Monday, October 31, 2005

Not too scary

There's something wrong with this picture.
(Photo source: hollesdottir at Flickr)
Three classic monster cereals: Franken Berry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry. Perfect cereals for Halloween.
But, completely ruined by the annoying General Mills "Whole Grain" banner. I know they are wanting to burn the idea of their commitment to health in our minds, but get real. These cereals are "junk food", whole grain or not, and everyone understands that when they buy them. The banner takes the fun out of what is nothing more than fun cereals!
Come on, General Mills!


I couldn't resist ...

What do ghosts add to their morning cereal?

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Bloggers and cereal

Last week cereal was a popular topic among bloggers. Here are some noteworthy examples:
Guapa*Tita warms her cereal in the microwave before eating.
Vaguely Obscure wonders why cereal companies don't make a cereal just with the marshmallows in it.
Carterpalooza reflects on his strong brand loyalty to certain cereals.
In thinking about Rome, Shakespeare's Sister wonders "what pesto cereal would taste like" [YUCK!]
Adjab is somewhat critical of the karaoke commercials for Yogurt Burst Cheerios.
inkycircus believes that lawsuits aimed at McDonald's for misleading nutrition advertising could be coming to the cereal industry.
Hector Vex's Infotainment features a "Cereal of the Week Club" highligting Quisp and Quake.
My boring ass life salivates over Fruity Pebbles
my life as a mouse reflects that the bowl she uses is determined by the cereal she chooses.

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Many children missing breakfast

A new study by PTO Today (a national parent/teacher organization) and the American Cereal Council (an industry advocacy group) have released their lastest report on the breakfast habits of children. Evidence links "kids skipping breakfast to poor performance in the classroom". This year's study shows that "30 percent of elementary school aged children are still going to school at least one day per week on an empty stomach", and "20 percent are now going to school without breakfast twice a week".
Read the press release here.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Age and habit influence cereal choice

A new study released by Zogby International (and reported in reveals that age and habit are the key influencing factors when it comes to the type of cereal people choose to buy.
Some interesting tidbits:
  • General Mills is the preferred cereal brand
  • Older consumers are more likely to stick to a cereal they are used to
  • Raisin bran topped the list of consumer preference for type of cereal, followed by Cheerios.
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the favorite for those under the age of 30

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Milk and cereal

I just discovered a very interesting Internet buzz concering cereal!
Two college guys put together a fun music video based on a song "Milk and Cereal". With only a box of cereal and a jug of milk they lip sync the words. It's fun to watch. LINK
But, that's just the beginning!
People are enjoying it so much they are pulling their own videocams and making their own versions. Some of them are very creative. Here is a sampling of links:



General Mills has setup a fun website in promotion of its Yogurt Burst Cheerios. gives you the opportunity to do karaoke with a twist. You create a virtual star and then sing a song into your computer microphone or on the phone. You then can play back the song with the Cheerioke star lip-syncing to your voice. A creative promotion for generating brand awareness.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cereal as comfort food

Mike Marsee writes a great article today in the Advocate Messenger of Danville, KY entitled: "The Light Side: Nothing Beats the Crunch".
A brief, yet insightful look at the love of cereal.

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Bizarre Cereal analogy

As an important part of our culture, cereal can be easily drawn upon as an analogy or metaphor. Here's one of the more bizarre one's that I've come across:

In the Des Moines (Iowa) Register today a man on trial for murder tried to use a cereal analogy to convince the jury that there was a conspiracy against him.

Brandow, testifying Monday as the final witness in his own first-degree murder trial, asked a Polk County jury to think of his situation as a bowl of cereal gone bad after its preparer left the room.

If you're home alone, Brandow said, you certainly can't prove that someone tampered with your breakfast while you went to answer the phone. But if the cereal tasted wrong, you'd still pour it down the sink and start over.

"These are the kind of scenarios I feel that conspiracies can be proved on," Brandow said.
The jury disagreed.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Significant postings regarding cereal from the past week:
green LA girl provides a passion for Puffins, the cereal and the bird. asks: "Eating Chex Mix first thing in the morning is the same as having cereal, right?"
The Continuing Adventures of Rebekah Rose can't get cereal TV commericals of her mind.
garyarbusto is working on a "cereal killer" Halloween costume.
all together now provides reflections from the cereal aisle

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Cereal" road rage

The Newton Tab reports cereal used in a road rage incident.
A 55-year old man "tossed a bowl of corn flakes and milk" at another man's car after an altercation.
I don't know about you, but I always have a bowl of cereal and milk with my in my car!

