Plant-based food company Alpha Foods in with ‘Chicken Run’ sequel - Brand Innovators

Plant-based food company Alpha Foods in with ‘Chicken Run’ sequel

When your kid-centric, animated film features a daring rescue of chickens who are destined to be turned into fast-food nuggets, the co-branding opportunities may be limited. Unless you can find a maker of plant-based nuggets. 

Plant-based food company Alpha Foods has signed on as a partner with Aardman Animations to promote its latest movie, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.” The film is a sequel to Aardman’s 2000 hit, “Chicken Run,” which depicted stop-motion animated chickens escaping from a farm. 

In the new film, the main characters from the first film, in pursuit of their rebellious teenage hatchling, break into a farm to free chickens who are being controlled via electronic collars to tamp down their fears, thus making better-tasting nuggets. For Alpha Foods, the marriage of plot and product was a perfect match, said Shingly Lee, marketing director at Alpha Foods

“The Chicken Run movie takes a hard, grim look at the meat industry, but it’s still fun and kid-friendly,” Lee said in a Zoom interview. “For us to partner with a franchise of that scale, that’s something the whole [plant-based food] industry wants.”

Through the marketing partnership, Alpha will create special packaging, featuring characters from the film, along with the messaging, “Choose plants – No Fowl Play.” Though the product and packaging will not roll out until March, the brand wanted to take advantage of the movie’s debut on Netflix in December 2023, as well as be part of the conversation around “Vegan-uary,” when people may try following a plant-based diet in a bid to be healthier, Lee said. 

“We know being part of the culture drives awareness,” Lee said. “We want anyone who is ‘plant-curious’ to take that first toe-dip into it. For that consumer, [this activation] caters well to that audience.”

For Alpha, the film offers a cross-generational appeal. The first Chicken Run film came out in 2000 when Millennials were children. Now, 24 years later, those children are adults with kids of their own, Lee said. 

“Those watchers have children and those kids are watching it together,” Lee said. “We’re seeing influence from both sides.”

Alpha will promote the partnership through digital and shopper marketing, Lee said.