For fans of a certain age, there’s no bigger star on earth than 19-year-old JoJo Siwa. After getting her start on reality TV shows like Dance Moms, Siwa grew into a full-fledged teen pop star, recording three full-length albums and racking up appearances on Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and even an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Now, Siwa is a bonafide internet icon, with more than 44 million followers on TikTok alone, and no shortage of brand collaborations. A dizzying array of JoJo-branded merch has graced the shelves at retailers like Claire’s, Target, and Walmart, ranging from unicorn bath towels to hand sanitizer and her once-signature hair bows. Now, she’s teamed up with Ocean Spray, the company behind the canned cranberry sauce that graces many Thanksgiving tables, for a TikTok dance to a song called “Wiggle Wiggle, Jiggle Jiggle.” Mostly, the dance involves erratically wiggling the top half of your body, trying to mimic the distinct way that cranberry sauce wiggles and jiggles its way out of the can and onto the Thanksgiving table.
Eater sat down with Siwa to talk all things, well, cranberry sauce, plus get a quick download about her other non-berry eating habits (it should be noted her own brand of General Mills cereal was strawberry flavored. The girl apparently really loves a berry).
Eater: Do you remember the first time you ever tried cranberry sauce?
JoJo Siwa: My mom used to put it with a lot of our meals, so probably from the age of four I remember eating cranberry sauce. We would have it at Thanksgiving, and then my mom makes this super delicious, incredible chicken and broccoli casserole that’s been in her family for years, and we put cranberry jelly with that. It’s one of my favorite parts of the meal.
Should we be eating cranberry sauce all year-round, instead of just at Thanksgiving? What would it be good to slather on, other than turkey and your mom’s broccoli casserole?
I put it on everything. I love to make deli sandwiches and paninis with it — two amazing pieces of bread, deli turkey or chicken, and cranberry sauce, and call it a day. I also like to eat it with pretty much every kind of leftover. Really it can go on anything, it’s so great.
There are some people who really dislike cranberry sauce? What would you say to the haters?
I’d say, “Listen, I get it. It’s not your thing, it’s not your vibe.” But you can’t not like me because it is my vibe.
There’s been a JoJo-branded cereal, but if you could create your own food product from scratch, what would it be?
I feel like it’s only right to say cranberry sauce, right? Imagine like, JoJo Siwa’s cranberry jelly sauce — and it’s sparkly. It’s just full of edible glitter and it shimmers.
Speaking of haters, what’s your most controversial food opinion?
I don’t like barbecue sauce. I can’t do ribs, I can’t do barbecue chicken, can’t do barbecue pizza. I guess I can do barbecue chips, but I don’t really eat chips so I don’t reach for them.
You’re known for being endlessly energetic. What do you eat when you’re out on tour or getting ready to perform?
Normally before I perform every day, when I’m on tour, I eat a lot of grilled chicken and vegetables. Any vegetable, really, and sometimes maybe a healthy pasta in there. I try to keep it super healthy — that way I feel fueled — but I’m still super energized and not eating anything that can make you sleepy.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the road?
I love having fruit around me at all times. I always have bananas, blueberries, apples, and grapes. I also really like charcuterie boards, so I love to have a bunch of different meats and cheeses and crackers.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.