Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. My last question was: "Who is your favorite current cereal character? (FINAL PLAYOFF)"

Here are the results:

Tony the Tiger - 43%
Cap'n Crunch & Trix (tie) - 14%
Sugar Bear - 11%
Dig'Em & Fred Flintstone and Barney (tie) - 7%
Sonny the Cuckoo Bird - 4%

NOTE: Technically, Dig 'Em received the highest number of votes, but it was apparent that despite the features preventing it, someone spammed my poll on Sunday with 28 votes. I've disregarded 27 of them.

My take on the above results: No surprise. It was no concept. Without question Tony is the most popular cereal character today and ever. Case closed.

Here's the question for this week:

Now it's time for our next question. Cereal is more than breakfast food for many people. So, to confirm this assertion, "When do you commonly eat cereal?"


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cereal as dessert

Cereal has long been a snack favorite at any time of the day, and there are hundreds of dessert recipes incorporating cereal as a primary ingredient. But, now cereal could become even more popular for those with a sweet tooth.

The Cereal Bowl restaurant chain has recently introduced a new line of menu item featuring cereal as a "wonderful new dessert experience". For example, there is Strawberry Cheesecake Oatmeal, "A delicious combination of old fashioned oatmeal, Strawberries, and The Cereal Bowl’s own proprietary Graham Bites and Cheesecake recipes".

Sounds delicious!

Certainly the recent development of cereal restaurants will promote and increase cereal consumption at various times of the day and occasions, but this recent development is a much more blatant step that truly recognizes the true versatility of cereal.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Where's the fruit?

Today's San Francisco Chronicle has an article reporting on a study released by the The Prevention Institute and the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments (who comes up with these titles?). The report reveals that more than half of children's foods purported to contain fruit actually have little or no fruit in them. They did not consider real fruit flavoring or less than 10% fruit juice as qualifying as containing fruit (So even some of the newer cereals claiming to be more natural, such as Fruity Cheerios, are in their eyes no big deal). Of course, this matter is not just limited to cereals.

The topic raises a number of issues, ranging from truth-in-advertising to marketing to children to nutrition. Not the first time that cereal has been implicated.

By the way, here are the cereals that made their "no fruit" list: Berry Berry Kix, Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries, Froot Loops, Fruity Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles, and Trix.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cereal and bloggers

Here are some noteworthy blog postings concerning cereal from the past few weeks:

Finding Salihah shares a mother's experience resulting from the cut-out hole as part of a free book promotion recently in Cheerios.

V^3 ponders the merits of cereal as a late night snack.

The Chicagoist doesn't get the new chocolate flavored cereals.

Cereal Buzz's latest review: Cocoa Krispies Choconilla

danxishere is frustrated with General Mills tampering with the shapes and colors in Trix and Lucky Charms

aghrivaine proposes a cereal version of the "beer helmet"

Ed South waxes nostalgic on some obscure cereals of the past, and then offers his opinions on the new Disney cereals. tries to create a popcorn cereal.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

First look at new Disney cereals

As announced a couple of months ago, after working with Kellogg and then trying on their own, Disney now has a licensing agreement with General Mills.

General Mills website now has pictures and information on the first three new Disney cereals, presumably to hit store shelves soon: Little Einstein's Fruity Stars, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Berry Crunch, and Princess Fairytale Flakes.

Certainly a step up from Disney's disastrous attempt to launch their own cereal brand.

Also, interesting to note that these new cereals are slightly more nutritionally sound than most typical children's cereals, although much of this is merely marketing.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch

I don't typically report on every new cereal that comes along, especially those from the fringe companies. But this one I couldn't resist.

Health cereal manufacturer, Nature's Path, has announced the introduction of Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch. I haven't seen the cereal yet on my grocers' shelves, so I haven't tried it. But the name alone has me intrigued.

Sure it sounds healthy. But it's also creative, especially with an ingredient not commonly used in cereal: pumpkin.

Maybe mainline cereal companies need to learn a lesson from Nature's Path. You don't have to resort to gimmicks to get attention. Create a unique, cereal that also tastes great and could have a real winner.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "Who is your favorite current Post or Quaker cereal character?"

