Since its rollout 26 years ago, Lunchables has plowed forward as one of the most resilient food brands in America, surviving frequent criticism from health advocates while dominating the kids' packaged-lunch category. Last year, the brand reached $1 billion in retail sales for the first time, according to brand-owner Kraft Foods Group.
But for most of its history, Lunchables has never tried to crack the lucrative teen market, fearing that the age group might be a little bit too old -- and too cool -- for the brand.
However, that changed last year when Lunchables began aggressively targeting 13-to-17-year-olds with a larger-portion line called Uploaded. It's been a major hit: Uploaded raked in $125 million in sales its first year, busting through the critical $100 million barrier, according to Kraft.
Kraft is increasing its investment in year two, adding varieties and boosting marketing, including growing the brand's partnership with Microsoft's Xbox and MTV celebrity Rob Dyrdek. "We think that we might just be scratching the surface on its potential," said Geoff Feil, marketing director for Lunchables, which part of the Oscar Mayer division. Uploaded last year got $15.4 million in measured media support, according to Kantar Media.