Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More cereal trivia

In conjunction with a previous article (see my previous post) The Salt Lake City Tribune printed a fun story, "Magically Delicious Mascots Quiz" with a quiz on cereal mascots and a number of other interesting cereal tidbits.
 
Enjoy!
 

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Yet another cereal restaurant

I have been watching the emergence of cereal restaurants over the past year, led by Cereality but copied by others.
 
The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the Great Grains Cereal and Juice Bar near the University of Utah, accompanied by an informative article on cereal history and its impact on our culture.
 
2005 will be long remembered as the time when this new restaurant concept really began to take root.
 
I can't wait for 2006!
 

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are noteworthy blog posts regarding cereal from this week:
 
While in the Holiday spirit, katerock94 discovered that eggnog in cereal is disgusting!
 
lizzpo0 theorizes on the origins of using milk on cereal.
 

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Life has been relatively quiet in the cereal world, but bloggers continue to talk about cereal. Here are some noteworthy posts from last week:
 
The Impulsive Buy reviews Winter Lucky Charms. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: The marshmallow chart is great!
 
Self St_Rage reminisces on Clackers Graham Cereal from the 70's.
 
mmm_kimchi shares the dangers of opening a cereal box
 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Taking the fun out of cereal

There has long been controversy over the advertising directed at children. Marketing related to cereal is a prime example. Many cereals are admittedly of poor nutritional quality, and often promoted by popular characters and enticing offers.
 
Last week the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies issued the "most comprehensive review to date of the scientific evidence on the influence of food marketing on diets of children and youth". As a result of their research they recommended that food companies promote healthier diets, and that marketing practices need to change to reflect this priority. For example, they urge that "licensed characters, such as popular cartoon characters, should be used only to promote products that support healthful diets".
 
I agree that food companies must take a greater responsibility for their marketing practices, especially to children. But, I am concerned that we may absolve parents from working with their children to make responsible choices. 
 
Besides, having "fun" cereals is an occasional treat that every should be able to enjoy from time to time.
 
I just can't see Sponge Bob Squarepants cereal as a serious food!
 
LINK to press release.
 

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Notable cereal-related blog postings from the last week:
 
The Hard Blog laments over the lack of creativity on the back of cereal boxes today.
 
What does this have to do with the price of rice in China? is looking for the name of the Quaker man?
 
Both I am not a hippy - all right, I am a bit and Scudly.com ponder whether cereal should be eaten with a teaspoon or tablespoon.
 
KaThLeEn gives instructions on how to eat cereal without it getting soggy.
 

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kellogg and the trans fat trade-off

Yesterday I posted on the announcement that Kellogg moves to low linoleic acid to cut trans fat. Because of the increasing concern among consumers about trans fatty acids this can be seen as positive move. However, is Kellogg substituting one evil for another?
 
Further reports indicate that the new oils that Kellogg will use are genetically-modified (GMO). (See WLNS), which is also controversial, but perhaps to a lesser degree at this time. Some health advocates question the use of GMO crops for both health and environmental reasons.
 
Is Kellogg really concerned about our health, or is this nothing more than a marketing scheme to tap into the fickle whims of consumers? (Remember the "low-carb" craze?)
 

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Kellogg moves to low linoleic oil to cut trans fats

According to just-food.com Kellogg announced today "a major investment in new technologies that will make it possible to reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids while also minimizing the saturated fat content of its products." With the growing consumer awareness of the health risks associated with fat foods (and trans fatty acids in particular) this could be an important health and marketing move.
 

 

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kellogg's Drink 'n Crunch

Kellogg recently introduced Drink 'n Crunch cereals, another entry into their "Food Away from Home" category. It's an innovation that keeps the crunch, even you add milk. Their description:
 
Drink ‘n Crunch™ cups offer the ultimate in portability for busy consumers while boosting combo sales of milk and cereal for you. An innovative double-cup system keeps cereal and milk separated until they reach your mouth for maximum crunch. Available in four of our most popular brands: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops®, Low Fat Granola and Special K® Vanilla (without almonds).
 
Sounds like a more palatable option than Liquid Cereal, which I have previously discussed.
 

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cereal killers

It's a quiet time in the cereal world. Maybe everyone's too busy preparing for the Holidays?
 
Here's a book I came across recently. It's not just about cereal (despite the title), and isn't even that complimentary of it. But, it's an interesting entry into the discussion of high carb diets and the reasons for them. Not that I'm necessarily recommending the book, but for some it may be of interest.
 
