Thursday, December 28, 2006

From constipation to big business

There are a number of histories of cereal out there, including many on the Internet. Many really don't say anything new. But, I came across an article today from The Guardian of the U.K. which gives a brief history of the origins of breakfast cereal. For anyone interested in the stories behind one of our current nutritional and cultural staples this article is worth reading:

"How constipation cure became huge business"

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Disney's nutritional guidelines

As announced last month, Disney has changed its food strategy. As far as cereal is concerned it has abandoned its attempt to work through smaller manufacturers, and before that Kellogg. The new products will also have a lower price point.

New information is coming out now (at Food Navigator USA) that Disney has developed specific nutritional guidelines for its food products (including cereal) to be made and sold by General Mills. Disney is targeting children with its foods, but is insisting that they are made with whole foods and contain significant vitamin D and calcium. In addition, there will be limits on calories, fat, saturated fat, and sugar.

Does this mean that Disney cereals will be less fun than before?

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Breakfast choices

As confirmed in one of my recent polls, new marketing research reveals that taste preference and familiarity are the most important drivers behind people's breakfast choices. The NPD Group discovered that these factors are more important than convenience, although the latter is growing in significance. Other interesting study results include the discovery that there isn't much difference between weekday and weekend patterns, and that coffee and cold cereal remain the top breakfast choices.

More information on this study can be read at FoodNavigator-USA.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cereal Bowl Light

The perfect Christmas gift for the cereal lover?

Maybe. But, probably not until next year because it is already sold out and it would probably too late to order anyway.

The Cereal Bowl Light is a pop art light that is within a cereal bowl. It even has real Froot Loops on top, and lights up when you touch the spoon.

Creative. But, ultimately will sit on the shelf after the novelty wears off. Besides, the cereal will probably get quite nasty after a while.

And, expensive. $90.00 Available from Etsy.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "Who is your favorite current Kellogg cereal character?"

Here are the results:

Tony the Tiger - 38%
Dig 'Em - 15%
Cornelius; Snap, Crackle, Pop; & Toucan Sam (tie) - 12%
Mr. Mini-Wheats - 8%
CinnaMon - 4%

My take on the above results: No surprises. Tony has long been the most popular spokes-character for Kellogg.

Here's the question for this week:

I am interested to find out who your favorite cereal character is. For this round, we will deal with current characters and each week deal with one company at a time. So, for this week: "Who is your favorite current General Mills cereal character?"


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Thursday, December 14, 2006

More chocolate

Recently I reported on Kellogg's European introduction of chocolate All-Bran (which I found bizarre).

Well, chocolate lovers, the trend will continue to grow. You will no longer be limited to kid's cereals like Cocoa Puffs or Count Chocula. Soon, a whole new breed of "healthy" chocolate cereals will be hitting the store aisles.

According to articles in Brandweek and Marketing Daily we can look forward to such innovations as Quaker's Life Chocolate Oat Crunch and Kellogg's Special K Chocolately Delight.

All in an attempt to boost sagging sales.

At least these new offerings sound better than Chocolate All-Bran!

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cereal Science

Another resource for cereal fanatics:

Cereal Science is a new website with growing resources devoted to cereal. But, this is no stale industry site. It's actually a fun place to visit. According to their own description,

"Cereal Science is a project for people who are as passionate about cereal as we are.
We extensively test cereals and provide real-life data in a format that all humans can understand."

The site currently includes test results, audio reports, movie clips, and commentary.

Check it out.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I don't typically like to post on every new cereal-related item, but on things that are noteworthy or innovative. A good example relates to cereal dispensers. There are many on the market, and most are not that exciting.

Breakfix is the latest breakfast cereal dispenser, and while I'm still not convinced that I would buy one, I'm impressed with the "appliance" nature of it. Breakfix is a counter-top mechanical cereal dispenser, is operated by batteries, and looks quite attractive.

If we purchased every new convenience device out there our cupboards would be overflowing with gadgets and appliances, and we would be unable to use them! Breakfix, in particular, does not appear to really solve any real pressing issues, and may be a hindrance for those who like to have several cereals on hand.

My idea of the idea cereal dispenser: Holds several cereals, but more importantly, dispenses cold milk too!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chocolate Fiber?

Kellogg has recently introduced All-Bran Chocolate in some European markets (e.g. France and Italy). All-Bran is the ultimate "health" cereal, with its extreme fiber content. Isn't it a complete contradiction to mix in the ultimate "sin" food?

