Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year - New Health Emphasis

It's that time of year. Holiday excess has us feeling extra full and guilty, and we're resolved to begin the New Year with an emphasis on health and fitness. Marketers of food, exercise equipment, gyms, etc. are quick to take advantage of this momentary blip of sanity that invades our life before we return to the lifestyle patterns that contribute to our demise.

With 2016 now almost here, the cereal companies are poised to take advantage of the New Year's health craze. It can be argued that healthier cereals are already becoming more and more the trend, but to launch these in late December / early January is perfect timing. This year there are at least two notable examples appearing on grocery store shelves.

General Mills is putting its bets on a massive launch of an expanded Nature Valley line of oat cereals. Nature Valley is already a strong brand, but up to this point has been mainly about cereal bars, granola and muesli. Now, they have three new more conventional breakfast cereals: Honey Oat Clusters, Chocolate Oat Clusters, and Baked Oat Bites. The latter looks particularly interesting, and I will review it in the near future.

Kellogg, already having introduced its Origins line earlier this year, is of course placing its emphasis on its Special K brand of cereals and other food products. Previously the company tried to position Special K as a diet food, but came to its senses over a year ago recognizing that a broader health focus is the way to go. For 2016 they have introduced two new cereals under the "Nourish" sub-brand, both of which are multi-grain flakes with trendy quinoa. Flavors are: Apple Raspberry Almond, and Coconut Cranberry Almond.

These new offerings will have to compete with all the other health oriented cereals that are taking over the grocery aisle, but for health conscious consumers they may provide something new and novel to try before going back to their Lucky Charms and Froot Loops in a few weeks.

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