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    HelloFresh caters to ‘Elf’ fans with meal kits serving Buddy’s signature dish

    • HelloFresh has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery’s consumer products division on a holiday meal kit inspired by the 2003 film “Elf,” according to a news release
    • Buddy the Elf Spaghetti boxes are based on a dish the protagonist eats in the movie consisting of spaghetti, candy and syrup, with HelloFresh putting a “choclate-forward” spin on the oddball concept. 
    • Priced at $15 for two servings, the product will be available via a special microsite on a first come, first served basis starting Dec. 5, and does not require a HelloFresh subscription to purchase. HelloFresh joins other marketers in drawing on a sense of nostalgia for the holiday season.  

    HelloFresh is leaning on the enduring popularity of “Elf” to drum up interest in its meal-kit delivery business for the holidays. While acquiring one of the limited-edition boxes doesn’t require a subscription, familiarizing customers with how the service works through references to a cultural touchstone could spur more people to sign up and potentially think of the company as a gift idea.

    Released nearly 20 years ago, “Elf” is now enshrined as a holiday classic, with frequent TV re-runs and a musical adaptation. The fish out of water tale follows a human named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell in peak man-child mode) who was raised by elves at the North Pole and eventually travels to New York City to find his biological father. 

    One of the running jokes is that Buddy’s dining habits are gross by normal standards. Treated to a spaghetti dinner, he dumps a bottle of maple syrup on his dish to “stick to the four main food groups” for elves: Candy, candy cane, candy corn and syrup. Buddy then has a similar plate for breakfast with the addition of candy, Pop-Tarts and other toppings. 

    HelloFresh is adhering to the general recipe outline shared in the movie, while potentially trying to make the meal more palatable. The kits come with pre-portioned ingredients, including maple syrup, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, chocolate nonpareil candies, crumbled chocolate frosted pastries and Colavita spaghetti, and step-by-step instructions. The brand also released a video showing the “chocolate-forward” pasta in action, along with special gift-wrap packaging decorated with elf figures. 

    The Buddy the Elf Spaghetti boxes are available on a limited basis from Dec. 5-9, with orders opening each day at 12:25 p.m. ET. Scarcity could create more interest in the product as “Elf” enthusiasts try to grab a meal kit before they sell out. 

    Germany-based HelloFresh in October warned that its full-year results could be on the lower end of its forecast as the company ramps up advertising to retain customers who are grappling with inflation.  

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