Even chocolate purists (like Chocolate Bytes) disagree with the move, suggesting that "Some things were never meant to be chocolafied ... and breakfast cereal is one of them".

Maybe this will work in the challenging European market, but I hope Kellogg doesn't try this in North America as it would erode the strong, health-oriented All-Bran brand.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "How many days a week do I eat cereal?"

Here are the results:

Zero - 13%
One - 4%
Two - 9%
Three - 0%
Four - 0%
Five - 39%
Six - 0%
Seven - 35%

My take on the above results: The polarized nature of the results is interesting. Many people eat it daily or almost daily. The rest eat it seldom or never. No 50% respondents.

Here's the question for this week:

I am interested to find out who your favorite cereal character is. For this round, we will deal with current characters and each week deal with one company at a time. So, for this week: "Who is your favorite current Kellogg cereal character?"


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cereal fanatics who are looking for an opportunity to interact with others will want to take note of, a new online forum. They proclaim their focus is on cereal box collecting, but there is also a forum section devoted to cereal memories. Even the Smilies available are of cereal characters!

Check it out.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Bloggers and cereal

It's been awhile since I've done this, so here's some noteworthy blog posts on cereal from the last month or so:

James Geurts' has had enough with the industrial-strength glue used on cereal bags.
DJ Cline expresses frustrations over the changing size of cereal boxes.
The Shanghaiist shares what's like looking for breakfast cereal in Shaghai.
Filapalooza takes a leisurely trip down cereal memory lane
Words for My Enjoyment writes a brief drama dealing with individual serving sizes of cereal
Mush Sports bucks the trend against simple blog surveys and provides a detailed look at seven favorite cereals.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Everything you wanted to know about cereals

Wikipedia is fascinating place to gather information or just simply to waste a lot of time.

Cereal lovers will be excited to learn that numerous contributors have been working at amassing valuable information on hundreds of cereal brands, both past and present. From a List of breakfast cereals you can link to articles on brands such as the rare Sir Grapefellow from the 70's or a mainstay like Corn Flakes.

Not all links have articles yet (anyone prepared to contribute?) and there are still some noteworthy brands missing (for example Pink Panther) and there are few international brands (except for the odd Canadian or U.K. one).

A good reference for cereal fanatics!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "Which cereal company/brand do I prefer?"

Here are the results:

Malt-O-Meal - 32%
General Mills - 20%
Kellogg - 16%
Nestle & Post (tie) - 8%
Kashi, Quaker, Generic/Store Brands, Other (tie) - 4%
Nature's Path -0%
Weetabix - 0%

My take on the above results: I know that there is a trend toward lower priced cereals, but 32% for Malt-O-Meal? Are their fans manipulating the poll?

Here's the question for this week:

"How many days a week do I eat cereal?"


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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Freebies: Reinventing the cereal box?

One of the most fascinating aspects of cereal is its marketing through the use of creative packaging and promotions. Looking back to the 50's and 60's one sees this trend developing, with many fun cereals, boxes, and free premiums inside. Certainly, the marketing of cereal is as prominent as ever, but the simple fun of the past has been largely overtaken by more slick efforts.

That may be about to change with Freebies, a proposed cereal by Bob Staake, a nationally-known illustrator who has experience in this field, having once done design work for Ralston Purina cereals. Staake has created a six zany characters and a fun cereal box design, with the proposal of also including free toys in the box. According to his website:

"FREEBIES is a cereal that recognizes that today's kids and parents are smart -- and will respond to a healty product that entertains and teaches something of value in a small, yet goofy and entertaining, way. ... "What I wanted to do with FREEBIES", said Staake, "was create a positive character-driven storyline that could break through the clutter of marketing-oriented product in the supermarket cereal aisle. Kids don't want to be sold DVDs and ocean cruises that are routinely advertised on the back of today's cereal boxes.
They want to sit there and become engaged in a fun and playful world while they eat a breakfast cereal that their parents can feel good about. To me, FREEBIES is about returning some innocence into the first meal of the day for a child-- and maybe giving them a giggle before they go off to school."

Staake's hope is that his design and accompanying website will catch the attention of major cereal manufacturers who are looking for a way to be more responsive to what consumers are actually looking for.

If he is successful at selling his idea it might see the start of a new era in cereal boxes.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Disney changes food strategy

Disney is known for marketing itself in countless ways, including licensing of food products. In recent years Disney has had a close relationship with Kellogg, resulting in the introduction of a number of innovative cereals ranging from Princess cereal to The Incredibles cereal.

