Jell-O Continues to Insist That You Play With Your Food, Launches Jell-O Play
By: Rudy Sanchez
Gelatin has existed for centuries, used in dishes such as aspic, a once-popular dish encasing meat, seafood, eggs, or vegetables—sometimes a stomach-churning combination of those things—in savory gelatin made from broth and the congealed by-products of boiled bones and tendons. The process of making these jelly molded foods was laborious until the invention of powered instant gelatin and the proliferation of modern kitchen appliances. Jell-O’s ability to save homemakers time in making these crimes against the palate, and the brand’s complicity in printing recipes for these abominations, helped the brand rise in popularity.
Jell-O enjoyed popularity as both a dessert and base for Jell-O salads until the 70s. In 1974, Jell-O introduced Jigglers, a fun, new way to serve the gelatin treat to kids, in an attempt to boost sales. Taking Jell-O and cutting them into fanciful shapes using cookie cutters helped revive the brand. Well, that and the hiring of then-popular and seemingly innocuous spokesperson Bill Cosby.
Fast forward to today and Jell-O is taking the concept of playful snack time to another level with Jell-O Play, a set of molds that create LEGO-like interlocking building blocks out of gelatin. These Jell-O Play sets can combine with others in the collection with edible stickers, gelatin cutters, and dessert kits.
“We want to inspire parents and kids to set their imagination free with a line of gelatin toys celebrating free play and fun,” says Katy Marshall, Marketing and Sales Lead of Springboard, the new Kraft Heinz platform dedicated to nurturing, scaling, and accelerating the growth of disruptive food brands, including Jell-O Play. “Jell-O Play is a toy you can eat. There are no rules to what you can make when you let your creativity out of your head, onto your plate, and into your mouth.”
Jell-O is no stranger to inspiring consumers with unique ways to serve gelatin. With the new Play kits, they're modernizing this strategy, mostly because no one really wants to eat your grandmother's famous “ring around the tuna” Jell-O salad anymore.
Rudy Sanchez is a product marketing consultant based in Southern California. Once described by a friend as her “technology life coach,” he is a techie and avid lifelong gamer. When he’s not writing or helping clients improve their products, he’s either watching comedies on Netflix, playing the latest shooter or battle royale game or out exploring the world via Ingress and Pokémon Go.