Crispy Minis is lounging around Toronto’s Metro Centre Path this week.
The Quaker Canada brand has launched a two-day experiential marketing campaign designed to drive trial of its rice-based snack products. The Crispy Minis Lounge features massage chairs, a charging station and samples of Crispy Minis rice chips.
The pop-up lounge is part of the broader “Unexpectedly Flavourful” marketing campaign for Crispy Minis that includes social media and public relations. The campaign is intended to counter consumer perception that rice chips have no real flavour, says Mangala D’Sa, senior director of marketing for Quaker at PepsiCo Foods Canada, who describes it as a “trial-driving initiative” for the brand.
“Non-eaters they think rice chips are going to taste bland and boring, and what we hear from existing consumers is that they love them because they’re so flavourful,” says D’Sa. “To get consumers to reappraise Crispy Minis, it’s important to communicate how flavourful the product is and the experience you have when you eat it.”
The pop-up lounge is catering to working professionals, many of whom have embraced Crispy Minis as a diet-friendly afternoon snack. “It’s a product they can feel good about eating because it doesn’t derail their nutritional goals, and it’s usually around that 3 p.m. slump where they’ve finished lunch and are feeling a bit peckish,” says D’Sa.
The campaign also supports two new flavours: Italian Herb & Olive Oil and Balsamic & Bruschetta. They are sold in single-serve 3oz bags as well as larger 100g bags.
Crispy Minis appeal primarily to on-the-go women 25-45, who are seeking snacks they can feel good about eating, says D’Sa. The brand has been in Canada for more than a decade, with a distinctly Canadian flavour profile that includes flavours such as ketchup (one of Crispy Minis’ top-selling flavours), crunchy dill and BBQ.
Quaker is also conducting sampling programs for the Crispy Minis product in other major urban areas across Canada.