 

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Noteworthy blog postings on cereal from the last week:
 
Those Were the Days reflects on the Life "Mikey" commercials
Vorsprung durch Technik doesn't "get" Kellogg's Mini-Swirlz
Bob Young at the Arizona Republic writes on ad-driven motivations of Wheaties
 

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch

Quaker announced today new Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch cereal, which features classic Life cereal with cruncy oat clusters covered with creamy vanilla flavored yogurt.
 
LINK to Press release
 
(Personal note: Quaker must have been test-marketing this product in California because it's been in our stores for almost two months already. It tastes good, but I don't consider it spectacular).
 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Cereal Cabinet

Back in October I reported on the launch of a Cereality-type restaurant being launched in Iowa. Since that time Cereality has put pressure on this and several other imitators to avoid copying to closely. The Iowa restaurant was originally to be called "Cerealogy", but has sinced changed its name to "The Cereal Cabinet". Here's a story from the Iowa City Press-Citizen on the new restaurant.
 

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

70's versions of Cap'n Crunch

Cereal has been an important part of our culture, but not only the cereal itself but everything about it, including the packaging.
 
Here are some photos of Cap'n Crunch boxes from the 70's. These are currently on sale on ebay (auctions 7200883430, 7200887034, 7200885432)
 
Cap'n Crunch is one of those cereals that has appeared in a number of different varieties over the years. These are certainly some of the more interesting ones.
 
A great dose of nostalgia!
 
  

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some noteworthy blog postings from the past week regarding cereal:
 
Bloghungry examines the changing of the Cookie Crisp characters over time.
 
A Heart for Homeschool eats popcorn as cereal as part of a Thanksgiving project (Post 1, Post 2)
 
So... devises a mathematical equation (M+c=w) which defines the yearning for a particular cereal.
 
Doggie News is critical of Nestle's packaging for Chocapic, believeing that it could send the wrong message to dog owners.
 
Papa's House Blog ties in eating Corn Pops with Christian theology.
 

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cereal lady makes a difference

Just in time for Thanksgiving...
 
A positive story about a women in Madison, Wisconsin known as the "Cereal Lady". For over 17 years Alice Lundeen has donated over 50 boxes of cereal a week to the Salvation Army to make sure less fortunate children get a good breakfast!
 
Story at WKOW 27 ABC.
 

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cereality promotion in Old Navy

I have learned that Cereality will be running a promotion at Old Navy stores across the U.S. this coming Friday morning during the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush.
 
The first customers arriving after 7am will receive a taste of Cereality's "Jolly Ol' Breakfast Bar" that has the flavor of cranberry and vanilla. In two stores, one in Chicago and the other in San Francisco, pajama-clad Cereologists will on hand.
 
Sounds like a cool promotion to get Cereality better known in areas where they will be hopefully expanding.
 
I guess I'll be up early Friday morning!
 

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Had your bran today?

Creative advertising for Kellogg's All-Bran on the back of restroom stall doors. Speaks for itself.
 
(From Adverblog)
 

 

 

Cereal premium starts man on road to success

The Beford, Indiana Times-Mail has an interesting story of a man who, as a child, began growing pumpkins because of a free package of seeds in a cereal box. Over the years he has become a very successful pumpkin farmer!
 
 

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Noteworthy blog postings regarding cereal in the last week:
 
Your smiley guide identifies "cheeriosclerosis" (also know as "hardening of the cereal"), caused my men leaving cereal out.
 
Pancake Man believes that it is not socially acceptable for a mature adult to eat Cocoa Puffs.
 
Lauren Knox records her Science Fair presentation (including PowerPoint), demonstrating that generic cereals get soggier than name-brand ones.
 

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Kellogg's and King Kong

In case you haven't seen them, Kellogg's is promoting the new King Kong movie on some of its boxes:


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal

A trip down memory lane!
 
Here's a link to watch a commerical from the late 80's of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal from Ralston:
 
 

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Breakfast Candy

The Sacramento Bee newspaper has a brief, but interesting article (reprinted at journalnow.com) that examines the place of cereal within our culture. Essentially, "cereal appeals to our inner child most any time of the day".
Worth reading.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Last week was another quiet week on the blogosphere concerning cereal. But, here are some highlights:
Davey's Journal Time! features a collection of photos from old cereal boxes. Neat!
mt2d2 BlogLand ponders the normalcy of everday life, with the example that "eating cereal seems human"

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

A true cereal killer

The New York Post reports that a man threw his mother's pit bull out of a window to it's death because the dog ate his oatmeal.


