“The number one request we receive from consumers is ‘Bring back the comics!’” said Matt Nathanson, brand manager for Bazooka.
Each throwback pack will hold six pieces of gum, a 'Bazooka fortune' and a digital code to unlock exclusive content on BazookaJoe.com.
Topps modernized the packaging design with bright pinks and yellows that harken to the brand’s comic-strip roots. Despite success – Bazooka sells 500m pieces every year – consumers kept asking for ‘the Bazooka bubble gum of their past,’ he told ConfectioneryNews.
The company decided to promote the retro design just in time for baseball season: “Everyone knows Bazooka and baseball go hand in hand,” said Nathanson.
In coming weeks, Major League Baseball stars Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees, Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs and Eugenio Suarez of the Cincinnati Reds will help spread the word through exclusive content on social media, he added.
‘Everything old is new again’
Asked about the tension between consumer desire for adventure and nostalgia, Nathanson agreed old-school packaging appears to be a ‘huge trend’ in several CPG categories.
“With Bazooka Throwback Pack, we are aiming to underscore the tremendous value of nostalgia to today’s millennial consumer,” he said.
“‘Everything old is new again’, as the old adage goes, and our fans’ passion for the classic Bazooka packaging and look of Bazooka Joe really speaks to how true that is. Nostalgia is a particularly powerful factor in the confections and snacking categories, as so many consumers turn to what they know for everyday comfort and for moments of simple enjoyment and indulgence.”
Response from retailers, which include Kroger, Family Dollar, Party City and Cracker Barrel, so far has been ‘extremely positive.’
“We are very excited to be able to build a bridge to Bazooka’s future by looking to its historic past,” added Nathanson. “Bazooka is the first Topps’ nostalgic brands to launch a Throwback Pack, but anything is possible, especially if the Bazooka Throwback Pack continues to perform well in market.”
Founded in 1938, Topps is also known for candies including Ring Pop and Push Pop – and, of course, athletic trading cards.
The Throwback Packs will join the existing lineup of Bazooka gum, sold for an RRP of $0.99 or less.