Thursday, June 16, 2016

The possibilities of custom packaging

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but one of the most impressive innovators in the cereal industry is mymuesli of Germany, which has been featured here on several occasions. Their major contribution is the successful development of a model for custom cereals, which some American companies have attempted, but so far have failed.

Part of the appeal of mymuesli is the comprehensive experience they provide consumers. It's not just custom recipes they provide, but so much more; and that now includes an experiment with custom packaging. This level of personalization engages customers, and makes buying and eating cereal lots of fun.

Heidelberg, the large German company that makes commercial printers, has partnered with the cereal company to setup a custom printer in one of mymuesli's stores so that customers can walk out with a canister featuring their selected text and images.

Read Heidelberg's press release on this innovation, and consider the possibilities of well-established U.S. cereal companies could catch a vision for a whole new level of innovation!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Toast goes Tiny

Last week General Mills proudly announced what they call, "our first new cereal brand in 15 years." Tiny Toast cereal is "shaped like small pieces of toast sprinkled with blueberries and strawberries," and is the result of extensive research and development.

On the positive side, it is good to see some new cereals, with bold, fun packaging that should grab consumer attention in the grocer's aisle. The whole miniature toast experience will liven up the breakfast table, at least on the short-term.

I take exception, however, to General Mills calling this a NEW cereal brand. Perhaps it is a distinctly named brand, but the small toast concept is hardly new for GM. What about Cinnamon Toast Crunch, French Toast Crunch, Chocolate Toast Crunch, and others? Obviously, the earlier "toast" varieties have been very successful, so why not expand on it? But, in light of that, to call this a new brand is a stretch.

Nevertheless, we'll watch (and taste) to see if Tiny Toast is a way for people to keep cereal at the forefront of their breakfast menu.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

MixMyOwn: Another custom cereal maker shuts down

Custom cereal MixMyOwn has announced that today, June 5th, is their final day of operation. In an email sent to customers a few weeks ago they said,
"We want to thank you for your past business and tell you how much we have enjoyed doing this business. We started this with a lot of energy, motivation and hope, but it was not enough. There are many reasons why it did not turn out as we needed and now we want to focus on our other business, which is doing better."
Sadly, this is not the first custom cereal company to fold. We are aware of least three other U.S. ventures that have come and gone over the past decade: [me]&goji, MixMyGranola, and Custom Choice. MixMyOwn was the newest of these, starting only three years ago. Despite the valiant efforts of their European founders, the U.S. market did not respond as they had hoped.

I have long contented that custom cereals is a promising innovation that could help shake-up the cereal industry. Of course, the proof of this is in the brilliance of the concept's originator, mymuesli of Germany. The U.S. imitators tried hard to copy their success, but obviously could not do it. This is not Germany, but the U.S. where the cereal market is well established and entrenched. But, in an environment where the industry desperately needs a revival, the underlying approach should work. In my view, for it work here massive investment will be necessary to give it the kick-start it needs to gain traction. None of the previous attempts had that. Depending on a simple e-commerce model was not adequate for them.

It is sad to see an innovator disappear, but hopefully the lessons learned from their experience will help others who have a vision for this type of company. I still believe that a well-funded, well-crafted, U.S. take on mymuesli could be one of the recipes for success that cereal industry needs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WE HAVE A WINNER! Quaker Oatmeal Squares

Two months ago I launched an endeavor to determine the favorite cereal among my followers. Utilizing a bracketed playoff system inspired by college basketball's "March Madness", dozens of cereals were included in online polls. Thank you to all of you who participated in this lengthy process! It has been arduous, but in the end, after hundreds of votes, we finally have a winner!

The 2016 March Cereal Madness winner goes to Quaker Oatmeal Squares!

For full disclosure this is actually my favorite go-to cereal, so it might be easy for others to see that this result was fixed. I did vote in all the polls, but only once each time, so I know that my single vote is not the whole story. Obviously, through a process of elimination there are many, many others out there who also love this cereal.

This was not expected. I really thought the winner would be one of the super popular cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios, or favorites like Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, and so on. And, while most of these moved along in the brackets, in the end Corn Pops and Oatmeal Squares made the finals, with the latter winning with a 57.14% decision!

What is so special about Oatmeal Squares? As a fan myself I believe that in addition to the hint of brown sugar taste, texture is a big part of the story. These squares are crunchy, even in milk, and make for a hearty breakfast.

Congratulations to Quaker for having a true winner in Oatmeal Squares. (Interestingly, they had another cereal, Life, that made it to the Final Four!).

If you have never tried this exceptional cereal (or if it's been awhile) be sure to get a box and see what the rave is all about!


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

March Cereal Madness - CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND!

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually MAY, but after dozens of head-to-head battles and hundreds of votes, we have finally arrived at our FINAL TWO cereals (and they're not ones most of us would have predicted)! To vote for the champion, check out this poll (you only have until midnight May 9th to vote).






