Manchu Wok (spring) rolls into 4/20

Okay, yes, cookies may be king for cannabis enthusiasts with the munchies. But Chinese food has also amassed a pretty devout following.

The fast food chain Manchu Wok is leaning into that reputation with a new 4/20-themed campaign from LG2 which claims that one of its staple products, the spring roll, is actually the original pre-roll.

“There was a fun thought in the idea of repositioning the spring roll as a pre-roll on 4/20. Our always-on social work for the brand has always been about creating fun, timely, relevant content,” said LG2 creative director Jeff Cheung.

The company handed out 5o0 spring rolls in downtown Toronto on Thursday. Each roll was contained in a Manchu Wok-branded box taking its cues from the cannabis industry and urging consumers to “consume irresponsibly.”

The writing on the back of the box even reflects the quasi-philosophical and meandering conversation of stoners the world over. “If you eat our pre-roll after a pre-roll, doesn’t that make it a post-roll?” it asks. “Or is a post-pre-roll pre-roll? Pre-rolled post pre-roll roll. Wait. What were we talking about.”

The handout is being supported by stories, reels and in-feed posts on Manchu Wok’s social media.

Manchu Wok has been an enthusiastic supporter of 4/20 in recent years, including running a 2021 billboard campaign urging people not to drive high and informing them that it offers delivery.

The spring roll is thought to have originated with the Tang Dynasty in 618AD, more than 3,400 years after people in Asia are believed to have first started using cannabis and well before Manchu Wok’s 1980 debut. The chain has been busy making up for all that lost time.

And it’s not the first time Manchu Wok has created irreverent content around its spring roll. Last year, for example, it asked how a spring roll would wear pants, and in 2021 it created a diagram detailing the various stages of eating a spring roll, beginning with “hope and optimism,” and ending with “sadness.”



Chris Powell