“We recognized that as a great business opportunity,” mentioned Kelsey Rice, senior logo communications supervisor for Velveeta.
Velveeta sought after to make a large swing, now not simply to spice up gross sales however to determine itself as a part of the tradition. “We think Velveeta is an iconic brand, and it should be seen and viewed as such,” she mentioned.
To exchange its symbol, Velveeta has needed to exchange how it talks about itself.
That method fewer advertisements about reasonably priced, meltable cheese, and extra advertising and marketing stunts like cheese-scented nail polish and dear Velveeta martinis.
A cheese famous person is born
Asked concerning the logo’s historical past, a consultant pointed to a 2005 ebook printed through Kraft, known as “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Cheese,” which states that Kraft presented Velveeta in 1928, a yr after investment analysis at Rutgers University a couple of processed cheese it was once creating.
By the past due Nineteen Twenties, Kraft was once calling Velveeta a success.
“Never in the history of our business have we offered the trade a cheese product that has made such an immediate success as Velveeta,” mentioned a 1929 advert geared toward shops. “It seems to be a perfect product.”
Not simplest was once Velveeta “delicious” and “healthful,” the advert persisted, nevertheless it unfold “like butter” and melted simply when cooked.
The logo’s advertising and marketing developed with the days. An advert from the Forties pointed to Velveeta as a wise war-time component, providing a recipe for Velveeta Pudding with Spanish Sauce, “a hearty main dish that saves you ration points.”
A Fifties advert prompt to younger moms that “while you’re weight-watching, and also trying to get your needed supply of milk nutrients, make your desserts Velveeta and fresh fruit.”
In the next many years, American intake of processed cheese persisted to extend. In 1996, it hit a top of 8.75 kilos of intake in keeping with capita, in step with the USDA. Then issues took a flip.
Not a meals, however a product
Two many years in the past, intake began to fall. People frightened concerning the well being affects of extremely processed meals, and began consuming extra herbal cheese.
Even because it modified its advertising and marketing means, Velveeta caught with a couple of transparent messages. The product is simple to handle. It’s reasonably priced — Walmart’s web page presentations a 32-ounce package deal of Velveeta on sale for roughly $6.50. And most significantly, it could possibly soften.
Years after processed cheese got here available on the market, it nonetheless melts higher than herbal cheeses comparable to cheddar famous Chad Galer, vice chairman of meals protection and product analysis at Dairy Management Inc., a dairy business affiliation. Processed cheese comprise substances that permit it to soften into one of those gel when it heats up, he defined. When herbal cheese heats up, oil seeps out, giving it that globby texture.
“We’re trying to make natural cheese melt like Velveeta,” Galer mentioned. “But we haven’t unlocked that yet.”
That distinctive melting high quality has been Velveeta’s promoting center of attention for many of its lifestyles, mentioned Rice. Now, it is attempting one thing new.
Velveeta nail polish and martinis
In 2018, Velveeta gross sales fell about 4.5% to $1.1 billion from the yr sooner than, in step with IRI. In 2019, gross sales fell once more — through about 2.4%.
But, right through the pandemic, Velveeta benefited from other people’s passion in convenience meals and easy-to-cook foods. In 2020, Velveeta gross sales surged through just about 24%.
Then got here the stunts.
Bad critiques do not in reality subject for Velveeta, which is regularly the butt of the shaggy dog story.
“Overall, we’re really pleased with the way the world has received the Velveeta Veltini,” mentioned Rice. The maximum vital factor is to get other people to consider Velveeta once more.
When manufacturers make splashy advertising and marketing strikes, “people pay attention,” mentioned Bob Samples, executive-in-residence at Western Michigan University, the place he teaches scholars about meals and client items advertising and marketing. “They go to the store, they remember the name, they buy it.”
So a ways, Velveeta appears to be preserving onto that pandemic spice up. After dipping 1.1% in 2021, gross sales are up 3.2% thru July of this yr, in step with IRI.
Plus, new advert marketing campaign or now not, other people know what they are getting once they purchase Velveeta.
“People know what to expect,” Samples mentioned. There’s a “comfort feeling that goes with that.”