After a 42-year history on grocery store shelves, General Mills is looking to freshen up Hamburger Helper for younger audiences by dropping the “Hamburger” from its name.
With more consumers preferring chicken, General Mills has rebranded its famous line of boxed dinners as “Helper.” Helper comes in newly designed packages and features mixtures for hamburger, chicken and tuna.
Although over 1 million households ate Hamburger Helper every weeknight last year, General Mills has suffered lower sales. Sales for Hamburger Helper dropped 14 percent this past year while Kraft’s competing dry boxed dinners, Velveeta Cheesy Skillets, saw comparable sale increases.
As a part of this revival, General Mills plans to refocus its marketing attention to men aged 18-30. Originally, Hamburger Helper was marketed as an easy dinner solution for working mothers. While middle-aged women are still the primary purchasers of Hamburger Helper, General Mills believes that by removing “Hamburger” from the products’ name, millennials will be more likely to buy the product.
In part, millennials suffer a growing stigma against red meat, making the chicken and fish alternatives appear healthier. Also, the high price of beef can turn an affordable box of Hamburger Helper into a pricey dinner for young people.
Even as General Mills’ audience and product evolves, Lefty, Hamburger Helper’s four-finger mascot, will continue to appear on boxes of Helper.