- Wonderful Pistachios and Marvel Studios have teamed on a campaign that deploys baby Groot to promote the snack nut brand as a source of plant-based protein, per a news release.
- "Groot Gets Crackin'" sees the “Guardians of the Galaxy” character appear in TV, streaming, digital video and theatrical ads for Wonderful Pistachios, as well as on custom packaging and point-of-sale displays. The effort from The Wonderful Company runs through Aug. 31.
- A sweepstakes centered on Marvel experiences also factors into the push, which is timed for the release of new Disney+ "I Am Groot" series of shorts premiering Aug. 10. Wonderful Pistachios hopes that tying in a fan-favorite character will raise awareness for its product’s relevance to the plant-based protein trend.
Wonderful Pistachios is leaning on the cutesy appeal of a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) character to tout a positioning around plant-based protein. Groot has emerged as a cherished member of the superhero mega-franchise, particularly after being reborn as a toddler with loads of merchandising potential.
In a hero spot, the diminutive, tree-like creature dances around in a manner similar to the “Guardians” movies, accidentally knocking over copy that reads “The Original Plant Protein" before scrambling and rebuilding the letters into his signature catchphrase of “I Am Groot.” Limited-run packaging depicts Groot holding up a pistachio, along with bearing “Groot Gets Crackin’” copy and promotions for his Disney+ program.
The custom product will be available exclusively in-store and online at Walmart starting in early July while supplies last, potentially part of the big-box store’s current bids at ramping up its advertising tools for packaged goods marketers.
A “Groot Gets Crackin’” sweepstakes also carries a variety of prizes that might appeal to MCU diehards, including an expenses-paid trip to visit the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Las Vegas. Other randomly selected winners will receive a co-branded gift box with a T-shirt, reusable water bottle and pistachios.
As consumers have sought alternative protein sources from meat over concerns for the environment and animal welfare, plant-based offerings have gained increased traction. Grocery sales of plant-based foods intended to serve as direct substitutes for meat jumped to 12.1% year-on-year to $1.3 billion in the 52 weeks ending July 2021, according to Nielsen IQ research. More than half of U.S. consumers now eat more plant-based foods for the perceived health benefits, the group found.