The surprising partnership between Kellanova’s Pringles brand and upscale caviar marketer The Caviar Co. was born in the real world, but viral attention on social media resulted in heightened awareness of the duo’s potato chip-caviar collection.
Initially, The Caviar Co. executives joined the Pringles team at the seventh annual Interscope House during Coachella in April, serving guests The Caviar Co.’s Kaluga Hybrid caviar paired with a variety of Pringles flavors. After the event, photos and content on TikTok and Instagram were rapidly and widely shared, and executives from the two companies began discussing ways to formally work together.
“To satiate the craving of the TikTok community, we quickly joined forces with The Caviar Co. and united our culinary genius to expertly curate a new way for fans to enjoy the crisp flavors they know and love and provide the best experience for them to enjoy this trending combination,” said Mauricio Jenkins, U.S. marketing lead for Pringles.
The pairing of Pringles with caviar is the “epitome” of the high-low snacking trend, according to Jenkins.
“Pringles joining forces with The Caviar Co. was a natural collaboration to merge the world of high-brow snacking with social media trends and provide fans with the ultimate flavor experience,” the executive said.
Pringles and The Caviar Co. underwent three months of product testing to discover the best flavor combos and bring to life on-the-go snack kits and flights, explained Petra Higby, CEO and founder of The Caviar Co.
The result of the collaboration is a limited-edition online shop, Crisps and Caviar Collection, which debuted in September. The three different kits — featuring a variety of Pringles flavors with different caviars — come with a gold collectible caviar key chain to open tins and two spoons to enjoy the snack at home or on-the-go.
But before the collection launched in September, an episode of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York” airing in July showcased cast member Erin Lichy serving Pringles and caviar at a party. The internet exploded, with more than 10 billion views on TikTok alone as of late August.
“TikTok is fueling culture, and authentically leveraging TikTok trends with our brand not only allows us to stay relevant among our fan base and the masses, but it enables us to foster and build meaningful relationships with new and existing fans,” Jenkins noted. “We’re building these authentic fan connections by listening to what’s popping in culture and giving the people what they want.”
While the “RHONY” episode served as a “cultural zeitgeist” prior to the Crisps and Caviar Collection launching, the reality TV show’s involvement was all organic and “in no way was choreographed,” Higby said. It was simply serendipitous timing.
After the episode, The Caviar Co. executives reached out to Lichy’s team to gift her samples of the company’s favorite Pringles and caviar combos, which she organically shared on her Instagram stories just weeks before the planned product launch, according to Higby.
“When we first announced the collaboration, we were thrilled to see all the buzz and chatter on social media — with our consumers, Gen Z, social media users, etc. However, with the coincidental timing with the ‘RHONY’ episode and our organic relationship with Erin, we were happy to see that the collection also was met with enthusiasm from Bravo-nation, pop and culture fanatics,” Higby said.
From Instagram to influencers
Pringles TikTok tallied 21.8 million views immediately following the launch and The Caviar Co.’s Instagram Reels had more than 89,000 views, according to Higby. Just 48 hours after launch, the collaboration had over 1.5 billion impressions generated from earned media and organic social media coverage. In the 30 days following the announcement, the Caviar Co.'s Instagram channel realized a hefty 353% increase in its non-follower reach, an 86% spike in non-follower accounts engaged and a 44.9% increase in overall impressions.
According to Google Trends, searches for caviar and Pringles spiked right after the launch and remained at an all-time high — almost two times the average search volume — in the months following, Higby noted.
For Pringles, a key pillar in its Crisps and Caviar Collection marketing approach was earned media, resulting in notable coverage from major food and news publications, according to Jenkins.
Additionally, Pringles served up chips and caviar to social influencers like Remi Bader, Serena Kerrigan, Trisha Paytas and Bravo TV stars — including Lichy — who each organically shared the collaboration. Pringles executed paid amplification across influencer and brand social content, along with posting new ‘daily drop’ announcements on the brand’s social channels.
Higby expects a spike in sales during the holiday season, which is historically the top sales period for the caviar industry and a very busy time of the year for The Caviar Co. due to its giftable sets and collections, events and seasonal promotions.
And while neither brand would reveal sales figures of the collection, they have “exceeded our expectations,” according to Higby, with the Crisps and Caviar Flight emerging as the fan favorite. However the final sales tally up, the partnership is a win-win for both parties.
“We created a new snacking occasion for Pringles fans, caviar lovers and the caviar-curious,” Jenkins noted.