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You can buy ANYTHING on ebay

I hope the Internet doesn't come to a screeching halt with everyone hitting this site once I tell you about it, but here goes anyway:
twinglesin2001 is selling a piece of Honeycomb cereal with the shape of batman in the middle of the piece. By buying this, not only will you get the cereal piece, but also the box it came in! Starting bid: $0.99.
3 .... 2 ... 1... GO get it!
(It's item 5635608586 )

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rick Dees launches "Cheerioke" Contest

A few weeks back I reported that General Mills inititated a "Cheerioke" karaoke promotion as part of its new Yogurt Burst Cheerios.
This week radio personality Rick Dees launched the contest at the Mall of America in Minneapolis as part of nationwide karaoke events.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Liquid Cereal

While introduced earlier this year, this is the first that I've come across Liquid Cereal.

Apparently its real cereal and fat free milk blended into a satisfying (?) beverage, especially for people on the go. It comes in four flavors: fruit, apple & cinnamon, peanut butter, and chocolate.
I haven't tried it, but while it is an interesting concept, I'm not convinced that it can be as good as the real thing (at least for us purists!)

LINK for BevNet review.

UPDATE 11/13/05
- After contacting the company they replied to tell me that they are currently reformulating the formula to make it better.


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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Rats love cereal!

A new study published by the American Psychological Association examines the reasons why we tend to overeat. In a study using rats, researchers discovered some of the factors that prompt people to binge eat. For example, they discovered that rats would eat a "highly palatable" chocolate breakfast cereal even when they were full, but would avoid their normal food.
 
The moral of the story: Keep your cereal away from rats!
 

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Bloggers on cereal

Compared to the previous week, last week was relatively quiet among bloggers concerning cereal. Here are a couple of noteworthy posts:
 
from rocks addressing personal growth by examining morning routines including eating cereal.
 
The Backburner does a review in "Honey Bunches of Disappointment"
 

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cereal art

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the California University of Pennsylvannia is featuring an exhibit entitled "The American Cereal Box: Designs for Kids from the 1960's-1990's" at the university's Gallery of Fine Art.
 
"The exhibit is being mounted by Cal U art professor R. Scott Lloyd. It features pieces from one of the largest collections of cereal boxes in the nation, assembled by the professor's brother, Ross Lloyd"
 
Sounds like a great trip down memory lane!
 
 

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Frankenberry, Count Chocula

It's not really new, but especially coming off of Halloween cereal lovers will appreciate this Toonlets.com modern creation of a 70's-style TV commercial for Frankenberry and Count Chocula.
 
 

 

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wheaties trivia

Wheaties has certainly created a unique position for itself because of its sports-themed boxes. Here's some Wheaties trivia from the Auburn Journal in California:
 
Wheaties have been breakfast of champions since 1933, when a sign sporting the logo was put up on the left field wall of Nicollet Park in Minneapolis, Minn. Here are a few facts about the whole-wheat flake cereal to chew on:
* Wheaties started out in 1924 as Washburn's Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes. The name was changed soon thereafter in an employee name-that-flake contest.
* Wheaties-sponsored baseball broadcasts on radio were big in the 1930s, at one time spreading to 95 stations. A broadcaster nicknamed "Dutch" in Des Moines, Iowa was voted most popular Wheaties announcer in the nation and won a trip to the Chicago Cubs training camp in California. The announcer took a screen test and the rest is history. "Dutch" was the over-the-air handle of future president Ronald Reagan.
* Bloopers were common. Both baseball ironman Lou Gehrig and heavyweight boxing champ Max Baer inadvertently blurted out over the air they were Wheaties eaters. The radio program sponsors weren't too happy. They manufactured competing cereals.
* Seven athletes have been chosen as Wheaties spokespersons. Bob Richards, a fitness crusader and two-time Olympic pole vault champion, was the first - chosen in 1958 from 500 candidates. Others have been 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medallist Bruce Jenner, gymnast Mary Lou Retton, football legend Walter Payton, tennis superstar Chris Evert, basketball star Michael Jordan and golf champion Tiger Woods.
* Gehrig was the first athlete to appear on a Wheaties box - in 1934.
* The 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins were the first team to appear on the package.
* The first female to appear on the Wheaties box was aviator Elinor Smith in 1934. Babe Didrickson appeared a year later, becoming the first female athlete to appear.
* Richards was the first athlete to appear on the front of a Wheaties box. Mary Lou Retton in 1984 was the first female athlete on the front.
* Michael Jordan has had more face time on a Wheaties box than anyone else. His Airness has been on the box 18 times.
 

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tony's Turboz

In Canada, Kellogg has introduced an innovative cereal meal replacement for kid's called Tony's Turboz. It's designed to be a complete nutrititional meal in a bowl, rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, and protein from soy.
 
