I was an early proponent of General Mills doing something to breathe new life into Wheaties, a brand with a clear identity and so much more potential. I believe that FUEL was the right move.
But, I'm not convinced that FUEL has been as successful as General Mills had hoped. I have no hard sales data to back this up, but based on my own observations it doesn't appear that the cereal has rocketed to great significance in the mind of most consumers, especially men. Interestingly, (and, again, pure observation) it appears that traditional Wheaties may have benefited from this launch.
I give General Mills credit for creative marketing. They assembled a star cast of athletes, and leveraged social networking like no other cereal previously marketed. But, I think there is one flaw in their execution: The cereal itself.
I don't like to comment much on cereal taste because it is largely subjective, but in my opinion and in the comments I hear from others I talk to, FUEL is not a knock-out cereal for the tastebuds. Despite all the claims for providing energy, etc. the cereal must be an enjoyable eating experience. It's not a bad tasting cereal, it just doesn't stand out as anything special. Ultimately, even macho men want to eat something that they truly enjoy first thing in the morning.
The Wheaties FUEL story is not over, and I hope that General Mills works at this more. It's a great concept.
What do you think about Wheaties FUEL?
Technorati Tags: cereal, General+Mills, Wheaties, FUEL, marketing, breakfastbowl