Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Rolling Stones and Rice Krispies

The Wow Report is featuring a 1960's commercial jingle for Rice Krispies sung by the Rolling Stones.
Enjoy the nostalgia and the music! Listen here.

UPDATED 3/7/06: Now in video format at:

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tony the Tiger gets fit?

Kellogg launched "Get in Step" today, a program designed to give "families a simple plan that can help improve their health, get them more active, and help them take control of their weight". To kick off the program, Tony the Tiger led a walk down Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Apart from the inconsistency related to its sugared cereals, this is another good marketing move for Kellogg, especially as they work to regain the confidence of consumers following the recent low-carb craze.
A "Get Fit Kit" can be obtained at
The news release is here.

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The "Cheerio Effect"

Scientists have discovered why floating things (like Cereal in a bowl of milk) tend to clumb together or cling to the sides of the bowl. They have named this phenomenon as the "Cheerio Effect".
The research, reported at MSNBC, explains this effect by three physics concepts: buoyancy, surface tension, and the meniscus effect.
More to ponder as you eat your cereal tomorrow morning!

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Bacon Crunch Bars

Here 's recipe from The Bacon Show (but originally of Kraft Foods) for an interesting recipe using Grape Nuts cereal:


makes 32 servings, 1 bar each

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 cups Grape Nuts cereal
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray; set aside. Mix sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for two minutes or just until mixture boils, stirring every minute.

Combine cereal and bacon. Add to corn syrup mixture; mix until well blended.

Press cereal mixture firmly into prepared pan. Cool. Lift bars from pan, using foil handles. Remove foil. Cut into 32 bars to serve.


Monday, September 26, 2005

General Mills Big G Cereal Club Coupons

General Mills has started the Big G Cereal Club, which will allow you to print up to $60.00 worth of coupons over the next year.
Good loyalty strategy, from a marketing perspective!


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal from this past week:
consciouslove reflects on how cereal (Grape Nuts in this example) as comfort food can elicit memories to good and simpler times in the past.
Pete's Space provides a brief comment on how Kellogg's Variety Packs "suck" - that is, they lack the variety they were once know for. Ditto!

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More on personalization

Recently I have reported and commented on the prospects of cereal manufacturers customizing personalized boxes as a way to tap into new markets and reinforce existing ones.While there is still a ways to go with this, Kelloggs appears to be in the lead producing small run boxes. Here's another example, with a local box being distributed in New York to recognize students who won from Monroe College at the national Students in Free Enterprise competition, as reported in the New York Daily News.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Do you know what you are eating?

There are some crazy people in this world:
A Wisconsin grocery store owner purchased bear bait, repackaged it, and sold it as breakfast cereal.
Read story here.

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End of low carb cereal?

Report today that General Mills is discontinuing its low-carbohydrate Total Protein cereal, convinced the low-carb trend (e.g. Atkins diet) is waning, and will be replacing it with higher- carbohydrate Total cereals with fruit, vanilla yogurt and toasted honey.
It's amazing how consumers jump around to different fads. Cereal is all about carbs, but obviously people wanted to believe they were going low-carb, when in fact, a low-carb cereal still has a substantial number of carbs.
In related news, General Mills reported increased earnings in its latest quarter. But, cereal sales have decreased by 4%. CEO Steve Sanger, however, believes that the cereal business will grow in the future with the decline in low-carb diets.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Personalized Cereal Boxes?

The Greenock Telgraph (U.K.) tells the story of Provost Ciano Rebecchi, who received a personalized box of Frosted Flakes from Kellogg's in the U.S. This incident raises an idea for me. With the movement towards "instant publishing", cereal manufacturers should take advantage of the interest in personalized goods and make personalized boxes for people. For example, customized boxes for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, local sports teams, etc. Why not?

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Monday, September 19, 2005


Trivia: Did you know that Cereality servers are called "cereologists"?

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More cereal in restaurants

Lately, we've been keeping you up-to-date with the growing towards cereal restaurants, led by Cerealilty. Otthers are jumping on the bandwagon with cereal-based restaurants, and now it appears that existing restaurants are trying to add the concept to their existing menus. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that Bucks County Coffee, a regional chain, will start offering " nine Kellogg's varieties topped with fruit served on the spot or in grab-and-go containers. Customers can choose from whole, skim and soy milk poured from self-serve milk dispensers into cartons."


