Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wheaties FUEL in stores

I've been watching with interest the recent "evolution" of Wheaties which has resulted in their new formula targeted to men and their quest for athletic performance. Six months after being first announced Wheaties FUEL is now for sale in many grocery stores across the U.S. The cereal comes in three different boxes, featuring some of the new athletic endorsers: Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning, and Albert Pujols.

What is surprising me is the apparent lack of aggressive advertising. Although to give them credit they have certainly been marketing through less conventional means such as newer media. This includes a revamped website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It will be interesting to see how these approaches work, and how the cereal overall is received, especially by men.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Custom Choice - extreme niche

Right around the time of my head-to-head comparison of the two leading U.S. custom cereal companies another one was in the early phases of launching. But, this one has a definite twist to it. Custom Choice Cereal follows the same basic model: Create your own cereal online and it will be shipped to you, but it is has a very unique aspect to it: All their ingredients are gluten-free, and the cereal is mixed in a dedicated facility.

This is probably good news for celiacs who have trouble finding quality, good-tasting foods. I wonder, however, if this is a much too narrow niche for a cereal company following this model. Is this just another company following the latest fad, or does this represent a growing trend that will truly represent the future of cereal?

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Monday, January 04, 2010

The skinny on Special K

It's January and many people are experiencing guilt from Holiday excess and resolving to remove the extra pounds and inches. Of course, there are many diets and fitness plans vying for our dollars. And, in recent, years Kellogg's Special K cereal and other food spin-offs has become one of those options.

This week a new set of ads are being launched targeting women and their self-identities. Entitled "Be Victorious", the focus has an emotional appeal, not a rational one. In fact, the Special K logo and products are not shown at all in the ads, just a subtle reminder to "take the Special K challenge".

The rebirth of Special K as a dieting system has been a tremendous success for Kellogg. The brand is stronger now than ever. The real question remains, however, with the weight loss market very fickle, how long can this emphasis last? Will women looking to lose weight really get the results they desire, especially over the long-term, or will they move to the next big thing and leave Special K a languishing brand?

Time will tell.

Source: New York Times (Note: I am quoted in the article)

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

What cereal to eat

It's the beginning of another year, and if you're tired of the same old cereal maybe it's time to try something new. If you need help here's a fun flow-chart from Eating the Road: LINK. Hardly scientific, but nevertheless fun!

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