Chef Boyardee Disappoints Some With Pop-Top Return

By popular demand, Chef Boyardee is bringing back its easy-to-open pop-top lids (which were phased out last year in a cost-saving move). However, as with anything done by popular demand, there is bound to be a small-but-vocal minority that is not pleased with the change. And the brand is giving them a voice.

“Last spring, we made the decision to remove pop-tops from our canned pasta,” Chef Boyardee representative Dan Skinner tells Marketing Daily. “We soon learned this decision was a lot more unpopular than we had originally anticipated.”

In a new digital effort, the ConAgra brand and Second City Communications are giving a voice to those who may not be pleased with the return to form. Characters such as sword collectors, can opener lobbyists, welders and martial artists, will be voicing their displeasure in a series of videos being released on Chef Boyardee’s social channels. One execution shows a welder prepared to open a can with his tools in one photo, and disappointed with the easy-opening can in the other, with the headlines: “Sorry, welder. #PopTopsAreBack.” The characters will also appear in animated GIFs.

“It’s not necessarily a serious issue, and we thought we could have a little fun with it,” Skinner says of the tactic. The company brought in Second City Communications, a business-oriented division of the famed Second City theater in Chicago, to help brainstorm ideas and scenarios that might make for decent fodder for the return of the pop tops, he says. 

In addition to the videos, which will be released at a rate of two to three a week during the summer, the brand is holding a “Twitter party” (an hour-long social media event using the hashtags #poptopsareback) where it will give away coupons and other prizes. Chef Boyardee will also have a coupon in June 15 newspaper circulars.

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1 comment about "Chef Boyardee Disappoints Some With Pop-Top Return".
  1. Jeremy Colton from bookwomanny , June 11, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.
    I was VERY disappointed when the pop-tops went away. I like to give food to side-of-the-road people, and I like to give something I myself eat. I make a little package of ravioli, water, spoon, fork, and napkin. The pop top's return will encourage me to return to this practice.