Here are the results:

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble - 40%
Cap'n Crunch & Sugar Bear (tie) - 27%
Quisp - 7%
A,B and C - 0%

My take on the above results: I'm shocked. I thought the Cap'n would run away with it, but obviously the star power of Fred and Barney is too great!

Here's the question for this week:

Now it's time for our CEREAL CHARACTER FINAL PLAYOFF. Using the top two winners from our previous rounds, here is your chance to vote for your favorite cereal character from among all brands. So, "Who is your favorite current cereal character? (FINAL PLAYOFF)"


Sunday, January 14, 2007

NEW Cocoa Krispies Choconilla

A couple of days ago I reported on Kellogg's new Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries, but it is not the only new Krispies offering. A more sugared option is also now available: Cocoa Krispies Choconilla, a "blend of chocolate and vanilla flavors". Hardly innovative, but definitely inline with the trend toward more chocolaty cereals.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

NEW: Kellogg's Rice Krispies with Real Strawberries

In an age of culinary convenience, Kellogg has launched a new version of Rice Krispies that includes strawberries. Not the delicious, fresh kind that taste great in cereal, but the freeze-dried ones that add flavor but not like the real thing.

Look for them in your grocers' aisles soon.

More information at: press release and website.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cereality expands to airports

Cereal restaurant pioneer, Cereality, has announced that it is expanding its concepts to airports. Previously, Cereality restaurants were found primarily on college campuses, targeting college students who enjoy eating cereal anytime of day. With a new location in Newark, and ones opening soon at JFK in New York and in Chicago, Cereality is targeting a new market: travelers.

Great idea. I can't wait to fly into one of those airports!

Story from the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kellogg closes Cereal City USA

According to the Battle Creek Enquirer Kellogg announced this week that it is closing its Cereal City USA immediately.

Cereal City was a unique attraction, highlighting cereal past and present, but failed to capture the visitors it was hoping for. It opened in 1998 but attendance slipped dramatically in recent years.

An unfortunate loss of a cereal monument.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The failure of mixed messages

I hate to say "I told you so", but a recent move by General Mills makes it awfully tempting!

Reports this week (see reveal that General Mills is giving up on reduced-sugar children's cereals. Specifically, the "healthier" versions of Trix and Cocoa Puffs will be discontinued due to low sales. Obviously parents are not buying the lower-sugar alternatives.

I have long asserted that "fun" cereals cannot be repositioned as healthier without serious consequences for the brand. People who want Trix or Cocoa Puffs will buy them as they are despite their nutritional inadequacies. If one wants low sugar, high fibre, etc. then the place to go is to one of the many health-oriented cereals on the grocers shelves. Everyone knows that despite the claims Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, etc. will never be the best nutritional choices, regardless of how they are modified or marketed.

Also, read comments at: The Motley Fool

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "Who is your favorite current General Mills cereal character?"

Here are the results:

Trix - 38%
Sonny the Cuckoo Bird - 21%
Lucky the Leprechaun - 17%
Boo Berry - 13%
Count Chocula & Franken Berry (tie) - 8%

My take on the above results: People love the crazy rabbit. I thought Lucky would get more votes, but he is quite annoying.

Here's the question for this week:

I am interested to find out who your favorite cereal character is. For this round, we will deal with current characters and each week deal with one company at a time. So, for this week: "Who is your favorite current Post or Quaker cereal character?"


Monday, January 01, 2007

Cereal and bloggers

Happy New Year cereal lovers!

Here's my latest recap of some interesting blog postings concerning cereal discovered in recent weeks:

Serendipity Mine writes on the joys of buying cereal because of the boxes.

The Blog of Justice contemplates burnt Corn Flakes

Tony wonders why he no longer eats "fun" cereals.

From the Mind of Aliya discovers the disappointment of buying cheap cereal.

Cereal Buzz regularly reviews cereals, including the following most recently: Special K Protein Plus, Trader Joe's Organic Honey Macadamia Grainfest, and Frosted Flakes 1/3 Less Sugar.

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