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Macho food marketing continues with ‘beer beans’

Published January 31, 2014 at 7:35 am

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The quest to appeal to a certain demographic with your food product can take you to some odd places. Late last year brought us “powerful yogurt,”  one company’s attempt to turn a food publicly associated with women into something more far reaching. Now we have candy that’s going after that same market of burly, beer-and-hot-sauce-swilling men. But is it necessary?

Because this is Jelly Belly, the brand’s approach isn’t simply going for broad strokes: rather, the new beans will be specifically tweaked to taste like a particular kind of beer, namely wheat beer. And hot-sauce lovers also have Tabasco beans, which the L.A. Times described as being covered in dark chocolate.

Unlike yogurt, it doesn’t really seem like it would take that much to get men to eat jelly beans. Yet Jelly Belly, the most popular and recognizable brand of this sweet, reportedly owes most of its revenue to affluent adult women, as Bloomberg recently noted.

And it has historically been famous for its hilariously specific flavors, from “piña colada” to “toasted marshmallow” to “peanut butter.” This is all part of the company’s marketing strategy, which encourages users to mix and match the different kinds of tastes in order to get the most out of them.

While this seems to be more of an experiment than a full-fledged revitalization, even these little side-projects can turn the public toward you—or away if they think it’s off base and offensive. Jelly Belly’s campaign at least suggests how companies can find “their way” to tackle a missing core audience.



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