But, it appears that this relationship has not worked out. According to Walt Disney Co. has struck up an agreement with General Mills for future licensed cereal (and other food) products . But, one of the major differences is that its new food products will not positioned with premium prices, as with Kellogg. Prices will be significantly lower.

But will Disney's new strategy cheapen their image?

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "What is my primary consideration when buying a breakfast cereal?"

Here are the results:

Taste - 52%
My Favorite Cereal - 24%
Nutrition - 19%
Packaging - 5%
Price - 0%
Influence of my children -0%
Desire for variety - 0%
Special offers or premiums - 0%

My take on the above results: Not really unexpected.

Here's the question for this week:

There are several major cereal manufacturers, so apart from individual cereals, "Which cereal company/brand do I prefer?"


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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The good and the bad of cereal bars

I don't usually focus too much attention here on cereal bars, as I'm not convinced they are really "cereal" (at least not to a purist). Nevertheless they are gaining in popularity as cereal companies look for ways to increase market share and profitability in light of increasing competition and lifestyle changes.

Two recent articles, both from Europe, are worth reading on the topic:

Food discusses the need for cereal manufacturers to respond to lifestyle changes, with cereal bars an excellent example of this trend.

which? from the U.K. reports an investigation of the best selling cereal bars, finding that they were all high in sugar, and most were also high in saturated fat.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fortune article on Kellogg

In recent weeks I have made several references to the possible trend in decreased cereal consumption, especially as it relates to Kellogg. Fortune magazine has picked up on this with a brief article, highlighting how Kellogg and other cereal manufacturers are finding it necessary to expand into other foods to see growth in sales and profits. The article quotes an analyst who estimates that only 47% of Kellogg's revenues now come from cereal.

The trend watch continues.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Beware the shrinking box

A Consumer Reports article reveals that cereal manufacturers will be shrinking boxes on some cereals as a tactic to deal with increasing costs. Kellogg is leading the way with Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Frosted Mini-Wheats, and it is expected that other brands and manufacturers may follow suit.

Sneaky? Yes. Necessary? Probably, if they want to maintain profits, etc. Good for business? Over the long term, probably not. I know the cereal industry is facing many challenges, including increased competition and possible lower consumption trends, but they must find more ways to bring value to consumers. Only in this way will they survive over the long haul.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kellogg's Number One Brand

Kellogg has a number of powerful brands. But, which is number one? Corn Flakes? Rice Krispies? Frosted Flakes?
It's Special K. What was once a timid cereal has now emerged as Kellogg's strongest brand, primarily because of its emphasis on dieting (as I've previously posted). Health conscious consumers have latched on to this concept, and Kellogg has taken advantage of it by introducing a number of new cereal varieties, such as Special K Red Berries. But, now they are going to extend the brand even further by launching protein bars and even "protein waters" and Special K Personal Trainer watches. (See article in Advertising Age).

Special K has been a runaway success because Kellogg has been very clear as to its brand identity. Other cereals could benefit from similar marketing strategies (and the recent success with All-Bran may be another good example). One only has to wonder, however, if extending the brand beyond cereal will dilute its strength and make it a meaningless commodity.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

I've been away and I'm behind on cereal news and our weekly poll. Things should get back to normal now. Thanks for your patience...

The results from our latest weekly Breakfast Bowl poll are in. Last week's question was: "Compared to the past I eat breakfast cereal more often, less often, about the same?"

Here are the results:

More Often - 35%
Less Often - 35%
About the Same - 29%

What does this suggest? Not much change overall. Cereal is still a staple food.

Here's the question for this week:

There are many factors that influence buying. So ... "What is my primary consideration when buying a breakfast cereal?"


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Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our first weekly Breakfast Bowl poll are in (Thank you to all who participating in this inaugural survey!)

Last week's question was:

"With all the flavors of Cheerios now available, which one is your favorite?"

Here are the results:

Original Cheerios - 38%
Honey Nut - 19%
Berry Burst Strawberry - 13%
Frosted - 13%
Fruity - 13%
(No responses for the other varieties)

Here's the question for this week:

There is some evidence that people may be eating less cereal. So ...

"Compared to the past I eat breakfast cereal more often, less often, about the same?"


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Friday, October 27, 2006

Kellogg financial results

I don't normally focus too much here on the financial ups and downs of the major cereal corporations, but Kellogg's latest financial results are worth noting.

Kellogg announced better-than-expected results, maintaining its number one position among cereal makers. Both sales and profits are up.

That's good news for a company and industry that is highly competitive, and there are signs beginning to appear (see my post last week) that we are beginning to turn away from traditional cereal consumption.

