Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: Kellogg's Origins

Earlier this year Kellogg announced Origins, a new line intended to tap into the growing market for more natural and healthy cereals, and as attempt to turn around the sales struggles that the company has had. While the six varieties making up the brand have been showing up in stores for several months already, more recently their presence has been noticeable with significant shelf space and deliberate marketing.

It's time to give these cereals a spin in the bowl and see what they're really like. With six different products to choose from, this will not be a detailed and rated review on each product like I've done with other cereals, but a more general overview of how Kellogg is doing with this new venture.

With Origins Kellogg, not quite sure of what will really work, does not want to miss any opportunities. There are actually three categories: cereal, granola and muesli; and two of each of those:

  • Fruit & Nut Blend Cereal
  • Ancient Grains Blend Cereal
  • Raisin Apple Granola
  • Cranberry Almond with Pumpkin Seeds Granola
  • Apricot Cashew Coconut with Raisins & Almonds Muesli
  • Raisin Apricot Cranberry with Pumpkin Seeds Muesli

On first glance Origins products definitely stand out. The Kellogg's name is boldly emblazoned on the front and the red theme gives these products a distinct look apart from what the other big companies are offering at this time. The one puzzling aspect of the packaging is that the Origins story is not as pronounced as it could be. Sure, on the back they talk about "Real food, prepared simply" but more could be done in the overall design to convey the natural, wholesome nature of the cereals. I'm not convinced that the average consumer will pick up on this.

The emphasis with Origins is on wholesome and nutritious. They are clear to point out features like the lack of artificial flavors and hydrogenated oils, and the quantities of fiber and whole grains. While there is a certain simplicity to the ingredient list, the nutritious virtue is not perfect. For example, sugar content is still higher than ideal (> 20% of weight).

From the taste samples that I have had, I can say that these are certainly pleasant eating. Being naturally focused, they don't want overpowering flavors, but the blends they have come up with are tasty. The sweetness level helps as well. But, these are far from knock-out recipes, although the mueslis may be the most interesting.

In the end, Kellogg's Origins are a solid new offering that you should at least try. Whether they turn around Big K's fortunes is yet to be seen, but they may have found a way to attract consumers looking for healthier cereals who might not be ready to jump to their nerdy Kashi line.

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