Cauliflower is an in-demand vegetable right now. You can get cauliflower pizza, cauliflower hot wings, cauliflower rice and now, thanks to Bethlehem’s Just Born Candies, you can also get cauliflower-flavored Peeps.
And if you clicked on the link to find out what the heck Just Born is thinking, then congratulations you’ve been HAD!
Yes, the cauliflower-flavored, bunny-shaped Peeps are a rather clever April Fool’s Day prank pulled by the candy maker.
They got me.
The media relations department pitched me a new, “unique” product launch and asked me if they could send me a sample. Always interested in the latest offerings from the Bethlehem manufacturer, I said sure.
While I thought that was awfully close to Easter – Just Born’s busiest holiday – I shrugged off the date and went back to work expecting a new flavor, shape or product tie-in to come in the mail. I didn’t expect the product tie-in to be Green Giant.
When the package arrived a few days later, I opened it and found a package of Peeps with a picture of the Jolly Green Giant holding an Easter basket full of marshmallow Peeps and the words “Green Giant Cauliflower Flavored Bunnies beside him.
My mind started reeling. Surely not every product launch Just Born has had was brilliant, but cauliflower?
I tried to reason that cauliflower was very trendy right now, and it was probably more of a marketing stunt than something they expected people to enjoy, but the April Fool’s Day connection eluded me.
That night I couldn’t sleep and I started plotting out how I would write up a story about such a ridiculous idea. When none came, I reassured myself that I had until April 1 to figure it out. Then it hit me – April 1. I had been fooled.
Caitlin Servian, Just Born’s brand manager for Peeps, said they just couldn’t help themselves.
“Since April Fools’ falls so closely to Easter this year, we thought it was a natural fit to have some fun during our most popular season,” she said. “The Peeps Brand is about expressing your Peepsonality, and we wanted to share unexpected, playful and engaging news with our fans for the ultimate April Fools’ Day joke. “
And yes, she said the trendiness of the vegetable was the reason they decided to partner with Green Giant on the gag.
“Recently, we’ve seen cauliflower make its way into popular foods such as pizza crusts, breadsticks, gnocchi and more … showing the trendy nature and versatility of the vegetable. We thought it was time for the Peeps brand to get in on the fun, which is why we’ve teamed up with Green Giant to bring this unique product offering to our fans,” she said.
While this is the company’s first phony flavor, it’s not Just Born’s first April Fool’s Day prank. In 2018, the last time Easter and April Fool’s were close together, it announced that it had hired the Energizer Bunny as “Celebrity Creative Director” to power up the Easter holiday with new innovative designs.
There was no ingredients label on the “not for retail sale” package Just Born sent out to the media, and I didn’t dare to taste them, but Servian hinted that the Peeps they sent out weren’t actually cauliflower flavored.
“While this “new product launch” is just a prank, we do firmly believe that veggies and Peeps belong in everyone’s Easter basket, just maybe not in the same package,” she said.