Even Kellogg's latest results are telling. While company sales overall rose 8%, U.S. cereal sales increased only 2%. That's still growth, mainly because Kellogg has worked hard at innovation, but the company is seeing its most significant success in other sectors of its business.

We'll keep an eye on these trends.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is Froot Loops the same everywhere?

A study published at reveals that Kellogg's breakfast cereals vary from region to region as to the amount of salt they contain. For example, some cereals sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland contain more than three times more than the same brand of cereal in the U.S.

Obviously, Kellogg is tailoring their products to the tastes and cultures of the markets they serve. Sometimes it's the name, other times the marketing, and now we find out the recipes as well. There are many examples of regionalization. For instance, Corn Pops in Canada is a completely different looking and tasting cereal than what is sold in the U.S.

A little troubling, perhaps, for cereal purists.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Introducting Our Weekly Poll!

Now you have an opportunity to interact with The Breakfast Bowl through our weekly poll. Simply visit our website ( and give us your opinion at the Poll Daddy box in the left column.

This week's question is:

"With all the flavors of Cheerios now available, which one is your favorite?"

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Noteworthy blog posts regarding cereal from the past few weeks:

IHOM: International House of Mango ponders the demise the crew that used to accompany Cap'n Crunch

Chalupa_Chelano analyzes and critiques a whole range of cereal characters.

Bulgarian Daze is now living in Bulgaria, and shares the joy the day they found cereal.

Trudie categorizes cereal according to "trustworthy" and "untrustworthy"

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cereal not as convenient anymore?

A recent study by Impulse Research Service (for Heinz) reveals that consumers are increasingly missing out on breakfast. This despite the fact that 85% of Americans believe that eating breakfast is important.

Very few people anymore go to great lengths to prepare a full breakfast. The advent of cereal over the last century has fit perfectly with our busy lifestyles, but it seems that even cereal isn't convenient enough for more and more people. The recent growth of cereal bars can be explained by this observation.

Some experts believe that the breakfast food industry will experience healthy growth in coming years, but it will be interesting to see if cereal as we know it continues to be a staple for our morning fare.

LINK to the article at Nutraingredients-USA.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Save $10 on Kellogg's Cereal

Amazon has a great deal for Kellogg's Cereal lovers. Spend $29.00 and receive a $10.00 discount when you use this promotional code: KELLOGGS. Hurry, the offer expires October 31st.

Amazon link

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Golden Grahams recall

It's not too often that you hear about cereal being recalled. One of my favorites, Golden Grahams, has been recalled in the U.S. by General Mills because some lots contain milk, which is not listed on the label. This only applies to 13oz boxes with certain date codes.

For more information visit General Mills.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Breakfast Bowl changes

The popularity of The Breakfast Bowl is growing. Thank you to all of you cereal fanatics who follow my updates and reflections.

To provide a better blog experience I will be making several changes in the coming weeks. Watch for some cosmetic changes on the website itelf, interactive features like polls, and increased feed capabilities. In addition, feeds will now contain the entire post contents, so more need to click through! UPDATE 10/15/06: Also note the new feed.

Please be patient during this time of transition. Those of you who have subscribed to the feed, may occasionally receive updates of older posts as the blog is rebuilt. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Enjoy your cereal tomorrow morning!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monster Cereal time

Every fall, leading up to Halloween, General Mills re-issues its three famous "monster cereals": Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry. (See last year's HERE)

For 2006 General Mills has developed a creative, non-traditional cereal box design (as they did in 2004) to highlight these three cereals. Look for them on cereal shelves around the U.S.

Trivia. Years ago, there was a fourth monster cereal: Yummy Mummy. Wouldn't it be great if they made a special release of it next year?

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Flakes or Puffs?

A recent study in Food Chemisty (and reported by Discovery News) indicates that cereal flakes tend to be more nutritious than puffed cereals. Apparently it's because of the cooking technique used to enhance the flavor of puffs that is the culprit for the lower nutritional value.
Now you know. Read the entire story for more details.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cereal history

While hardly exhaustive, a brief article at the ASU [Angelo State University] Ram Page Online, provides some information on cereal history including cereal characters. Trivia perhaps, but interesting nonetheless.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cereal Bowl's plans

The Miami Herald frequently (for example) highlights one of the its local cereal restaurants, The Cereal Bowl. A recent article provides insight into the company's plans for growth and franchising, and some of the challneges that are faced. An interesting read.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Commercials on YouTube

YouTube is certainly one of the hottest places on the Internet right now, with many thousands of videos available to watch.
I have discovered that, for cereal lovers, there are a large number of TV commercials on cereal uploaded to YouTube. Many of these quite old, going back over 40 years. If you are looking for trip down memory lane visit the site and search for "cereal commercials". From that search list you should be able to watch some fascinating videos that remind us of the strong  marketing images cereals have portrayed over the years. (Of course, you will have to wade through some irrelevant ones in the process).