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cereal offenders

The Sydney Morning Herald reports of a controversy brewing in Australia over a popular children's TV personality, Monica Trapaga. "All because she appears in an ad for Coco Pops, the innocuous sugary breakfast cereal that some parents' groups are treating as if it were crack cocaine."

Sugared cereals have long been the target of health activists. The newspaper columnist reporting this story sums it up well:

"If you stuff your face with fattening food and don't do any exercise, you have no one to blame but yourself when you get fat. And if parents cave in to children demanding Coco Pops for breakfast every morning, that's not the fault of television or the government. It's because they won't say 'No'."

"Cereal Solidarity" update

Earlier this I posted about "Cereal Solidarity", a movement by FreeCulture to protest the move of Cereality to bully other upstart cereal restaurants with the use of business method patents. Today, FreeCulture reports that "Cereal Solidarity is picking up steam", with over 200 signatures on their online petition only after a few days. I've also noticed a number of bloggers pick-up the story, with everyone (that I've read) against Cereality's tactics.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cereal trivia

The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle has compiled a list of interesting cereal trivia, including:

• In 1941, General Mills introduced Cheerioats as "The breakfast food you've always wanted." Four years later, the name was changed to Cheerios.

• One out of every 11 boxes of cereal sold is a Cheerios-type cereal.

• Cap'n Crunch's full name is Horatio Q. Crunch. The character was invented in 1963, before the cereal was created. Cap'n Crunch was made in response to a survey of kids who said they hated soggy cereal. Cap'n Crunch is the No. 1 pre-sweetened kids cereal in the U.S.

• Life cereal hit the market in 1961. The famous "Let Mikey try it" commercial aired from 1972 through '84. It was the longest-running commercial in television history.

• Quisp, the saucer-shaped corn cereal, was launched in 1965. It was reintroduced in 1999 to appeal to the baby boomers who ate it as kids.

• In 1937, Wheaties held a contest for most popular baseball announcer. Ronald Reagan won the contest and a trip to California. While there, he was asked to do a screen test for Warner Bros., which kicked off his movie career.

• Kellogg's Corn Flakes were accidentally invented in 1894 by Will Keith Kellogg. A Seventh-day Adventist and a vegetarian, Kellogg was looking for a way to improve the diets of vegetarian hospital patients. He dried softened wheat and it turned into thin flakes.

• In 1910, W.K. Kellogg bought a full-page ad in Ladies' Home Journal announcing the first cereal premium, a book called "The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book."

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cereal Solidarity

Over the past few months I have been watching with interest the startup of new cereal restaurants, with Cereality as the one getting the most press. As I've indicated, Cereality is feeling threatened by the the newer ones, such as The Cereal Bowl and Cerealogy, and has itself threatened legal action if they believe their ideas are being copied.
Not everyone is impressed with this bullying, or with the patent-madness that has overtaken some industries., "an international student movement for free culture", has taken this cause on and have created a website project called "Cereal Solidarity".  They believe that "If these patents are approved by the U.S. Patent Office, Cereality would have a complete monopoly on cereal bar business--just for being the first to put together the legalese necessary to describe mixing breakfast cereal."  Ultimately, they believe it "isn't just about cereal. It's about whether or not people should be able to claim an exclusive right on mundane ideas that any eight-year-old could think of. And it's about the future of American enterpreneurship."
Their solution to the problem is:
  • "We're asking Cereality to withdraw their patent application. (An apology would be nice, too.)
  • "If Cereality insists on continuing, we're asking the Patent Office to reject the application.
  • "And to solve the problem once and for all, we're asking Congress to eliminate business method patents altogether."
They are also urging people to sign their online peitition.
It's getting interesting! I am wondering if Cereality could be creating a PR disaster that will destroy their reputation in the business world and among consumers. At this early stage in the growth of this restaurant concept there is room for a number of players. May the companies that best meet the needs of consumers succeed!


Video cereal boxes?

Interesting story, "Mum, my Cereal's Talking", published today in the Australian newspaper, The Age:
"...get ready for boxes of cereal that extol their virtues via a built-in video display, and chocolate bars that flash to attract attention.

Siemens has announced a new colour display screen so thin and flexible it can be printed on to paper or foil, and so cheap it can be used on throw-away packaging."

This would add a whole new dimension to "reading" the cereal box while eating breakfast!

