General Mills is faced with a constant challenge: Make that which is old feel new again.
Whether Instagramming Betty Crocker
, creating an augmented reality
Lucky Charms or injecting Cheerios into discussions about race relations
, the company essentially has to take products that America knows and loves and give them a new coat of paint.
Such is the case with Hamburger Helper. If you’re like me, you haven’t eaten Hamburger Helper since you were a kid (or in a moment of collegiate desperation). That may be part of the reason why the Minneapolis-based company is dropping “hamburger” from the name.
Say hello to “Helper.” The name change and a box redesign are part of an effort to revive the brand, which the company’s CEO, Ken Powell, labeled as “languishing.”
The packaging got a facelift, and there is a new Helper line called “Ultimate” that comes with a pouch of sauce, along with two new mix flavors for chicken. The new ad slogan is, “Need a dinner idea, we’re here to help,” replacing the familiar “Real good, feel good meal.” Varieties such as Hamburger Helper, Chicken Helper, and Tuna Helper will be consolidated under the “Helper” name.
Lefty, the walking, talking four-fingered gloved mascot, is staying put.
The move is in an effort to target 18- to 30-year-old males, which is precisely when I (and, I can only assume, my peers) was at my most susceptible. General Mills realized that more men are buying the product than working mothers.