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Thursday, September 21, 2006


Occasionally I have highlighted interesting gadgets and packaging designed to make eating cereal a more convenient and enriching experience. Here's a new one: A plastic dual chamber container with a cereal bowl and milk jug, including a freezer pack to keep the milk cool. Great for eating breakfast on the go!
Available from BrylaneHome

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The names keep coming

My intent is not to keep an exhaustive list, but I still find it interesting to watch all the new cereal restaurant copycats joining the market. This time in Richmond, Virginia (near Virginia Commonwealth University)  Out of the Cereal Box Company has made its debut.
Story from

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Significant blog posts from the past few weeks regarding cereal:
Mises Economic Blog finally uncovers the official reason Kelloggs uses a foil wrapper as opposed to a plastic wrapper.
The Impulisve Buy discusses the introduction of new Fruity Cheerios.
Amanda passes on a "study" on how your favorite Lucky Charm correlates with your love life
While hardly profound, Louie the boy wonder contributes to the latest trend of bloggers completing lists and survey: "My Top 10 Cereals".

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Cereality wins "Experience" Award

Cereality, the obvious leader in the emerging cereal restaurant concept, won the 2006 "Experience Stager of the Year" award. The award is based on the principles of the book, The Experience Economy.
True, what will make these restaurants successful is not just the cereal itself, but the experiences (i.e. unique breakfast, nostalgia, etc.) that go along with it.
Congratulations Cereality.
LINK to report from Yahoo!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Doug Flutie on Wheaties

General Mills announced that a new box will be introduced featuring Doug Flutie. Flutie gained fame in the 1984 Orange Bowl when he, playing for Boston College, threw the memorable "Hail Mary" pass to beat Miami. Flutie also later played in the USFL, CFL, and NFL.
What is significant about this box is that Doug Flutie is probably the athlete who popularized the concept of appearing on private-label cereal boxes. Flutie Flakes, sold in both the U.S. and Canada, were developed to raise money for the Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Consumer Reports does cereal

The September 2006 issue of Consumer Reports magazine includes a special section on cereal.
One of their observations is that many cereal knockoffs (i.e. lower priced alternatives to name-brand cereals) are about as good as their name-brand counterparts.
Health matters concerning cereal are also discussed, with suggestions on how to choose the best cereal.

Friday, September 01, 2006

More cereal restaurants

In recent months there hasn't been much buzz about copycats of cereal restaurant pioneer, Cereality, especially in light of its recent lawsuit with Cerealicious. Well, there are still many wanting to capitalize on this emerging restaurant trend.
Cereal Barn & Peanut Butter Cafe has opened in Bloomington, Indiana.
As a first for Canada, two entrepreneurs have each opened up their own versions: The Cereal Bar and Cerealicious (no connection with the U.S. company). (See article in Business Edge).

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Simple Cereal Box design

I have frequently highlighted the importance of cereal boxes in the marketing of cereal. Typically, cereal companies have focused on innovative designs featuring cartoon characters, sports figures, and other popular culture icons. An article that orginally appeared in the Washington Post (but reprinted in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette) examines a new trend in cereal box design: simplicity. A clean, attractive way to cut through all the clutter in the grocery store cereal aisle.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kellogg's Organics

Is it just marketing, or a genuine recognition of the trend toward healthier and organic foods?
Kellogg has just introduced a new line of organic food versions of some of its popular items, including Rice Krispies, Frosted Mini-Wheats, and Raisin Bran. (See
Of course, these organic versions will cost more.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

TV on cereal boxes?

This is not the first time I've posted on this topic, but talk continues on the development of inexpensive video display systems that could appear in unusual places including on cereal boxes. Packaging and eating breakfast will never be the same again.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cereal parade

Cereal and children go together. In Green Bay, WI their 2006 Kiddi Karnival Parade featured the theme "Breakfasts on Parade". As part of supervised playground programs children made creative floats based on various cereals.  Sounds like fun!