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

Significant postings regarding cereal from this past week:
Numbing the pain on the hour ..Every hour proposes salty cereal instead of just sugared ones. For me, salt doesn't have provide the same "pick-me-up" like sugar!
Deals that are Nifty by Sister Thrifty gives tips on how to save money by using all of the cereal packaging. For example, the box for placemats, and the liners for lining shelves, etc. Thrifty, but tacky!
Lennon & McCartney ponders the deep mysteries of eating cereal in an "Ode to Cereal".
Breakfast photos (including cereal!) can be found on the following Flickr site: The Cereal Offenders & Breakfast Fiends Pool.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cereal Sunday (Halloween)

A couple of months ago I reported on Cereal Sunday events that are being held in Orlando, FL. Here's another report (from OrlandoCityBeat) from their recent Halloween event. A creative for adults to rediscover their inner child!

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Cereal restaurant battle heating up

I have been monitoring the recent birthing of cereal restaurants. Cereality seems to have invented the concept, but copycats are appearing. The Cereal Bowl was the first, and now Cerealogy Cereal Cafe in Iowa (as reported in The Daily Iowan).
Cereality is worried and is threatening lawsuits if the imitators come to close. It's going to be an interesting battle to watch, especially as the concept grows across the country.
Who knows, maybe these restaurants will be as common as hamburger joints today?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cereal on "Good Food"

marc posted on a comment on that deserves special attention.
He recommends listening to the August 27th edition "Good Food", a radio program on KCRW in Santa Monica, CA. Featured on the program (beginning at the 6:40 mark) is an interview with David Hoffman, author of the Breakfast Cereal Gourmet (referenced earlier). Interesting history and information.
LINK here for the broadcast.


More on "The Cereal Bowl"

Last month I reported on the latest chain of cereal bar restaurants: The Cereal Bowl.
The Miami Herald has published several articles and sidebars on The Cereal Bowl, the lastest entrant into this hot new trend.
PLUS: Read a copy of The Cereal Bowl's business plan.(PDF)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bloggers and cereal

It's been a quiet week in the world of cereal.
But, bloggers keep posting their experiences with and reflections on cereal. Here are significant postings from this past week:
Marketing guru Seth Godin reflects on the limited variety of cereals that hotels, restaurants, etc. offer their customers, and the advantages (for both sides!) in offering more choices.
chibistarlette complains about the dried fruit in many cereals. "They're like styrofoam!"
offcentercrew rants about the "soggy mushy hell" practical joke that cereal companies create for you when you use the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.
modernmedicine reviews Post Marshmallow Mania Pebbles, granting a "thumbs down".

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Lucky Charms website

General Mills has recently launched a new flash-based website centered around its Lucky Charms cereal. It's a well-crafted site, obviously targeted to children, that portrays an enchanted image reinforcing the theme of Lucky Charms.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Halloween cereal

Over the last few years Kellogg has done a brillant job of marketing Halloween-themed cereals. It is an excellent way for them to maintain distinctive brand identity and loyalty in the midst of increased competition, especially from generics.
This year is no exception. Leading up to the ghoulish occasion three boxes have appeared on U.S. grocer's shelves:
Ghoulish Special Edition Froot Loops crawling with Marshmallow Monster Parts
Creepy Special Edition Cocoa Krispies crawling with Marshmallow Monster Parts
CinnaScary Special Edition Apple Jacks with CinnaMon-Shaped Marshmallows

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cereal as "junk food"?

An long-standing debate among nutritionists and parents is the concern about the nutritional quality of many high-sugared breakfast cereals, especially as they impact children.
Many people ignore the debate. Others are concerned, but do little about it. And, a vocal segment of the population are insistent that sugared cereals are nothing more than "junk food".
One such example of the latter is Dr. Marion Nestle (ironic name!), a Nutrition Professor New York University. In an article at Health Lies Exposed, Dr. Nestle attacks the first amendment right to advertise to children, and points out that food companies are now "afraid that they may have to have warning labels on their foods, jut [sic] like cigarette companies have on their cigarettes."
In her mind, "a sugary breakfast cereal is a cookie... - they are desserts in disguise".

Bloggers and cereal

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal from this past week:
apogeeperigee ponders the phrase "part of this complete breakfast", and what a "real" breakfast often looks like.
Not the first time I've come across this, but ellemichelle1 is planning a cereal party where people get together to eat various cereals and enjoy other activities like watching movies.
Cindy Rushton's Desk(TOP) shares experiences from the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina, and discovering ants in their cereal! YUCK!

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