‘Stranger Things’ helped propel sales of the 65-year-old classic breakfast staple, Eggo waffles to new highs, but now the manufacturer reports that with no new episodes on Netflix, sales have again dipped. Sales were up for the first quarter of 2018 by 9.4% but in the fall of 2017, when the second season premiered, sales were up a whopping 14%, fueled not just by fans’ cravings for the sweet treats, but the fact that a box of Eggos is the must-have accessory to go with all those Eleven Halloween costumes. But with no new episodes, Eggos sales are only up 1.3% from where they were last year at this time. In addition to sales, the show has led to wider recognition of Eggos. When the second season arrived, it led to the most mentions of the product on social media ever.
Of course, this fever was driven by a scene in the first season where Eleven steals several boxes of the pastries from the grocery store when she is on her own, separated from the boys, and on the run from the meanies at Hawkins Lab. Since then, she has frequently been shown eating them in subsequent scenes.
Eggos have become so synonymous with Eleven that they have appeared on various pieces of merchandising including tee shirts and a number of Eleven toys have come with Eggos as accessories. There was even a waffle themed ‘Stranger Things’ card game. Fans have put together their own recipes using Eggos and some have even invented alcoholic cocktails that taste like Eggos. (Yuck.) For the show’s second season, in a synergistic move, Kellogg released their own new Eggo recipes to compliment each of the new episodes.
But despite being a classic breakfast staple, sales haven’t been terribly strong in recent years. In fact, they were steadily declining before the premiere of ‘Stranger Things’.
Kellogg’s chief executive Steven Cahillane said:
“When Eggo waffles became a fixture on the hit show ‘Stranger Things’, we quickly leveraged the [resulting] consumer engagement. It sparked conversations. And it prompted consumers to reconsider a long-established brand in new and very contemporary ways.”
Kellogg generates $6 billion in sales each year, but traditionally, Eggo and Morningstar Farms frozen waffles, pancakes and French toast only account for 6% of that. On top of that, classic cereal brands Corn Flakes, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, and Special K are on the wane as more Americans seek out healthier options to start their day.
It should be mentioned that there is no endorsement deal in place between Kellogg and Netflix. This isn’t a case of paid product placement. It’s just a happy coincidence that ‘Stranger Things’ showcased Eggos, leading to the elevated sales and product awareness.
Cahillane feels that frozen breakfast foods will remain viable but is looking forward to the third season of ‘Stranger Things’ which should once again drive sales.
Do you start (or end) your day with Eggos?