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Chia Pet

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Chia Pet
Chia Pet logo.png
Product typeTerracotta figurine
OwnerJoseph Enterprises
Produced byMexico
CountryUnited States
Introduced1977; 45 years ago (1977)
TaglineWatch It Grow!
Alligator Chia Pet.jpg
An alligator Chia Pet

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.[1][2] Moistened chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are applied to a grooved terracotta figurine.[2]

The Chia Pet is marketed by Joe Pedott and produced by San Francisco, California-based company Joseph Enterprises, Inc.[1] He originally developed the idea for Chia Pets after visiting Mexico and seeing Oaxacan artisans using sprouted chia seeds in their artwork.[3] The first Chia Pet was created on September 8, 1977.[4][5] A trademark registration was filed on Monday, October 17, 1977.[6] 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.[1] They achieved popularity in the 1980s following the 1982 release of a ram, the first widely distributed Chia Pet.[5]

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.[1] As of 2019, approximately 15 million Chia Pets were sold annually with most sales during the holiday season.[1][2] Originally made in Mexico, Chia Pets are now produced in China.[1]

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.[4] Additionally, there are Chia Pets depicting real people, including Barack Obama and Bob Ross.[4]

Joseph Enterprises sells replacement seeds for Chia products and also sells chia seeds in bulk as a nutritional supplement.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Edwards, Owen (2007-12-01). "Chia Pet". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2020-08-24.
  2. ^ a b c "An American Icon: the Chia Pet". Archived from the original on June 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Sax, David (2014). The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 9780771079412.
  4. ^ a b c "Chia Products". Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  5. ^ a b "Green Space: It's beginning to look a lot like Chia, everywhere you go". The MetroWest Daily News. Framingham, MA. December 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  6. ^ CHIA PET – Reviews & Brand Information – Encap Products Company Mt. Prospect, IL – Serial Number: 73144986. Retrieved on 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ "Chia Seeds - Chia Seed Recipes, Chia Seed Health Benefits". Archived from the original on 2015-08-13. Retrieved January 9, 2018.

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