America's Hottest Brands

Goldfish Rides a New Wave of Popularity

By Published on .

Credit: John Kuczala

Since first swimming into U.S. stores in 1962, Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish has had its share of makeovers, including a complete overhaul some 15 years ago when its market was successfully repositioned to kids from adults.

In July, the brand made one of its boldest moves yet with the national launch of Goldfish sandwich bread. Featuring the brand's signature smile, the crust-free bread is already in 75% of the stores where Pepperidge Farm bakery goods are sold.

Patsy Fox, group marketing manager, Pepperidge Farms.
Patsy Fox, group marketing manager, Pepperidge Farms.

"Not a lot of people in the bread category were talking directly to kids," said Patsy Fox, group marketing manager for Pepperidge Farm snacks division, which is owned by Campbell Soup Co."There was a significant opportunity to infuse more fun and playfulness in the category, but do so in a wholesome way."

The timing couldn't be better. The 50-year-old brand, whose agency is Y&R, New York, continues to show its durability, riding a new wave of popularity in the ultra-competitive cracker category. Sales across all Goldfish cracker varieties jumped 4.3% in the year ending Oct. 2, outpacing the total category, which grew 3.7%, according to SymphonyIRI. The brand's long-term trajectory is even more impressive: Sales grew eightfold to $400 million in 2010 from 1997, and Goldfish tied for No. 2 with Kellogg Co.'s Cheez-It brand, moving up from the 10th-best selling cracker brand, according to Pepperidge Farm. (KraftFoods' Ritz crackers lead the category.)

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