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Cereal box collecting

Because of the creative marketing behind cereal, a growing hobby is cereal box collecting. Being a collector myself, I know the look the people give me when I first tell them of my interest, but once they think about it they can understand the fascination.
Here's an article that originally appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Robb Berry of Duluth, MN who is one of the leading collectors, with 4000 boxes in his collection. An interesting read.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Notable blog posts on cereal from the past week:
Slashfood compares name brand with store brand cereals.
Guide to Green Living gives tips for reusing cereal liner bags
Words for My Enjoyment offers a provocative look at what makes cereals attractive or not.
Andy's Soapbox shares his love for Lucky Charms and provides a nostalgic look back at the introduction of various marshmallow charms.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cereality settles lawsuit against Cerealicious

Although there hasn't been as much buzz lately, I have previously examined the growth of cereal restaurants and the conflicts between innovator Cereality and its competitors. Last week Cereality announced that it settled a lawsuit against copycat Cerealicious. One the one hand it is good to see these legal battles end, but I hope that it doesn't see a stifling of new cereal restaurant development, especially as this is an emerging concept with lots of room for healthy competition.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Here are some noteworthy posts concerning cereal from the past few weeks:
Juline muses on cereal all over her house.
The Impulsive Buy does a review on new Berry Krispies
Ken Jennings reflects on cereal mascots
Devon Swift takes a trip down memory lane, or more precisely the cereal aisle of the past.
Lore Sjoberg at Wired News looks at this year's movie-cereal tie-ins.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cereal going to the dogs

Dried dog food already looks like cereal, but now a company is building on humans' affection for cereal. Bow Wow! Breakfast Cereal for Dogs positions itself as "complete breakfast nutrition for dogs". Some of the packaging is designed to mimic certain human brands.
Great marketing. But, I wouldn't buy it for my dog.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cereal prices to rise reports that Kellogg will be hiking the price of many of its cereals by 2% and decrease packaging sizes, all for the sake of profitability and to maintain marketing budgets. Other companies are likely to follow.
Cereal is a popular commodity and I'm certainly a big fan of it, but at what point are consumers going to just stop buying the big name brands? Or, continue the trend to the generic or bulk brands? The fact is, for many people name brand cereal is getting expensive, and providing less and less value.
I am convinced that these companies would be better off focusing on innovation than pricing themselves out of the market.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ford Fusions in Froot Loops

In a somewhat strange move, Ford has partnered with Kellogg to put 600,000 Ford Fusion Hot Wheels cars in boxes of Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, and Cocoa Krispies. The special boxes will be distributed by Target, and one lucky car will actually win the possessor a real car.
I've always wondered why car companies don't partner more cereal companies. This would be a great way to build brand identity. Why not a cereal called "Wheels" with round bites, but with special collectible boxes featuring significant vehicles?
But, why would Ford do this with what are largely kids cereals?

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Significant blog posts from the past few weeks:
Jesse Isaacs notices the inconsistencies between commercials featuring cereal and real life.
Dusty Plunkett in the Times-Journal writes on cereal memories, espeically Mr. T cereal.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Old cereal commercials

Over the years there has been some wonderful marketing of cereal. Beyond the cereal itself have been memorable characters, intriguing boxes, and fun TV commercials.
Adjab, an advertising blog, has been featuring a number of past TV commericals on cereal. I referenced a few before, but here are some others worth watching:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Mini-Swirlz Peanut Butter cereal

Here's another example of Kellogg taking a breakfast food and making it into a cereal. (The other is Eggo). Mini-Swirlz started out with "Cinnamon Bun" flavor, and then "Fudge Ripple". Now they've added "Peanut Butter". Obviously the previous two have been selling, and Kellogg offers a unique cereal that keeps it somewhat differentiated on the store shelves.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

New Eggo Cereal - Cinnamon Toast

A few months ago Kellogg launched Eggo Maple Syrup cereal. But, like the frozen waffle, the cereal extension appears to be available in several different flavors. Now, there is Cinnamon Toast. These are not the first cereals to mimic other breakfast foods, but the Eggo brand makes it a strong brand on the shelf.Will there be more flavors coming? 