This is not really a new product, as it appears to be same as "Tiger Power" which has been in the U.S. for several months now. In my limited observation, Tiger Power does not appear to have caught on, possibly because the packaging and marketing have not adequately communicated its nutritional qualities to parents. The Canadian version appears to have learned from this, and provides a much more direct message.
 
 
 
 
 

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Kellogg awarded for food donations

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Kellogg was awarded as "Donor of the Year" from the nation's largest food bank network, America's Second Harvest. Kellogg donated more than 20 million pounds of cereal and other foods to various causes, especially following Hurricane Katrina.
 
Way to go Kellogg!
 

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Cereal wars - update

In some ways the battle for the emerging cereal restaurant market is getting tiring, but it is so noteworthy that I will provide significant updates.
 
The Daily Pennsylvannian (student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvannia) provides a good overview of the current battle, and reports that Cerealogy (one of Cereality's competitors) is changing its name to avoid trademark infringement.
 
FreeCulture.org is continuing its Cereal Solidarity campaign against Cereality's insistence on business method patents, but is clarifying that it is not trying to be confrontational, and that it even likes its overall restaurant concept.
 

 

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cereality in expansion mode

Cereality has been at the center of interest for cereal enthusiasts, as their innovative cereal restaurant concept has been getting significant publicity.
 
Yesterday, the company announced that they will be pursuing more aggressive expansion beginning in 2006. They are exploring potential partnerships for franchising and licensing initiatives.
 
According to their press release they are "determined to bring the feeling of 'Always Saturday Morning(tm)" to thousands of consumers around the country quickly and in the signature 'Cereality way,' with a huge amount of choice."
 
Choice? Obviously in menu choices, but the issue of competition still remains. It appears that they are wanting to emphasize growth rather than focus on their protectionist actions. Co-founder David Roth says:

"Our response to our friends out there is that Cereality's defense of its intellectual property against copycats is, and will continue to be, aggressive," though he says that the company is shifting their attention away from an earlier defense of its pending patents and instead, focusing on the new expansion strategy. However, Roth adds that the company will closely monitor when competitors "put Cereality's brand components through a copy machine. Straight-out mimicry is just plain bad business and we have trademark protection for that sort of thing."

It is exciting to see the growth of this restaurant concept (PLEASE OPEN ONE NEAR ME!), but hopefully Cereality will realize that their success will be even greater with healthy competition. They can't afford the negative publicity of being perceived as the bully.
 
 

Monday, October 31, 2005

Not too scary

There's something wrong with this picture.
 
 
(Photo source: hollesdottir at Flickr)
 
Three classic monster cereals: Franken Berry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry. Perfect cereals for Halloween.
 
But, completely ruined by the annoying General Mills "Whole Grain" banner. I know they are wanting to burn the idea of their commitment to health in our minds, but get real. These cereals are "junk food", whole grain or not, and everyone understands that when they buy them. The banner takes the fun out of what is nothing more than fun cereals!
 
Come on, General Mills!
 

 

I couldn't resist ...

What do ghosts add to their morning cereal?
 
BooBerries
 

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Bloggers and cereal

Last week cereal was a popular topic among bloggers. Here are some noteworthy examples:
 
Guapa*Tita warms her cereal in the microwave before eating.
Vaguely Obscure wonders why cereal companies don't make a cereal just with the marshmallows in it.
Carterpalooza reflects on his strong brand loyalty to certain cereals.
In thinking about Rome, Shakespeare's Sister wonders "what pesto cereal would taste like" [YUCK!]
Adjab is somewhat critical of the karaoke commercials for Yogurt Burst Cheerios.
inkycircus believes that lawsuits aimed at McDonald's for misleading nutrition advertising could be coming to the cereal industry.
Hector Vex's Infotainment features a "Cereal of the Week Club" highligting Quisp and Quake.
My boring ass life salivates over Fruity Pebbles
my life as a mouse reflects that the bowl she uses is determined by the cereal she chooses.
 

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Many children missing breakfast

A new study by PTO Today (a national parent/teacher organization) and the American Cereal Council (an industry advocacy group) have released their lastest report on the breakfast habits of children. Evidence links "kids skipping breakfast to poor performance in the classroom". This year's study shows that "30 percent of elementary school aged children are still going to school at least one day per week on an empty stomach", and "20 percent are now going to school without breakfast twice a week".
Read the press release here.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Age and habit influence cereal choice

A new study released by Zogby International (and reported in bakeryandsnacks.com) reveals that age and habit are the key influencing factors when it comes to the type of cereal people choose to buy.
 
