It doesn’t end there. You can decorate your yellow clogs with Peeps charms or match your face to your dessert with a Peeps HipDot makeup palette. If you don’t feel like eating or wearing Peeps, you can pick up a Peeps Funko Pop toy or build your own Peeps plush bunny with Build-A-Bear.
All are products available this year through partnerships struck by the company behind Peeps. The goal: To access more marketing muscle for these sugary little birds during Peeps’ critical season.
Peeps returned to store shelves in January for this year’s Easter season. The holiday accounts for about 75% of Peeps sales each year.
Now that Peeps are back, “We’re excited to … really celebrate Easter in a big way,” said Matt Pye, senior vice president of marketing at Just Born.
“We’ve had a lot of great partnerships over the years,” he noted. But 2021 “seems to be a banner year.”
Brands often partner up on hybrid products as a way to build off each other’s popularity. The arrangement is especially attractive for a brand like Peeps, said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Peeps “is very well known,” Calkins said. “But it’s not an enormous brand in terms of revenue.” Just Born is a private company that doesn’t share its sales figures. Pye described it as “midsize.”
With those limitations in mind, Calkins said, Peeps has a challenge: “How do you keep the brand in front of people, and how do you keep people thinking about Peeps when you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a marketing effort?” The answer? Partnerships, a lot of them.
You don’t have to like eating Peeps to like Peeps
The deals help “legitimize” Peeps’ position as a well-known brand, noted Pye, and make “Peeps even stronger.” And the more partnerships Peeps has, the more brands want in, he said.
“There’s no doubt that other brands are taking notice,” he said. “It’s kind of snowballing.”
“This year, people are looking for things that are comforting, and they’re looking for things that are familiar, and Peeps is a perfect brand for this environment,” Calkins explained. “That will buoy your spirits.”
That emotional connection goes beyond any particular affinity for actually eating Peeps, Calkins noted.
“They have all sorts of positive associations. Even if you don’t like to eat them, it’s hard to be too upset by Peeps,” he said.