Joep Raemakers on his 'super vegetables':

Netherlands: How a piggybank became a ‘Go-getter’.

The Fresh Produce industry has spent millions of Euros getting children to eat healthier, but youngsters still tend to go for chocolate bars and hamburgers. Tomato grower Joep Raemakers came up with something that could possibly turn the tide. Inspired by a Spanish piggybank and the box of a Happy Meal he created a series of superheroes children would die for: the Bikkels (The go-getters). For the project he worked together with packaging company Vadrupak



“The idea is simple,” says Joep, “get kids to eat vegetables. So far, this hasn’t been easy. Even with the familiar shakers. To kids, shakers still look like boring packaging. They need something exciting. So I decided to redesign the shaker. I trifled with the idea when I came up with the My Gartner-shakers. Then one day, my imagination was triggered when I found out one of clients was in need of a new brand.”



Joep got excited when he came across a piggybank in Spain. “It already had the shape of a shaker, but it also kind of reminded me of a superhero. So I got together with Alfred van den Drumpt of Vadrupak, and we came up with our own superhero. We figured, if McDonalds can do it, why not us? Eventually, and with the help of others, we came up with an entire market campaign.”



The two friends visited primary schools to introduce the designs and children just went crazy over them. “They wanted one immediately.” Marketing the concept however, proved difficult. “Finally German retailer Kaiser’s Tengelmann saw potential and started selling them. They have been promoting them in 600 stores and the idea is catching on. Right now, a website is launched on which the Bikkels are having all kinds of adventures. Eating vegetables is one of the central themes: because they eat them, the superheroes are able to gain super powers!”



At the moment, there are three characters in existence: Pling the smart one, Woesj the fast one, and Forz the strong one. “The merchandise potential is enormous. But no matter how big the hype, in the end it’s all about the benefit of vegetables.”

For more information:
Fossa Eugenia
www.fossaeugenia.nl
www.wijzijnbikkels.nl


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