- Walmart this week debuted an educational interactive experience called The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi to urge families to cook healthier meals. The culinary adventure is based on the Netflix children's cooking series "Waffles + Mochi" from Higher Ground Productions, the company started by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive.
- The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi microsite asks families to pick one of 10 ingredients to see 20 different interactive videos that explain how to make a healthy dish and to earn digital badges as a reward. The website also has mini games to underscore the message that nutritious food can be fun, per its announcement.
- Walmart developed the interactive experience with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the nonprofit that works with the private sector on programs to end childhood obesity. Each time visitors earn digital badges on the microsite, Walmart will donate to PHA's Pass the Love campaign that provides meal kits to families in need.
Walmart's collaboration with the PHA and Higher Ground Productions on The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi experience seeks to educate families about healthy food choices and to support a good cause. The program can help to foster good will toward Walmart, whose grocery sales of $341 billion last year made it one of the biggest food retailers in the country. The interactive experience parlays the publicity that Netflix and Michelle Obama have generated for "Waffles + Mochi" into a campaign that raises awareness for Walmart and the PHA's efforts to help families in need.
"The fact that kids can play to pay forward a meal for a family who needs it, makes this experience doubly rewarding for all of those who will use it," Courtney Carlson, Walmart's senior vice president of category marketing, said in the announcement. "We aim to be a force for good in the communities we serve by helping democratize access to healthy, affordable foods and supporting hunger relief efforts. The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi is just another example of that."
Walmart, meal-kit service Blue Apron and Procter & Gamble's Bounty brand of paper towels are the inaugural partners in PHA's Pass the Love campaign, with the goal of providing 1 million meals to families. The retailer has pledged to donate $1 million to the campaign by May 31. Walmart shoppers also can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar to make additional donations to the campaign, per the announcement. Next month, PHA and its partners plan to distribute more than 400,000 meal kits with recipes and ingredients inspired by Waffles + Mochi to families in Atlanta and Cleveland, followed by more cities that will be announced, per a separate announcement.
The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi experience marks another effort by Walmart to sponsor original content to engage consumers. With more people shopping from home during the pandemic, the retailer hosted shoppable livestreams on TikTok to demonstrate products and let viewers order them directly from the Walmart channel in the social video app. The retailer also teamed with interactive video startup Eko to create a variety of original programming. Most recently, they worked together on an expansion of Walmart Cookshop, the retail chain's shoppable video hub for home cooks. Walmart also collaborated with online video network Tastemade on the rollout of shoppable streaming content that offered viewers ideas on what to cook during the holidays.