Aldi's Kevin The Carrot: How Did He Become One Of Britain's Most Wanted Toys?

"No one has made a carrot fun before!" 🥕🥕🥕

It’s been two years since Aldi launched their famous Kevin the Carrot character as part of its Christmas ad campaign back in 2016 – but judging by the total scenes in its stores yesterday, as shoppers scrambled to grab their soft toy Kevins, he might just be the most popular root vegetable in the country.

A spokesman said demand for the toys had been “exceptionally” high this year, with Kevin selling out both in stores and online. And it’s not only the £3.99 version that people are going crazy for, there are also books and a metre-tall version for £19.99.

Things have got a little crazy with people selling their carrots on eBay... for more than £1,000. So how did Kevin become such a phenomenon?

Aldi has been very smart with their Kevin adverts, which are the perfect mix of cheeky and Christmassy, says ‎Siobhan Freegard, ChannelMum.com’s editor, making him appeal to both children and adults. “Kevin is cute, he’s a veggie so parents adore the fact tots are getting exited over healthy food, and the ads are entertaining and also poke fun at the long-running Coca Cola ‘Holidays are Coming’ campaign,” she says. This all makes Kevin the toy of the moment.

Dee Morrissey, from Dublin, who bought two huge Kevin the Carrot soft toys yesterday, says she thinks it’s the story of Kevin that fascinates kids so much – and the fact he’s the hero of his own adventures (if only ever by mistake). The Kevins she bought are for her two nephews, the youngest of which calls it his “favourite ever toy”.

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Leanne O’Toole, from Dublin, was sucked in, too. Kevin is the “good guy”, she says, who always manages to save the day whatever issues come his way.

O’Toole is a childminder for three kids – one, a Kevin mega-fan – and says they were only spurred on by Aldi’s introduction of Pascal the Parsnip into the mix (who is very naughty), “We needed to save Kevin!” she says. “That was our reasoning behind it, plus the giant one is taller than me so it’s perfect for cuddles for everyone.”

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Others believe Kevin the Carrot has become top of the toys because he’s seen as a collectible. Lauren Robson, from Darlington, in County Durham, started collecting them last year for her two children, aged six and eight. Her eight-year-old had never taken to a teddy before, but slept with the female version, Katie the Carrot, like a log every night.

This year, Robson is also mum to baby Noah and was hoping to get some new carrot toys especially for him. “Our local store had a lot of stock and we were lucky enough to get one of each toy for the three children to share,” she says. “The children love them because of the design. They’re bright and colourful and they get to see them come to life in the Christmas adverts.”

The fact that sales of Kevin and his friends support the Teenage Cancer Trust means she’s more than happy to buy into the craze, Robson adds.

Noah with his Kevin the Carrot collectibles.
LaurenRobson
Noah with his Kevin the Carrot collectibles.

“We bought one for the pure fun element,” agrees Mandy Stanley, from Berkshire. “They are cheap, cute and bright. Plus a carrot can be used to encourage children to eat their vegetables!”

Mandy's carrot waiting for breakfast at the table this morning.
MandyStanley
Mandy's carrot waiting for breakfast at the table this morning.

Ali Payne, from Edinburgh, snapped up Kevin for the same reasons. “My son loves carrots and it just made me smile so much,” she says. “Especially as my daughter was getting increasingly embarrassed on our walk back to the car and my daft staging of photos – although he ended up sleeping in her bed!”

She says she’s a bit of a sucker for festive fun, picking up the John Lewis penguins back in 2014, too.

AliPayne
AliPayne

As you’ve probably guessed, adults love Kevin the Carrot as much as – if not more than – kids do. In fact, Adrian Smith, from Bristol, believes it’s grown ups who’ve driven the trend. He’s bought a bumper set of Kevins, as well as the newly-created Pascal the Parsnip. “The adverts are very funny with a couple of adult jokes in there,” he says.

AdiranSmith

Katie Loveland agrees – she bought a large Kevin and five smaller ones for herself. “I like to see Kevin’s adventures at Christmas and he’s just so cute,” she said. “It’s popular because it’s different. No one has made a carrot so fun before!”

KatieLoveland

Is Kevin’s popularity down to media buzz and a healthy dose of festive FOMO? “My sister phoned me asking me to go get one for a woman in her work and as soon as she said they were hard to get, I was making it my mission to get one,” says Debbie McGuire, from Scotland.

“Come on,” she adds. “Who wouldn’t love a human size carrot?”

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