Some interesting tidbits:
  • General Mills is the preferred cereal brand
  • Older consumers are more likely to stick to a cereal they are used to
  • Raisin bran topped the list of consumer preference for type of cereal, followed by Cheerios.
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the favorite for those under the age of 30


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Milk and cereal

I just discovered a very interesting Internet buzz concering cereal!
 
Two college guys put together a fun music video based on a song "Milk and Cereal". With only a box of cereal and a jug of milk they lip sync the words. It's fun to watch. LINK
 
But, that's just the beginning!
 
People are enjoying it so much they are pulling their own videocams and making their own versions. Some of them are very creative. Here is a sampling of links:
 

 

Cheerioke

General Mills has setup a fun website in promotion of its Yogurt Burst Cheerios. www.cheerioke.com gives you the opportunity to do karaoke with a twist. You create a virtual star and then sing a song into your computer microphone or on the phone. You then can play back the song with the Cheerioke star lip-syncing to your voice. A creative promotion for generating brand awareness.
 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cereal as comfort food

Mike Marsee writes a great article today in the Advocate Messenger of Danville, KY entitled: "The Light Side: Nothing Beats the Crunch".
A brief, yet insightful look at the love of cereal.

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Bizarre Cereal analogy

As an important part of our culture, cereal can be easily drawn upon as an analogy or metaphor. Here's one of the more bizarre one's that I've come across:

In the Des Moines (Iowa) Register today a man on trial for murder tried to use a cereal analogy to convince the jury that there was a conspiracy against him.

Brandow, testifying Monday as the final witness in his own first-degree murder trial, asked a Polk County jury to think of his situation as a bowl of cereal gone bad after its preparer left the room.

If you're home alone, Brandow said, you certainly can't prove that someone tampered with your breakfast while you went to answer the phone. But if the cereal tasted wrong, you'd still pour it down the sink and start over.

"These are the kind of scenarios I feel that conspiracies can be proved on," Brandow said.
The jury disagreed.


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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Significant postings regarding cereal from the past week:
green LA girl provides a passion for Puffins, the cereal and the bird.
feralboy.com asks: "Eating Chex Mix first thing in the morning is the same as having cereal, right?"
The Continuing Adventures of Rebekah Rose can't get cereal TV commericals of her mind.
garyarbusto is working on a "cereal killer" Halloween costume.
all together now provides reflections from the cereal aisle

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Cereal" road rage

The Newton Tab reports cereal used in a road rage incident.
 
A 55-year old man "tossed a bowl of corn flakes and milk" at another man's car after an altercation.
 
I don't know about you, but I always have a bowl of cereal and milk with my in my car!
 

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cereal offenders

The Sydney Morning Herald reports of a controversy brewing in Australia over a popular children's TV personality, Monica Trapaga. "All because she appears in an ad for Coco Pops, the innocuous sugary breakfast cereal that some parents' groups are treating as if it were crack cocaine."

Sugared cereals have long been the target of health activists. The newspaper columnist reporting this story sums it up well:

"If you stuff your face with fattening food and don't do any exercise, you have no one to blame but yourself when you get fat. And if parents cave in to children demanding Coco Pops for breakfast every morning, that's not the fault of television or the government. It's because they won't say 'No'."


"Cereal Solidarity" update

Earlier this I posted about "Cereal Solidarity", a movement by FreeCulture to protest the move of Cereality to bully other upstart cereal restaurants with the use of business method patents. Today, FreeCulture reports that "Cereal Solidarity is picking up steam", with over 200 signatures on their online petition only after a few days. I've also noticed a number of bloggers pick-up the story, with everyone (that I've read) against Cereality's tactics.

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cereal trivia

The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle has compiled a list of interesting cereal trivia, including:
 

• In 1941, General Mills introduced Cheerioats as "The breakfast food you've always wanted." Four years later, the name was changed to Cheerios.

• One out of every 11 boxes of cereal sold is a Cheerios-type cereal.

• Cap'n Crunch's full name is Horatio Q. Crunch. The character was invented in 1963, before the cereal was created. Cap'n Crunch was made in response to a survey of kids who said they hated soggy cereal. Cap'n Crunch is the No. 1 pre-sweetened kids cereal in the U.S.

• Life cereal hit the market in 1961. The famous "Let Mikey try it" commercial aired from 1972 through '84. It was the longest-running commercial in television history.

• Quisp, the saucer-shaped corn cereal, was launched in 1965. It was reintroduced in 1999 to appeal to the baby boomers who ate it as kids.

