Cereal cafes are not new - we've been monitoring them here for years. Most have been small, independent restaurants, such as one that just opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma yesterday. None, however, have really taken off, at least not nationally. In the last couple of years, however, things have changed, largely because of the attention given to Cereal Killer Cafe in London, a bold new concept that has garnered both positive and negative reactions. Kellogg must have liked what they saw, and decided to give it a try themselves. With the growing realization that cereal is quickly losing ground, especially among millennials, they have no choice but to innovate and try new strategies.
This is big news, mainly because one of the major players is involved. While this is certainly experimental, for Kellogg to seriously commit to this prototype is evidence of a willingness to step outside the box (pun intended). This is an opportunity for them to present cereal in a fresh, fun new way, and to strengthen their brand.
Here's a quick video look of Kellogg's NYC, via CBS:
Let's not be fooled. One restaurant in Times Square is not, by itself, going to turn around the plight of the cereal industry. And, of course, there are many critics out there (such as this article in the Guardian), most of them aghast over the fact that a bowl of cereal could cost as much as $7.50. Nonetheless, this is a brilliant move that could really strengthen Kellogg's brand. Instead of going after the crowded low-end of the market, by elevating cereal to the high-end, both in terms of price and gourmet-style mixtures, they have an opportunity to tell a new story about cereal and provide exciting new experiences. While we may never see Kellogg's cereal cafes as ubiquitous as McDonalds or Starbucks, a strategic expansion of these restaurants in key cities and locations across the U.S, Canada and the U.K. could invigorate new interest for cereal, not just for breakfast, but for almost any time of the day.
We'll be watching.