Home LearningDid You Know? Nelly Jelly, Popular Children’s Brand, Launches Campaign to Encourage Screen-Free Family Time Outdoors

Nelly Jelly, Popular Children’s Brand, Launches Campaign to Encourage Screen-Free Family Time Outdoors

by Belinda Breeze

As young children spend increasing hours in front of screens, Nelly Jelly, a beloved children’s character, and pioneering brand with the most popular children’s book series in Lithuania (locally known as Kakė Makė) has launched a loyalty program with a special gardening collection. The project has attracted the interest of major retailer in the country, becoming a big hit for children and their parents.

The current Gen Alfa is growing up in a mixed reality, spending a lot of time in the alternative Meta universe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests minimising screen time for children under five years old. However, the situation is different among pre-schoolers – 24% of five-to-seven-year-olds have a smartphone, and 76% use a tablet every day, according to the newest Ofcom study.

Young children who spend more time on screens communicate less with their parents. Excessive screen time in young children has been linked to negative effects on cognitive development, especially in pre-schoolers. Recent research shows that children who spend too much time on screens are more likely to have poor social skills.

To bring children closer to their families and away from the screens, a popular children’s brand, Nelly Jelly (known as “Kakė Makė” in the local market), has launched an all-family gardening project Sodolendas (Gardenland) with its licensing partners, offering a variety of gardening products, tools, and kits for all to enjoy.

“Being the number one kids brand in our local market, we reach large audiences of children – so we feel the responsibility to educate them on sustainability topics and to address some of the most pressing issues that families face – in this case, too little quality time together,“ says Simona Krasauskienė, CEO of NJ World, the company that manages the Nelly Jelly and Kakė Makė brands. “Our goal is to connect tech-savvy kids with nature and to help them form the habits of spending time outside and growing their own food, which is very important for families, as well as for the health of these kids in the future. We also pave the way for families to have fun together outside – kids, parents, and grandparents.”

One of the major strategies of the Sodolendas (Gardenland) project was not to stop at one gardening product but to offer a diverse range of 35 different gardening items, including 18 types of seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs, ready-to-use gardening kits, gardening tools such as watering cans, buckets, rakes, spades and products for active leisure.

The variety of products offered creates a total family immersion in fun gardening and allows children to put their concerns about sustainability into practice.

“Children of Gen Alfa have more access to information online than any previous generations, and they are concerned about sustainability, the planet, the food they consume, and where it comes from. Already 81% of their parents say their Alpha children have influenced their actions or consumption decisions, making them more environmentally aware,” said Krasauskienė.

According to the statistics of Sodolendas and other similar projects by the Nelly Jelly brand, such initiatives encourage children to be more responsible, inspire physical activity, and teach them to consume more fruits and vegetables. By planting and caring for plants with their family, children learn about the life cycles of plants, biology, ecology, and nature in general in a practical and fun way. The development of these skills is important for educational institutions, which is why schools and kindergartens are joining the project as well.

“We chose to partner up with Nelly Jelly because it is a reliable local brand with a huge market, known for its focus on quality products and attractive design. We can say that in a short amount of time, the project quickly gained popularity among children of all ages,” said Jurgita Blužaitė, Marketing Manager at the biggest network of seed, garden, and horticultural product stores in the Baltic region “Žalia Stotelė” (Green Station), the licensing partner.

Nelly Jelly’s gardening products also caught the attention of “IKI,” a major retail chain in Lithuania. Nelly Jelly brand and “IKI,” collaborated on a 3-month loyalty campaign, setting up over 400 brand stands in more than 200 IKI stores and launching a widespread marketing campaign across various platforms (TV, radio, and digital).

When it comes to other initiatives of the IP, currently Nelly Jelly is experiencing growth in all categories and is expanding globally. Nelly Jelly’s global influence is bound to grow as the IP enters the global market with a new pre-school comedy series in collaboration with British animation studio “3Megos.”