Campbell launches adult-targeted Goldfish as millennials revive its snack sales

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
But where are the cheddar-jalapeño Goldfish? [Ragnar Schmuck via Getty Images]

But where are the cheddar-jalapeño Goldfish? [Ragnar Schmuck via Getty Images]

Pairs perfectly with a buttery chardonnay... cheddar-jalapeño Goldfish? The classic field-trip snack is getting an adult twist: Campbell Soup's Pepperidge Farms released a line of supersized Goldfish “Mega Bites” in sharp cheddar and jalapeño flavors. Goldfish said it's the first snack it’s created for grown-up tastes.

  • Millennial-friendly: Campbell is tapping into nostalgia and pandemic comfort cravings by giving its 60-year-old crackers an adult makeover.
  • It's even suggesting "adult beverage" pairings for the smiling fish and their 20+ flavors. See: Goldfish vanilla-cupcake grahams + espresso martini.
  • Why: Nearly half of all Goldfish buyers don't have kids. In 2020, Campbell's snack sales jumped 5% (impressive for a 153-year-old company) thanks partly to Goldfish.

The snack that smiles back... If you hear the ’90s jingle in your head, Campbell is succeeding. The soup legend thrived early in the pandemic as homebound Americans stocked up on its pantry staples, like Snyder's pretzels, SpaghettiOs, and... Campbell’s soup. There was a Goldfish shortage in April 2020, and millennials even started buying canned soup — "a trend that many believed was not possible," Campbell's CEO said.

  • As we returned to restaurants and stopped hoarding tomato bisque, Campbell’s sales fell 4% last quarter from 2020. But sales of snacks like Goldfish and Milano cookies kept growing.
  • Campbell is trying to keep up the momentum with millennial-targeted treats. Think: cauliflower-rice soups and hot-sauce-flavored Goldfish.

Let the customer choose your market(ing)... In the ’60s, Goldfish were marketed as bar snacks (Julia Child paired ’em with martinis). In the ’90s, Goldfish began marketing to kids by adding smiles to the fish faces. Goldfish chose kids as a target market, but adults chose Goldfish. Now that grown-ups are driving snack growth, Goldfish is pivoting to become “a beloved brand for adults.”