Kids rock for Quaker Oatmeal? reports that Quaker Oats has developed a new commercial featuring a pre-teen rock group called the Blisters. It's a fun commercial that truly identifies cereal with children.
They cut the following line from the commercial: "Oatmeal makes you rock more efficiently".
View the commercial HERE.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal in the last week:
Sugar Spun Sista suggests eating Banana Nut Crunch Cereal dipped in Godiva praline chocolate spread!
Dinonat is setting a new fashion trend, making purses from cereal boxes. (picture included)

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Fun Facts About Cereal

Fun facts about cereal, from the American Cereal Council:
  • Cereal was invented when colonial housewives started serving up popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast.  Yum!
  • Of the more than 294 million people in the U.S, 49% start their day with a bowl of cereal.
  • The word cereal comes from Cerealia, the name of ancient Roman ceremonies that honored Ceres, the goddess of grain.
  • The average American eats 160 bowls of cereal each year.
  • One bushel of wheat will make 53 boxes of cereal.
  • 85% of all protein consumed throughout the world is provided by grains such as wheat, corn, rice, millet, rye, barley, and sorghum – those that are often found in cereal.
  • The first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal was invented in 1863 by James C. Jackson. It was a form of whole grain flour dough baked into dry leaves, broken into chunks and baked again, and then ground into still smaller chunks.
  • U.S. and Israeli researchers have just found strong evidence that humans refined wheat and barley into cereal 23,000 years ago. If true, the discovery suggests humans were processing grains long before hunter-gather societies developed agriculture.
  • Astronauts from Apollo 11 boosted their brain power while in space with a cereal breakfast. The cereal was mixed with fruit and pressed into cubes since the lack of gravity kept the astronauts from pouring it into a bowl with milk.
  • Breakfast cereal is the third most popular item sold in grocery stores after carbonated beverages and milk.
  • The USDA recommends 6 to 11 servings of grains in a daily diet and a bowl of cereal is a source of grains.
  • There are 2.7 billion packages of cereal sold every year – that’s enough boxes to wrap around the Earth thirteen times.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Just Like Heaven

Alot of talk this week about cereal restaurants!
Zap2it reports that Cereality is featuring a special cereal blend called "Tastes Like Heaven" to tie-in with the new movie "Just Like Heaven" with Reese Witherspoon. The special combination features Reese's Puffs, Special K, Reese's Pieces, fresh sliced strawberries and chocolate syrup.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cereal restaurant drama

Earlier this week I reported on The Cereal Bowl, the latest entry into the cereal restaurant market. But, others are copying the idea, originally started by Cereality, including A Cereal Joint in Gainesville, Florida.
Fearing the competition, Cereality has threated A Cereal Joint with legal action if they infringe on Cereality's patented business-methods and trademarks. Even The Cereal Bowl has entered the fray, stating the word cereal and the bowl design cannot be used by A Cereal Joint.  (Read more about this in AlligatorOnline).
A couple of observations:
First, these rumblings are more evidence of how serious investors are taking this. The prospects for cereal restaurant growth is viewed with great enthusiasm.
Second, Cereality and The Cereal Bowl should chill out. Sure, they have their own interests to protect, but there is room for lots of competition. Ultimately, the successful companies will not be the ones who control the trademarks, but the ones who provide the best breakfast experience.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cereal and health claims

Cereal manufacturers have been trying hard to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. Lately, cereal health claims have been made to jolt consumers out of their complacency (some of which have been reported here). But, sometimes in their marketing exuberance they step over the line, as is the case with Kelloggs in the U.K. Life Style Extra reports that the Advertising Standards Authority is investigating claims made that children who ate Corn Flakes are 9 per cent more alert. Breakfast is important, but companies must be careful not to overstate the benefits, and even challenge the intelligence (or prey on the gullibility) of consumers.