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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nuevo La Lechera Flakes

An untapped market when it comes to breakfast cereal is the ethnic/immigrant market. General Mills has just launched La Lechera Flakes which is actually a Nestle brand found in some latino countries like Mexico. La Lechera Flakes are cornflakes flavored with Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk. As evidence as to who the target market is, the U.S. packaging is predominately Spanish.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New Fruity Cheerios

To keep Cheerios, their #1 cereal brand, thriving General Mills regularly introduces innovative new variations.
The latest is Fruity Cheerios, an obvious competitor to Kellogg's Froot Loops, but with the emphasis on being much healthier. Fruit Cheerios contain whole grains, natural flavor from real fruit juice, and less sugar.
Parents and guilt-ridden consumers might just buy it. It's backed by the venerable Cheerios brand, but offers a new level of variety without resorting to the cartoon-style cereals.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New cereal week

With the tightening of the cereal market in North America (i.e. lower consumption and more store and discount brands), cereal makers are forced to innovate and differentiate themselves. I've noticed in the last few weeks an unusually high number of new cereals showing up on grocer's shelves. Some brand new concepts. Some tweaking of existing products. Over the next few days I will highlight some of these new cereals.
(This is in addition to two recent posts featuring Dora the Explorer cereal and new Superman cereals.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kellogg's eyes China

Earlier this year I posted information that General Mills was having a difficult time selling cereal in China, and therefore would shift focus to other food products.
Kellogg, however, still sees great potential in this humungous market. The BBC reports that Kellogg is planning to buyout some Chinese food companies as a way to make headway in this market. They believe the key will also be to tailor the products to local tastes.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Noteworthy blog postings on cereal from the last few weeks:
Adjab critiques the commercial for Smart Start's Heatlhy Heart cereal, and digs back into the archives for nostalgic commercials for Cheerios and Pink Panther cereal.
Cereal serial ran out of milk and tried whipping cream!
Not the first to come with the idea, but Chich is having a cereal party.
Disgusting, but reports on the invention of "Bacon Cereal"

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dora the Explorer cereal

Yet another cereal based on a popular kid's character or theme. This time it's Dora the Explorer, a popular animated character that is especially among young girls. It's made by General Mills.

Dora the Explorer cereal differs from others in this genre by actually being quite healthy. Only 6 grams of sugar (per 27g serving) and 3g of fibre. It looks like cereal companies are getting the message from parents and health groups.

Press release HERE

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Superman Cereal

Quaker has partnered with the makers of the Superman Returns movie to promote the film on several of its cereals. Most notably they have issued a special edition of Life with a Superman Shields shapes and a sharp, Limited Edition box. There is also a special Superman Cap'n Crunch cereal, but that relationship doesn't seem as strong to me.


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Friday, June 23, 2006

Special K diet and nutrition line

In recent years Kellogg has positioned Special K as a health-conscious cereal, especially concerned about weight. Building on this position, Kellogg will now be extending the Speical K brand to a new line of diet and nutrition products, all protein-fortified. These will part of its new Health & Wellness division. These new Special K products will be comprised of protein wafers and meal bars.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cereal in Tetra Paks

The Europeans appear to be innovating on cereal, an American invention. Earlier this week I highlighted the Cerealtop lid gadget for boxes. And, now comes word that the traditional liner-in-box packaging that has been the mainstay of cereal for decades may be about to change.
Packaging company Tetra Pak has developed a carton designed for breakfast cereal, and is launching it in France. They tout the new product as convenient and simpler than traditional packaging. Plus, it could help preserve freshness.
Innovative, yes. But will consumers go for it? In France, probably, especially since breakfast cereal is not as ubiqutous. Although it's innovation may be enough to get attention in North America and win consumers.
Read the article at FoodNavigator-USA.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cerealtop makes pouring easier

One of the most frustrating aspects of eating cereal is pouring it from the box and its flimsly inner bag. Sure, there are plastic containers available to which one can transfer the cereal, but then you lose the joy of reading the box at breakfast! Finally, a European invention is about to change that. Cerealtop is an adjustable lid gadget that can be easily fitted on virtually any box and provides a convenient way to pour cereal and to keep it fresh while in the box.
Cerealtop is currently available only in Europe, but is about to enter the U.S. market at a price of $3.95.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Notable blog postings on cereal from the past two weeks: reviews, but is not impressed with, Frosted Flakes with 1/3 less sugar
BeNjAmIn is disappointed with the latest formulation of Coco Puffs.
Stream of Consciousness reflects on the Trix Rabbit
what's in the big bag? is passionate about cereal and offers tips to enjoy it more.
Yellowstag rants on the problems with sugared cereals
Mike reminisces on monster cereals.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cereal better than sex?

Much has been written recently about Cereality, and their lead in creating cereal restaurants. Another good one can be read at IOL. But, what caught my attention was this T-shirt caption:
"95 percent of Americans like cereal; 57 percent like sex"

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

New trend in nutrition labelling?

