Welch’s crushes fruit to appeal to Gen X men in ‘Tough As Grapes’ campaign

Welch’s, a top grape products company, is looking to appeal to what it sees as a frequently ignored shopper in the US – the Gen X man. While many juice companies appeal to a youth crowd, Welch’s is highlighting the antioxidant power of its juice in its ‘Tough As Grapes’ campaign.

The campaign focuses on a new audience of Gen X men with a gritty look at how Welch’s Grape Juice is made with the world’s toughest antioxidants. The brand came upon this strategy after research it did on Gen X males where it was uncovered that: 59% of Gen X men report they are the primary grocery shopper; 73% of Gen X men drink juice with breakfast; and 60% of Gen X men like grape as a flavor.

In addition, men are drinking more juice than women, and they are also more open to the nutritional benefits that juice offers and aware that there is room for improvement in their health, according to the brand.

The ‘Tough as Grapes’ campaign, developed by creative agency Barton F. Graf, is the first step to bringing Welch’s new brand strategy to life and will appear across TV, digital and radio over the next 12 months.

In a series of spots, grape crushing is treated with the same tough tone usually reserved for pickup trucks. In one commercial, we see the ‘El Diablo’ grape pulverizer crushing grapes, spewing blood-like juice and pulp onto a worker. The spot ends with text that states: “The World’s Toughest Antioxidants.” In another, the voice over talks about how the antioxidants in Welch’s grape juice aren’t just “anti-oxidants…they hate oxidants.” It goes on to say that the antioxidants even chase down the leader of the oxidants and beat it to an “oxidant pulp.”

“The juice category and shopping behaviors are changing, and we knew it was time to disrupt the category by making a bold move to reinvigorate the juice aisle,” said Lesya Lysyj, Welch’s president, US. “After comprehensive research, we discovered that the market potential is with Gen X men, a demographic that loves juice and has emerged as a primary grocery shopper. The ‘Tough as Grapes’ campaign solidifies our commitment to the modern grocery shopper, while championing the tough antioxidants in our Concord grapes.”

There have been over 75 clinical studies done with the Concord grape over the last decade and these studies show how Concord grape juice can help support a healthy heart, help maintain a healthy immune system, improve exercise performance and positively impact mood. Welch’s crushes the whole Concord grape – skin, seeds and all – to produce a 100% juice that is packed with antioxidants – more antioxidants than found in acai – and research shows that Concord grape juice contains the benefits that Gen X men find compelling as they start to think more seriously about their health.

Welch’s is a co-op and 100% of profits go back to the 800 family farmers. These farmers work year-round in some of the harshest weather conditions in the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes and Yakima Valley regions to grow the grapes that go into Welch’s juice. The farmers are tough, the grapes are tough and the process for making the juice is tough, but it’s really the farmers who ultimately inspired this new campaign that Welch’s has seen resonate well with both men and women in testing.

“We are turning a category typically packed with sunshine and smiles on its head to show consumers how grape juice is really made,” said Gerry Graf, founder and chief creative officer at Barton F. Graf. “The machines Welch’s workers use are actually called pulverizers and crushers. The grapes are harvested throughout the night during harvest season. The farmers have to prune vines in the snow through the coldest winter months. The Concord grape is raised in the toughest conditions, but it’s sweet – a lot like generation X men. They have a tough exterior and were raised by hard working parents. They pride themselves on persistence and effort. They are tough people and Welch’s grape juice can help them to stay tough.”

Overall Rating
4/5 Vote

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.