Mama Lucia’s is no more.
The iconic frozen pizza brand, now Lucia’s Pizza, has rebranded without its nonna as part of an aggressive marketing campaign to appeal to new audiences.
This means dropping founder Mama Lucia Timminello’s iconic silhouette from packaging.
Old-time mascots have been phased out as brands look to appeal to newer, younger, “social media focuses,” spokesman Craig Kaminer explains. And while frozen pizza aisles have never been bigger, Lucia’s Pizza wants to stand out on shelves.
“There’s more competition now than ever before,” Kaminer tells the RFT. “They want to make sure they stay ahead of the pack.”
Lucia’s Pizza has been a St. Louis mainstay since its founding in 1981. Described by RFT food critic Cherl Baehr as “the gold standard” of frozen St. Louis-style pizzas, Lucia’s pies were the first ever sold in grocery stores.
The rebrand comes less than a year after Lucia’s sent out an open call for a sassy grandma to serve as its next brand ambassador. There was no shortage of applications, according to Kaminer, but ultimately Lucia’s decided to “contemporize” the brand.
“They could have selected one, but it seemed like there were some feelings internally that they were ready to move forward,” Kaminer says.
Part of the rebrand involves a golden-ticket style giveaway of 218 prizes to be won at St. Louis-area Schnucks and Dierbergs locations. "Golden Slice Giveaway" prizes include pizza stones, pizza cutters, concert and sports tickets, and logoed merchandise (sans Mama).
Anyone who finds a “golden slice” game piece on the underside of their frozen pizza can find out their prize through a QR code on the slice and pick up their winnings at Lucia’s headquarters in Fenton — unless you’re gunning for the greatest prize of all.
Anyone feeling lucky can go to Lucia’s website and enter a chance to win a trip to Italy. More than 200 people entered the online form on the first day of its launch, Kaminer says. So competition will be steep. A winner will be announced early next year.Subscribe to Riverfront Times newsletters.
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