Food companies have been under much pressure lately to provide healthier products, or at minimum provide consumers nutritional information so that they can make responsible choices. The cereal industry is a prime example, especially since many of the cereals are high in sugar, while targeted to children.
Kellogg Australia announced that they will start putting nutrition information on the FRONT of the package, instead of the side or back. It will be interesting to see if this trend spreads elsewhere. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald .
I just hope that this extra clutter doesn't impact the creation of creative cereal boxes!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Frosted Flakes go military

Kellogg has begun shipping special boxes of Frosted Flakes to military commissaries, featuring five military community volunteers. (Read more at AirForceTimes)
These boxes are only available in commissaries so for cereal box collectors these will be desirable boxes to obtain.
Nice touch Kellogg!
(This illustrates what I've been saying for awhile now: Cereal companies could generate significant buzz by coming up with more of these customized boxes for local and targeted situations).


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Here are some noteworthy blog posts concerning cereal from the past few weeks:
THEoracle explains why Rice Krispies go "snap, crackle and pop"
xflickerflyx is convinced that each cereal tastes best when matched with the right type of milk
All this chiitah-chattah is not impressed with Golden Grahams as  "ridged" cereal
Lauren is not convinced that low-sugar cereals lead to people eating less sugar

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Cereal Flavored Frozen Yogurt

When starting this blog I had no idea that so much attention would be paid to cereal restaurants, but obviously this is where much cereal innovation is taking place right now.
Case in point: The Cereal Bowl restaurant is introducing cereal flavored frozen yogurt, called "Freeze N' Flakes" to its menu. Customers will have the choice of up to eight cereal (such as Coco Puffs and Lucky Charms) and topping choices in a soft serve vanilla yogurt.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Playing on your strengths

Everyone knows that most people consume Kellogg's All-Bran cereals mainly to assist irregularity. Instead of glossing this over, Kellogg has wisely decided to capitalize on this brand position in it's advertising. While not the first advertising to do this (see Had Your Bran Today?), this latest ad featuring restroom stall graffiti speaks a clear message to anyone who's spent a long time on the throne.
See at Adverbox


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cereality on wheels

Cereal restaurant, Cereality, is involved in its own form of creative marketing, now as part of a joint venture with Dodge. They have created a "Cereal Sprinter", a customized van that is not only a moving billboard but also a mobile cereal restaurant stand.


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Surreal Bowl

Copying the Cereality cereal restaurant concept is nothing new, and is part of the growth of this emerging trend. But, it's not enough to be a copycat. A successful competitor will need to distinguish themselves.
The Surreal Bowl may be the first creative alternative in this increasingly crowded market. Located in St. Petersburg, Florida it appears to have an almost cartoon look and feel, and specializes in sugared cereals. (See articles at Slashfood and The Tampa Tribune for more information).
It will be interesting to see how it catches on.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Don't eat cereal and drive

You may have wondered if I'm still around. The answer is YES! It's just that I took a much needed vacation recently. Now that I'm back we can get back to more Cereal Bowl action!
The St. Petersburg Times reports that a man had a car wreck because of being distracted by eating Frosted Flakes while he was driving.
NOT Gr-r-r-r-eat!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cereal and bloggers

Here are some significant blog postings regarding cereal from the past few weeks:
Mom's Basement is my Secret HQ! is disappointed with the new Alpha-Bits
All this chittah-chattah finds using Froot Loops for crafts bizarre
Life is Crap reports that "Tony the Tiger Owes Big Bucks in Child Support Case"

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Friday, April 21, 2006

General Mills goes liquid

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've been moving.
General Mills announced a deal with flavored-milk maker Bravo! Foods for a line of milk that tastes like General Mills' most popular cereals. Initial flavors include Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and Wheaties (?!), with the possibility of later adding Lucky Charms, Booberry, and Frankenberry.
(Read the story at the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal)
This is the not the frist foray into cereal beverages. Last fall I reported on Liquid Cereal, but that has appeared to have fizzled. Kellogg's has Drink 'n Crunch, which isn't quite the same but leans in the same direction.
This new deal between a major cereal manufacturer and Bravo! (which already has established itself in creating specialized branded milk beverages) could be the one that pushes cereal beverages into the mainstream.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Don't eat cereal while driving

You see it all the time. People engaged in secondary activities while driving, like talking on a cell phone, drinking coffee, putting on make-up, even eating a sandwich. But eating cereal from a bowl?
In a letter in the Chambersburg, PA Public Opinion, a reader tells of a erratic driver eating cereal while driving.
Cereal is a great food. And, it's important to have a healthy breakfast. But, please don't eat cereal while driving!

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