Friday, March 30, 2007

Cheerios On-The-Go Pack

I've recently been critical of cereal price increases and have called for more innovation and value from manufacturers. Today I was pleased to see an example of this coming from General Mills.

Playing on the fact that Cheerios is the favorite cereal as a finger food for toddlers, General Mills has introduced a convenient container for parents for dispensing the little O's. The On-The-Go Pack is really nothing more than a cheap (but cool!) plastic container that is reusable and reinforces the Cheerios brand. And for 1.1 oz of cereal (1 official adult serving) it was selling for $2.19 at my local grocery store. Costly, but brilliant marketing. And probably will contribute to increase General Mills' revenue and profits.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

How much is too much?

Prices rise. That's a reality of life. Cereal price will rice, and that is to be expected.

But, at what point do cereal price increases drive consumers away from cereal, or at minimum, to generic brands, etc?

I'm not sure there is a good answer to this. Even marketing surveys done by the big companies probably do not reflect the actual responses by consumers. Yet, it is a valid question, especially considering the tough competition in the cereal industry and the increasing decline in cereal consumption in North America.

According to Market Watch, General Mills has recently indicated that they may be increasing prices. There is even speculation that they may resort to shrinking the box size as a way to keep costs down.

Pricing always comes down to value. Cereal companies must never lose sight of offering value in the consumer's mind. This means innovation and a strong brand image.

I fear that they are getting closer to losing the value battle.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Flake - the movie

Flake is a new comedy movie that has the lead role managing a cereal bar. According to an initial review it's not a great picture, but I'm sure cereal restaurants like Cereality and The Cereal Bowl are ecstatic!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Weekly Poll Update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. My last question was: "Should cereal companies be restricted in marketing to children?"

Here are the results:

Yes - 48%
No - 52%

My take on the above results: I let this poll run a little longer than usual because it was so close. Obviously people are fairly evenly divided on this issue, a fact that should concern advocates on both sides.

Now it's time for our next question. Cereal has become a versatile food, so, "How do you eat cereal?"


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

A reminder for cereal lovers to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with a bowl of Lucky Charms!

Also, in the St. Patty's Day theme, the Cereal Bowl restaurants will be offering green milk this weekend, in both whole and skim varieties! Read Press Release.

Now, that's fun!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nature Valley goes cereal

Nature Valley, the prominent granola bar brand, is now expanding to cereal (a reverse trend compared to cereal companies who launch breakfast bars!). According to their website Nature Valley cereal is "100% natural" and will come in two varieties: Oats 'n Honey and Cinnamon.

It's granola bar cereal.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Innovative Design

To get attention in a crowded cereal market you have to stand out. Dorset Cereals in the U.K. appears to have done so with their very attractive line of cereals. Obviously these are targeted to adults, and they represent a health-oriented brand. Nevertheless, rarely does one see true packaging design innovations in cereal, which is strange since few other commodities are so dependent on their packaging. Dorset is an exception.

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