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Chia Pet

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Chia Pet
Product typeTerracotta figurine
OwnerJoseph Enterprises
Produced byMexico
CountryUnited States
Introduced1977; 47 years ago (1977)
TaglineWatch It Grow!
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 was marketed and popularized by Joseph Pedott.[3] Pedott first learned about "something called the Chia Pet" being imported from Oaxaca, Mexico, when he attended a housewares show in Chicago in 1977. Negotiating the rights from importer Walter Houston, Pedott began marketing Chia Pets in the US.[1]

The first Chia Pet was created on September 8, 1977.[4][5] A trademark registration was filed on Monday, October 17, 1977.[6] They were produced by Pedott's San Francisco-based company, Joseph Enterprises, Inc.,[1] which was purchased by National Entertainment Collectibles Association in 2018.[7] They achieved popularity in the 1980s following the 1982 release of a ram, the first widely distributed Chia Pet.[5] Originally made in Mexico, Chia Pets are now produced in China.[1]

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] In 2000, a Chia Pet was included inside a New York Times time capsule to be opened in the year 3000.[8]

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]


  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". Chia.com. Archived from the original on June 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Traub, Alex (2023-06-30). "Joseph Pedott, 91, Dies; Made Chia Pets an 'as Seen on TV' Sensation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-07-04.
  4. ^ a b c "Chia Products". Chia.com. 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. Socialmedia.trademarkia.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ Pizzutillo, Rich (2018-02-16). "Hillside's NECA buys creators of Chia Pet, Clapper". ROI-NJ. Retrieved 2023-07-04.
  8. ^ Edwards, Owen (December 2007). "For 26 years, marketing whiz Joe Pedott's green-pelted figures have been holiday-season hits". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2023-10-24.

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