Chia Pet

Bob Ross

Chia Pets are American styled terracotta figurines used to sprout chia, where the chia sprouts grow within a couple of weeks to resemble the animal’s fur or hair.

A range of generic animals has been produced, including a turtle, pig, puppy, kitten, frog, and hippopotamus. Cartoon characters have also been licensed, including Garfield, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, Shrek, The Simpsons, and SpongeBob. Additionally, there are Chia Pets depicting real people, including Barack Obama and Bob Ross.

The Chia Pet is marketed by Joe Pedott and produced by San Francisco-based gadget company Joseph Enterprises, Inc. The first Chia Pet was created on September 8, 1977. Pedott first learned about ‘something called the Chia Pet’ being imported from Mexico when he attended a housewares show in Chicago in 1977. Negotiating the rights, Pedott began marketing Chia Pets in the US. They achieved popularity in the 1980s following the 1982 release of a ram, the first widely distributed Chia Pet.

The catchphrase sung in the TV commercial as the plant grows in time lapse is ‘Ch-ch-ch-chia!’ This catchphrase originated at an agency brainstorming meeting, where one of the individuals present pretended to stutter the product name.

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