WINNERS OF PREVIOUS ROUNDS

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops
Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original

Round 4
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life
Reese's Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Rice Krispies vs. Oatmeal Squares

Round 5
Lucky Charms vs. Corn Pops
Life vs. Oatmeal Squares


Friday, April 29, 2016

March Cereal Madness - Round 5: Life vs. Oatmeal Squares

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually APRIL, but we are now in Round 5 and down to our FINAL FOUR cereals in our head-to-head battles! Each day we pit two cereals against each other, and you get to choose which one will move on to the next round. To vote, check out the poll below.

MISSED A PREVIOUS POLL? It's not too late to do other recent polls, although act quickly as each one is only available for five days:

Round 5 - Lucky Charms vs. Corn Pops

WINNERS. See the poll winners so far, at the bottom of the post.





WINNERS SO FAR

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops
Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original

Round 4
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life
Reese's Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Rice Krispies vs. Oatmeal Squares

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

March Cereal Madness - Round 5: Lucky Charms vs. Corn Pops

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually APRIL, but we are now in Round 5 and down to our FINAL FOUR cereals in our head-to-head battles! Each day we pit two cereals against each other, and you get to choose which one will move on to the next round. To vote, check out the poll below.

MISSED A PREVIOUS POLL? It's not too late to do other recent polls, although act quickly as each one is only available for five days:

Round 4 - Rice Krispies vs. Oatmeal Squares

WINNERS. See the poll winners so far, at the bottom of the post.





WINNERS SO FAR

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops
Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original

Round 4
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life
Reese's Puffs vs. Corn Pops

Sunday, April 24, 2016

March Cereal Madness - Round 4: Rice Krispies vs. Oatmeal Squares

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually APRIL, but we are now in Round 4 and down to only 7 cereals in our head-to-head battles! Each day we pit two cereals against each other, and you get to choose which one will move on to the next round. To vote, check out the poll below.

MISSED A PREVIOUS POLL? It's not too late to do other recent polls, although act quickly as each one is only available for five days:

Round 4 - Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life
Round 4 - Reese's Puffs. vs. Corn Pops

WINNERS. See the poll winners so far, at the bottom of the post.





WINNERS SO FAR

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops
Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original

Thursday, April 21, 2016

March Cereal Madness - Round 4: Reese's Puffs vs. Corn Pops

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually APRIL, but we are now in Round 4 and down to only 7 cereals in our head-to-head battles! Each day we pit two cereals against each other, and you get to choose which one will move on to the next round. To vote, check out the poll below.

MISSED A PREVIOUS POLL? It's not too late to do other recent polls, although act quickly as each one is only available for five days:

Round 3 - Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Round 3 - Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Round 3 - Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original
Round 4 - Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life

WINNERS. See the poll winners so far, at the bottom of the post.





WINNERS SO FAR

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

March Cereal Madness - Round 4: Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Life

This is part of our quest to discover the best cereal, according to you the true fans! Each day a new poll will be taken, leading to an eventual winner. For more information check the original post.

OK, it's actually APRIL, but we are now in Round 4 and down to only 7 cereals in our head-to-head battles! Each day we pit two cereals against each other, and you get to choose which one will move on to the next round. To vote, check out the poll below.

MISSED A PREVIOUS POLL? It's not too late to do other recent polls, although act quickly as each one is only available for five days:

Round 3 - Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Corn Pops
Round 3 - Frosted Flakes vs. Lucky Charms
Round 3 - Rice Krispies vs. Wheaties
Round 3 - Oatmeal Squares vs. Special K Original

WINNERS. See the poll winners so far, at the bottom of the post.





WINNERS SO FAR

Qualification Round 1 - Honey Nut Cheerios
Qualification Round 2 - Original Special K
Qualification Round 3 - Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries
Qualification Round 4 - Rice Chex
Qualification Round 5 - Mini-Wheats Original
Qualification Round 6 - Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch

Round 1
All Bran vs. Honey Nut Cheerios
Alpha-Bits vs. Apple Jacks
Rice Chex vs. Corn Bran Crunch
Cocoa Puffs vs. Cookie Crisp
Corn Flakes vs. Crispix
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Fiber One vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Corn Pops vs. French Toast Crunch
Grape Nuts vs. Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries (TIE)
Froot Loops vs. Frosted Flakes
Kix vs. Life
Golden Crisp vs. Golden Grahams
Oatmeal Squares vs. Raisin Bran
Honeycomb vs. Honey Smacks
Rice Krispies vs. Shredded Wheat
Krave vs. Lucky Charms
Special K Original vs. Total
Fruity Pebbles vs. Reese's Puffs
Trix vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 2
Honey Nut Cheerios vs. Rice Chex
Apple Jacks vs. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Crispix vs. Frosted Mini-Wheats Original
Cocoa Puffs vs. Corn Pops
Grape Nuts vs. Life
Frosted Flakes vs. Golden Grahams
Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Strawberries vs. Oatmeal Squares
Honey Smacks vs. Lucky Charms
Rice Krispies vs. Special K Original (TIE)
Reese's Puffs vs. Waffle Crisp

Round 3
Frosted Mini-Wheats Original vs. Honey Nut Cheerios