cheetos Crusted Fried Pickles, Cheetos Mix-ups Crusted Chicken Milanese and White Cheddar Cheetos.
Planters and other Kraft Heinz snacks, including Corn Nuts, have built out stronger personalities on Twitter in recent years to win the favor of young consumers active on the platform, who tend to respond to more personable brands.