Friday, January 25, 2008

Digestion niche

Starting with the Kellogg Sanitarium over 140 years ago, cereal has been considered a health food. Certainly the highly sugared and artificial flavored versions of recent decades seems to contradict that, there has always been a strong contingent of cereals designed to promote health. High fiber cereals (such as All-Bran) and the recent marketing of cereals for weight loss (e.g. Special K) are but two examples.

Consistent with the popularity of yogurt, a relatively new twist in the cereal aisle has been the introduction of pre- and pro-biotic cereals.

In 2006, Kashi introduced Vive, the first pro-biotic cereal. "Pro" biotics are live lactobacillus bacteria that naturally assist digestion in the intestinal tract.

Within the last month Kraft has introduced a line of pre-biotic foods, including a cereal, under the Live-Active brand name. "Pre-biotics" are special fibers that enhance the proliferation of friendly probiotics.

The key point in all this is that focusing on health niches is a good strategy for cereal companies, especially when they can be innovators in the industry.

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finky the kid said...

Quite interesting. Being the cereal guru you are, I thought I'd ask if you know anything about what happened to Kellogg's Organic Frosted Miniwheats? I stopped seeing them on the shelves about halfway through 2007 for some reason. And I can't even get "mini wheats" to come up in a search on the Kellogg's website. The organics were the only "frosted" shredded wheat cereal on the market that didn't have gelatin in them. I miss them! thanks!

Lloyd said...

Good question. It appears to me that the entire Kellogg's Organic line has quietly disappeared, including Rice Krispies, etc. Perhaps Kellogg realizes that it can't compete with its own Kashi line.

Pippi said...

Funny, I was wondering about the whereabouts of the organic krispies myself. This was one of the only things I could find.
Perhaps I should call Kellogg's today.
I'm sad that they are gone. It can be tough to find a simple organic cereal that my children will eat. The organic krispies fit that bill, perfectly.