• In 1937, Wheaties held a contest for most popular baseball announcer. Ronald Reagan won the contest and a trip to California. While there, he was asked to do a screen test for Warner Bros., which kicked off his movie career.

• Kellogg's Corn Flakes were accidentally invented in 1894 by Will Keith Kellogg. A Seventh-day Adventist and a vegetarian, Kellogg was looking for a way to improve the diets of vegetarian hospital patients. He dried softened wheat and it turned into thin flakes.

• In 1910, W.K. Kellogg bought a full-page ad in Ladies' Home Journal announcing the first cereal premium, a book called "The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book."


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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cereal Solidarity

Over the past few months I have been watching with interest the startup of new cereal restaurants, with Cereality as the one getting the most press. As I've indicated, Cereality is feeling threatened by the the newer ones, such as The Cereal Bowl and Cerealogy, and has itself threatened legal action if they believe their ideas are being copied.
 
Not everyone is impressed with this bullying, or with the patent-madness that has overtaken some industries. FreeCulture.org, "an international student movement for free culture", has taken this cause on and have created a website project called "Cereal Solidarity".  They believe that "If these patents are approved by the U.S. Patent Office, Cereality would have a complete monopoly on cereal bar business--just for being the first to put together the legalese necessary to describe mixing breakfast cereal."  Ultimately, they believe it "isn't just about cereal. It's about whether or not people should be able to claim an exclusive right on mundane ideas that any eight-year-old could think of. And it's about the future of American enterpreneurship."
 
Their solution to the problem is:
  • "We're asking Cereality to withdraw their patent application. (An apology would be nice, too.)
  • "If Cereality insists on continuing, we're asking the Patent Office to reject the application.
  • "And to solve the problem once and for all, we're asking Congress to eliminate business method patents altogether."
They are also urging people to sign their online peitition.
 
It's getting interesting! I am wondering if Cereality could be creating a PR disaster that will destroy their reputation in the business world and among consumers. At this early stage in the growth of this restaurant concept there is room for a number of players. May the companies that best meet the needs of consumers succeed!

 

Video cereal boxes?

Interesting story, "Mum, my Cereal's Talking", published today in the Australian newspaper, The Age:
 
"...get ready for boxes of cereal that extol their virtues via a built-in video display, and chocolate bars that flash to attract attention.

Siemens has announced a new colour display screen so thin and flexible it can be printed on to paper or foil, and so cheap it can be used on throw-away packaging."

This would add a whole new dimension to "reading" the cereal box while eating breakfast!


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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Significant postings regarding cereal from this past week:
 
Numbing the pain on the hour ..Every hour proposes salty cereal instead of just sugared ones. For me, salt doesn't have provide the same "pick-me-up" like sugar!
 
Deals that are Nifty by Sister Thrifty gives tips on how to save money by using all of the cereal packaging. For example, the box for placemats, and the liners for lining shelves, etc. Thrifty, but tacky!
 
Lennon & McCartney ponders the deep mysteries of eating cereal in an "Ode to Cereal".
 
Breakfast photos (including cereal!) can be found on the following Flickr site: The Cereal Offenders & Breakfast Fiends Pool.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cereal Sunday (Halloween)

A couple of months ago I reported on Cereal Sunday events that are being held in Orlando, FL. Here's another report (from OrlandoCityBeat) from their recent Halloween event. A creative for adults to rediscover their inner child!

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Cereal restaurant battle heating up

I have been monitoring the recent birthing of cereal restaurants. Cereality seems to have invented the concept, but copycats are appearing. The Cereal Bowl was the first, and now Cerealogy Cereal Cafe in Iowa (as reported in The Daily Iowan).
Cereality is worried and is threatening lawsuits if the imitators come to close. It's going to be an interesting battle to watch, especially as the concept grows across the country.
Who knows, maybe these restaurants will be as common as hamburger joints today?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cereal on "Good Food"

marc posted on a comment on that deserves special attention.
 
He recommends listening to the August 27th edition "Good Food", a radio program on KCRW in Santa Monica, CA. Featured on the program (beginning at the 6:40 mark) is an interview with David Hoffman, author of the Breakfast Cereal Gourmet (referenced earlier). Interesting history and information.
 
LINK here for the broadcast.

 

More on "The Cereal Bowl"

Last month I reported on the latest chain of cereal bar restaurants: The Cereal Bowl.
 
The Miami Herald has published several articles and sidebars on The Cereal Bowl, the lastest entrant into this hot new trend.
 
 
 
 
PLUS: Read a copy of The Cereal Bowl's business plan.(PDF)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

It's been a quiet week in the world of cereal.
 
