Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tyson Looney Tunes Meals



With much fanfare and a $15 million ad campaign, Tyson Foods launched a line of Looney Tunes microwavable frozen dinners for kids in 1990. The launch of the meals coincided with the huge marketing campaign that honored Bugs Bunny's 50th birthday. The meals were promoted as being "nutritious" and each meal came with its own prize inside (the prizes varied and included trading cards, sheets of stickers, mini activity and comic books, and character-themed trivia games). The initial line-up of meals included:


Bugs Bunny - Chicken Chunks


Daffy Duck - Spaghetti & Meatballs

Wile E. Coyote - Hamburger Pizza

Sylvester - Fish Sticks

Tweety - Macaroni & Cheese

Road Runner - Chicken Sandwich

Yosemite Sam - BBQ Chicken

Speedy Gonzales - Beef Enchiladas

Sales of meals started off strong enough for Tyson to add three more dinners the following year (sorry, I don't have images of these boxes):

Foghorn Leghorn - Pepperoni Pizza
Elmer Fudd - Turkey with Dressing
Porky Pig - Pattie Deluxe

Soon after, sales started to drop off (partly due to too much competition at the time with other companies' kid-themed frozen meals). Even the addition of "Bugs Bunny and Tasmanian Devil" and "Foghorn Leghorn and Henery Hawk" themed pasta entrees failed to generate much interest.





Tyson finally discontinued the dinners in late 1993.

Sources:
  • Captive Kids - Commercial Pressures on Kids of the 90's

  • Kids Meal Meltdown - October, 1993


  • Thanks to Tim Hollis for the images.

    5 comments:

    Pietro Shakarian said...

    At least Tyson didn't do a chicken dinner with Foghorn Leghorn advertising it (ala his KFC commerical).

    David Gerstein said...

    The "second wave" of LT kids' meals also included a fourth "standard" meal: Henery Hawk - hot dog. I was amazed that Henery got a meal to himself. It may even have been a chicken frank (!).
    I think I also remember a Bugs and Elmer pasta dish, though my memory may be playing tricks on me there.

    Jon Cooke said...

    Interesting about the Henery Hawk meal... I have found no reference to it in the pile of Tyson goodies that Tim Hollis sent us. Some of the prizes, the "Great Scavenger Hunt" mini comic books from 1991, list "all 11" meals on the back (no Henery meal mentioned). Perhaps it was just being "test marketed" in some areas?

    If anyone has more info let us know!

    Mike Matei said...

    Oh My God this brings back memories. This is the best post so far. I can't believe anyone remembered this. I use to eat all these. I remember they weren't very good. But i wanted them for the image on the box.

    Anonymous said...

    haha

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