Friday, October 22, 2010

Cracks in the cereal bowl

Just a few weeks ago there were some reports, at least from General Mills, that these were good times for cereal. But, new reports this week suggest that the picture is far from bright.

Kellogg's announced that sales are down 4% and cuts its earnings outlook. A UBS Securities analyst suggests that overall cereal is a sluggish performer right now, possibly due to fewer innovations, the effects of the current economic conditions, and even Kellogg's recall this year.

Also announced this week are upcoming price increases from General Mills and Kraft, largely due to higher grain prices. These increases are likely to further impact cereal sales as consumers look to alternatives.

All these developments suggest that we could be in for some dramatic changes in the cereal aisle in the next year. The question is, will the big cereal companies continue to lose ground as consumers shift their allegiances and preferences to more focused brands that offer perceive value?

I'll be watching.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cereal leftovers

Here are some recent cereal related items that caught my attention that didn't make the cut for a full blog post:

Los Angeles Times reports that police raided marijuana dispensaries and found pot-laced breakfast cereals and candy bars. Froot Loopy?

Charlotte Observer reports that a gay rights group is sending Representative Larry Brown almost 300 boxes of Froot Loops because of remarks he made about gays.

The Huffington Post features a look at pop stars and compares each of them to a breakfast cereal. For example, Katy Perry as Froot Loops.

What's with Froot Loops this week?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It's that time of year again for one of the rituals of fall: Halloween. And, for years cereal manufacturers have capitalized on the opportunity by introducing special themed cereals and boxes. But, none are as successful as the monster franchise from General Mills, Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry. Despite the rather disgusting nature of the two fruit flavored varieties, each year the box is updated with a new design making them an attractive diversion for consumers and essential purchases for collectors.

This year I have noticed another interesting Halloween development in the cereal world. As I mentioned last week I have seen Wheaties halloween costumes for sale. I hope that this does NOT become an annual tradition!

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Cereal leftovers

A few years ago I occasionally listed significant tidbits of cereal information and reflections that were interesting but not necessarily worthy of an individual post or in-depth comment. I haven't done it since, but I'm going to get back into the routine since there are many of these types of items that I come across each week that you might find interesting.

So, here are some recent cereal related items that caught my attention:

Physics Central explains the physics of cereal in your bowl

On ebay I've noticed Wheaties Halloween Costumes. Scary? (Georgia) reports that a man found a used tampon in his cereal and is suing the the store and manufacturer.

mental_floss provides a great overview of the stories behind some well-known cereal mascots

On the subject of cereal mascots, Jon Adams' City Cyclops has come up with a mascot image mashup of 16 cereal characters.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Cereal box FAIL

There has been considerable buzz over the past few days over the phone number error that was printed on boxes of Ochocinco Cereal, a custom cereal featuring Cincinnati Bengals' Chad Ochocinco. Consumers were encouraged to phone the Feed the Children charity, but a misprint directed callers instead to a phone sex line. This is the second time in less than two years that a cereal was caught misdirecting innocent breakfast eaters to a surprise telephone sex encounter.

The company who manufactures the cereal, PLB, will be correcting the mistake.


(Source: Reuters)

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