But, bloggers keep posting their experiences with and reflections on cereal. Here are significant postings from this past week:
 
Marketing guru Seth Godin reflects on the limited variety of cereals that hotels, restaurants, etc. offer their customers, and the advantages (for both sides!) in offering more choices.
 
chibistarlette complains about the dried fruit in many cereals. "They're like styrofoam!"
 
offcentercrew rants about the "soggy mushy hell" practical joke that cereal companies create for you when you use the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.
 
modernmedicine reviews Post Marshmallow Mania Pebbles, granting a "thumbs down".

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Lucky Charms website

General Mills has recently launched a new flash-based website centered around its Lucky Charms cereal. It's a well-crafted site, obviously targeted to children, that portrays an enchanted image reinforcing the theme of Lucky Charms.
 
 

 

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Halloween cereal

Over the last few years Kellogg has done a brillant job of marketing Halloween-themed cereals. It is an excellent way for them to maintain distinctive brand identity and loyalty in the midst of increased competition, especially from generics.
This year is no exception. Leading up to the ghoulish occasion three boxes have appeared on U.S. grocer's shelves:
Ghoulish Special Edition Froot Loops crawling with Marshmallow Monster Parts
Creepy Special Edition Cocoa Krispies crawling with Marshmallow Monster Parts
CinnaScary Special Edition Apple Jacks with CinnaMon-Shaped Marshmallows

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cereal as "junk food"?

An long-standing debate among nutritionists and parents is the concern about the nutritional quality of many high-sugared breakfast cereals, especially as they impact children.
 
Many people ignore the debate. Others are concerned, but do little about it. And, a vocal segment of the population are insistent that sugared cereals are nothing more than "junk food".
 
One such example of the latter is Dr. Marion Nestle (ironic name!), a Nutrition Professor New York University. In an article at Health Lies Exposed, Dr. Nestle attacks the first amendment right to advertise to children, and points out that food companies are now "afraid that they may have to have warning labels on their foods, jut [sic] like cigarette companies have on their cigarettes."
 
In her mind, "a sugary breakfast cereal is a cookie... - they are desserts in disguise".
 

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal from this past week:
 
apogeeperigee ponders the phrase "part of this complete breakfast", and what a "real" breakfast often looks like.
 
Not the first time I've come across this, but ellemichelle1 is planning a cereal party where people get together to eat various cereals and enjoy other activities like watching movies.
 
Cindy Rushton's Desk(TOP) shares experiences from the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina, and discovering ants in their cereal! YUCK!
 

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Rolling Stones and Rice Krispies

The Wow Report is featuring a 1960's commercial jingle for Rice Krispies sung by the Rolling Stones.
Enjoy the nostalgia and the music! Listen here.

UPDATED 3/7/06: Now in video format at: http://ad-rag.com/128833.php


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tony the Tiger gets fit?

Kellogg launched "Get in Step" today, a program designed to give "families a simple plan that can help improve their health, get them more active, and help them take control of their weight". To kick off the program, Tony the Tiger led a walk down Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
 
Apart from the inconsistency related to its sugared cereals, this is another good marketing move for Kellogg, especially as they work to regain the confidence of consumers following the recent low-carb craze.
 
A "Get Fit Kit" can be obtained at http://www.kelloggs.com/promotions/getinstep/kit.shtml.
 
The news release is here.

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The "Cheerio Effect"

Scientists have discovered why floating things (like Cereal in a bowl of milk) tend to clumb together or cling to the sides of the bowl. They have named this phenomenon as the "Cheerio Effect".
 
The research, reported at MSNBC, explains this effect by three physics concepts: buoyancy, surface tension, and the meniscus effect.
 
More to ponder as you eat your cereal tomorrow morning!
 

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Bacon Crunch Bars

Here 's recipe from The Bacon Show (but originally of Kraft Foods) for an interesting recipe using Grape Nuts cereal:

BACON CRUNCH BARS

makes 32 servings, 1 bar each

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 cups Grape Nuts cereal
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray; set aside. Mix sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for two minutes or just until mixture boils, stirring every minute.

Combine cereal and bacon. Add to corn syrup mixture; mix until well blended.

Press cereal mixture firmly into prepared pan. Cool. Lift bars from pan, using foil handles. Remove foil. Cut into 32 bars to serve.

 

Monday, September 26, 2005

General Mills Big G Cereal Club Coupons

General Mills has started the Big G Cereal Club, which will allow you to print up to $60.00 worth of coupons over the next year.
 
Good loyalty strategy, from a marketing perspective!

 

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal from this past week:
 
consciouslove reflects on how cereal (Grape Nuts in this example) as comfort food can elicit memories to good and simpler times in the past.
 
