Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cheerios in shape

General Mills Canada has introduced an innovative, curved box for Multi-Grain Cheerios. This creative design sends a strong marketing message about managing weight using the cereal. In a cereal marketplace crowded with this message General Mills has found a unique way to stand out.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reaction to Kellogg

Kellogg's recent announcement that it will change it's advertising and packaging policies has generated more reaction than any other cereal story that I can recall. Apart from the extensive news coverage, many bloggers have chimed in, as have a large number of news commentators. Almost all of the reaction has been negative, or at least skeptical.

While I won't (and can't) reference every online reaction, here are some of the more significant ones that I have come across in the last week:

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Major nutrition and advertising changes at Kellogg

This week Kellogg bowed to ongoing pressure from advocacy groups who believe that cereal companies are wrongly targeting children with unhealthy cereals. The company announced:

1. It will cease advertising to children under 12 unless the cereal meets certain nutritional guidelines for calories, sugar, fat and sodium, and

2. It will cease using licensed characters or branded toys to promote unhealthy cereals.

In addition, Kellogg will introduce new front-of-package labeling to clearly state the cereal's nutritional values.

These are profound changes that could dramatically alter both Kellogg's cereals and marketing. It is a shift that could also change the place of cereal within our larger culture.

Under these new voluntary guidelines, some cereals often targeted to children meet the nutritional standards, while others don't. For example, Frost Flakes (and the Tony the Tiger) are safe. But, an old standard like Rice Krispies is not (too much sodium). This could mean the end of the Snap, Crackle and Pop characters, let alone Toucan Sam, and Dig 'Em.

I understand the rationale for the changes and the pressure put on companies like Kellogg. I hope that with all these changes we do not lose the "fun" aspect of cereal, since breakfast cereal is much more than just another food in our society.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

More trouble at Cereality?

I don't like to operate on rumors, but since this so close to be being verified, I will pass it along anyway.

An anonymous person posted a comment on a recent post concerning a Cereality restaurant closing in Evanston, Illinois. Here's what they said:

"I work for Cereality but not for long. Our downtown Chicago location is closing this Saturday."

If this is true it is not a good sign for Cereality, which has been the early leader in the cereal restaurant concept.

We'll keep watching ...

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New innovations from Kellogg

In a tight, competitive market innovation is essential. Watch for new versions of two favorites coming soon to a grocery store near you: Pops Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Froot Loops Smoothie.

The Pops cereal fits the trend this year of adding chocolate to common cereals. Froot Loops Smoothie is comprised of yogurt-covered pieces, another common technique being used in the last few years.

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Cereal poll update

The results from our latest Breakfast Bowl poll are in. My last question was: "What do you add to your cereal?"

Here are the results:

Milk - 31%
Fresh Fruit - 13%
Soy Milk - 10%
Yogurt, and Dried Fruit (TIE) - 8%
White Sugar - 5%
Nuts, and Supplements (TIE) - 4%
Chocolate Milk, Brown Sugar, Spices, and Other (TIE) - 3%
Juice - 2%
Water, Coconut, and Candy (TIE) - 1%

NOTE: percentages are based on total number of votes (i.e. multiples choices were permitted), not voters.

My take on the above results: Cereal is a truly versatile food!

Now it's time for our next question: "How do you prefer your cereal? [Crunchy or Soggy]"


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cereal can help you get pregnant?

OK, the title's a little misleading. But a recent article in the Daily Mail (UK), "Eating a bowl of cereal could help you get pregnant",  sure catches your attention!

It's an article about vitamin B6, a good source of which is breakfast cereal.


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Pirate's Life

Timed well with the latest version of Pirates of the Caribbean, Quaker has initiated an interesting contest tied in with Cap'n Crunch. According to their survey 83% of children (ages 8-13) think it would be fun to be a pirate. Building on this fascination, children are invited to write their own pirate tale in the "Legend of LaFoote" contest. LaFoote is an old character in the Cap'n Crunch saga and is being revived.

LINK to press release

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bat in breakfast cereal

I haven't posted here for awhile since I've been in the midst of moving. I have a few items to catch on, including this bizzare story:

According to The Local, a couple in Sweden opened up a box of Kellogg's All Bran and out plopped a dead bat. You hear of these kinds of things with other foods and even restaurants. Now cereal joins this type of notoriety.


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