Chex Mix reboots branded video game from the ’90s

Dive Brief:

  • Chex Mix this week debuted an updated version of its “Chex Quest” video game from the 1990s. The new release, “Chex Quest HD,” is available to play for free through the online gaming platform Steam, according to a press release.
  • The new version by the General Mills’ snack brand is modeled after the nonviolent first-person shooter game from 1996, but features modern details such as high-definition graphics, five-player mode and a local split-screen multiplayer mode.
  • Players can unlock multiplayer mode and additional playable characters through codes on specially marked bags of Chex Mix and the brand’s Instagram page.

Dive Insight:

General Mills is looking to connect with consumers through its decades-old cult video game in a fresh way to reach modern audiences. The move taps into several current trends, including nostalgia for the ’90s and a recent uptick in gaming as people are stuck indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Chex Quest originated as a CD-ROM game found in select Chex cereal boxes back in the ’90s and since then, countless fans have reached out begging for its return,” Kaylee Pohlmeyer, General Mills’ marketing communications manager, said in the press release.

By rebooting the game with modern features, Chex Mix can more deeply connect with homebound consumers through interactive content that’s linked to its snack offerings. Embedding game codes on product packaging could encourage discovery and help to extend the reach of the campaign to loyal Chex Mix fans, while the Instagram tie-in may inspire players to follow the social media account for additional game-related content.

The COVID-19 pandemic has benefited some consumer packaged goods companies as people are mostly spending on groceries and snack foods during lockdowns. Last week, General Mills reported that its U.S. retail sales increased 45% in March and 32% in April over the same time periods in 2019, suggesting that now is a strong time for its brands like Chex Mix to lean into brand-building to capture sales and consumer attention.

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