Pete's Space provides a brief comment on how Kellogg's Variety Packs "suck" - that is, they lack the variety they were once know for. Ditto!
 

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More on personalization

Recently I have reported and commented on the prospects of cereal manufacturers customizing personalized boxes as a way to tap into new markets and reinforce existing ones.While there is still a ways to go with this, Kelloggs appears to be in the lead producing small run boxes. Here's another example, with a local box being distributed in New York to recognize students who won from Monroe College at the national Students in Free Enterprise competition, as reported in the New York Daily News.
 

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Do you know what you are eating?

There are some crazy people in this world:
 
A Wisconsin grocery store owner purchased bear bait, repackaged it, and sold it as breakfast cereal.
 
Read story here.
 

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End of low carb cereal?

Report today that General Mills is discontinuing its low-carbohydrate Total Protein cereal, convinced the low-carb trend (e.g. Atkins diet) is waning, and will be replacing it with higher- carbohydrate Total cereals with fruit, vanilla yogurt and toasted honey.
 
It's amazing how consumers jump around to different fads. Cereal is all about carbs, but obviously people wanted to believe they were going low-carb, when in fact, a low-carb cereal still has a substantial number of carbs.
 
In related news, General Mills reported increased earnings in its latest quarter. But, cereal sales have decreased by 4%. CEO Steve Sanger, however, believes that the cereal business will grow in the future with the decline in low-carb diets.
 

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Personalized Cereal Boxes?

The Greenock Telgraph (U.K.) tells the story of Provost Ciano Rebecchi, who received a personalized box of Frosted Flakes from Kellogg's in the U.S. This incident raises an idea for me. With the movement towards "instant publishing", cereal manufacturers should take advantage of the interest in personalized goods and make personalized boxes for people. For example, customized boxes for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, local sports teams, etc. Why not?

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Cereologists

Trivia: Did you know that Cereality servers are called "cereologists"?
 

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More cereal in restaurants

Lately, we've been keeping you up-to-date with the growing towards cereal restaurants, led by Cerealilty. Otthers are jumping on the bandwagon with cereal-based restaurants, and now it appears that existing restaurants are trying to add the concept to their existing menus. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that Bucks County Coffee, a regional chain, will start offering " nine Kellogg's varieties topped with fruit served on the spot or in grab-and-go containers. Customers can choose from whole, skim and soy milk poured from self-serve milk dispensers into cartons."
 

 

Kids rock for Quaker Oatmeal?

Adfreak.com reports that Quaker Oats has developed a new commercial featuring a pre-teen rock group called the Blisters. It's a fun commercial that truly identifies cereal with children.
 
They cut the following line from the commercial: "Oatmeal makes you rock more efficiently".
 
View the commercial HERE.

 

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal in the last week:
 
Sugar Spun Sista suggests eating Banana Nut Crunch Cereal dipped in Godiva praline chocolate spread!
 
Dinonat is setting a new fashion trend, making purses from cereal boxes. (picture included)
 

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Fun Facts About Cereal

Fun facts about cereal, from the American Cereal Council:
  • Cereal was invented when colonial housewives started serving up popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast.  Yum!
  • Of the more than 294 million people in the U.S, 49% start their day with a bowl of cereal.
  • The word cereal comes from Cerealia, the name of ancient Roman ceremonies that honored Ceres, the goddess of grain.
  • The average American eats 160 bowls of cereal each year.
  • One bushel of wheat will make 53 boxes of cereal.
  • 85% of all protein consumed throughout the world is provided by grains such as wheat, corn, rice, millet, rye, barley, and sorghum – those that are often found in cereal.
  • The first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal was invented in 1863 by James C. Jackson. It was a form of whole grain flour dough baked into dry leaves, broken into chunks and baked again, and then ground into still smaller chunks.
  • U.S. and Israeli researchers have just found strong evidence that humans refined wheat and barley into cereal 23,000 years ago. If true, the discovery suggests humans were processing grains long before hunter-gather societies developed agriculture.
  • Astronauts from Apollo 11 boosted their brain power while in space with a cereal breakfast. The cereal was mixed with fruit and pressed into cubes since the lack of gravity kept the astronauts from pouring it into a bowl with milk.
  • Breakfast cereal is the third most popular item sold in grocery stores after carbonated beverages and milk.
  • The USDA recommends 6 to 11 servings of grains in a daily diet and a bowl of cereal is a source of grains.
  • There are 2.7 billion packages of cereal sold every year – that’s enough boxes to wrap around the Earth thirteen times.

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