Another cereal restaurant

I have previously reported on Cereality, an innovative "cereal bar" restaurant concept that has been getting considerable media attention. But, the concept is still so new that it was only a matter of time before others introduced their own version. The Cereal Bowl is one such copycat that will be launching its first cafe this fall next to the University of Miami.
Their press release says:
The Cereal Bowl is a new breed of café fusing an old time favorite, with a new and exciting twist. Guests will be able to make their own cereal creations or pick from one of many unique combinations created by The Cereal Bowl Team. With over 35 cereals both hot and cold as well as 50 toppings the possibilities are endless. The experience does not end with the bowl. Cereal bars, oatmeal smoothies known as Oaties™, and cakes will take cereal to a whole new level. WIFI Internet, couches, televisions, newspapers, and periodicals will add to the ambiance of The Cereal Bowl™.
It is interesting that they are launching at a University, just like Cereality. Here's their reasoning:
Founded in 2004 by Kenneth Rader, Joshua Rader, and Michael Glassman, the inspiration for The Cereal Bowl™ was a product of their college days when they noticed that the average diet of a college student often times consisted of a bowl of cereal as a quick and appetizing alternative. 
I just wish someone would start a cereal restaurant near me! 


Monday, September 12, 2005

Growing older

A great quote from one of those annoying e-mail jokes that people pass around:
"Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the toy."

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some noteworthy blog references to cereal from the past week:
Caroline31 has come up with a new way to eat Frosted Flakes. Simply dip the flakes in peanut butter!
Crosswalks to Nowhere provides a first-hand review of Cereality, cereal bar restaurant (of which I previously reported).
Cereal has long been used in a variety of recipes. Here's a unique combination from  PhnTmpHx84: beef with brocolli and frosted flakes cereal. They're G-R-R-R-EAT????
Jessica Waldgrave Comments discusses the absurdity of "Enlarged to show texture" photos on cereal boxes.
Abrasivist Now provides a humorous look at being declared a loser by a cereal box.
With too much time on his hands, I Was Just Thinking ... ponders taking a shower while eating cereal. Talk about soggy cereal!

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Not only athletes

The Springfield, MO News-Leader reports that Kellogg's Corn Flakes will feature Drury University's SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) team on upcoming boxes. The national champion team has actually appeared on Kellogg's boxes in the past.
The reality is that only 250,000 boxes will be issued, which is quite small, but if distributed strategically could be a smart move by Kellogg. Otherwise, the vast majority of us who have never heard of SIFE (or care about it) will pass by the box.
Athletes have typically received the most cereal box exposure, so it is good to see other individuals and groups recognized. My concern, however, is that this trend carried too far and indiscriminately will backfire on cereal companies because few will be interested in these lesser-knowns. It's a reality of marketing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Which breakfast of champions?

" Kellogg Company announced today that it will continue its partnership with the United States Olympic Committee through 2008. The agreement designates Kellogg as an Official Sponsor of the 2006 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Teams and the 2007 U.S. Pan American Team."

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Peanut Butter Cooke Crisp

Another example of cereal innovations is General Mills' new Peanut Butter Cookie Crisp, now appearing on U.S. grocery store shelves. This joins a growing list of cereals patterned after dessert- and candy- type foods, tapping into our sweet tooth. Here's a review from The Impulsive Buy blog.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Yogurt Burst Cheerios

Cereal companies are always looking to update their products to attract new customers, and retain existing ones. Apparently, from this cereal box auction on ebay, General Mills is developing and testing a Vanilla flavored Yogurt Burst Cheerios, a "sweetened whole grain oat cereal with a naturally flavored yogurt coating". Sounds interesting!
UPDATED September 17, 2005 - I've spotted Yogurst Burst Cheerios in stores. Also in Strawberry flavor.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Thinking outside the Bowl

The Los Angeles Times has review of the current trend towards Breakfast Bars. In our convenience-crazed culture the big cereal companies are creating breakfast bars under the more familiar conventional cereal brands.
Breakfast bars, in my opinion, are no match for "real" cereal and milk. And, as the article points out, most are not that nutritious. Many are high in sugar and trans fats, and low in protein.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

It's amazing to note that there are hundreds of daily references to cereal posted by bloggers. Obviously cereal is an important part of most of our lives. Here are some noteworthy posts from the last week:
Visranti considers the challenges of soggy cereal.
Ctrl-Alt-Delete reflects on the relationship between cereal and dating moods.
Pencey Prep draws an analogy between brand name vs. generic cereals, and the expectations of college students.
Comedian Mark Annotto in Ludicrosity probes the relationship between what you eat (including cereal) and the smell of urine. Bizzare, but true.

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