Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ancient cereal?

Because of the large role that cereal plays in our modern diet and lifestyle it's easy to overlook the historical background of this food staple. While breakfast cereal today is a food often interesting more because of its marketing than substance, it is worth noting that cereal is not a modern invention. True, packaged, ready-to-eat cereals are relatively new on the human stage (apx. 100+ years), but there is evidence that other cereal concoctions have been around for a long time. In fact, a new Canadian study just published in the journal Science reveals that our ancestors have been processing grains for at least 100,000 years. And this likely included porridges.

I wonder what their boxes looked like?

(Source: AFP)

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recession good for cereal?

It was exactly one year ago that I pondered the impact of the recession on the cereal industry. One year later it looks like the recession could actually be boosting cereal sales, at least for General Mills. Their second quarter profit is up 50%, and analysts believe that in addition to lower ingredient costs more people are turning to cereal for cheap meal, and not just for breakfast. People are eating at home more and cereal is a versatile food that can be eaten at any time. 

Are you eating more cereal now?

(Source: AP)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chex and the Holidays

It's that time of year for parties and social gatherings. And, you are likely to find Chex Party Mix at some of them. The famous snack concoction incorporates General Mills' versatile Chex cereals.

An interesting article in the New York Times provides good background on the mix, and further recipe innovations using the cereal.

(Note: I am quoted in the article).

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

General Mills to further reduce sugars

General Mills announced today that they will be further reducing the sugar content in cereals. Specifically, this applies to cereals advertised to children and the sugar levels will be brought down to "single-digit" levels per serving.

The trend toward healthier cereals is growing, largely the result of pressure from advocacy groups concerned about the marketing of unhealthy cereals to children. Kellogg has already reduced sugar content in many of its cereals, and both Kellogg and General Mills have boosted their cereals with fiber.

General Mills admits that reducing sugar can impact cereal taste. But, they believe that "technology, time and investment" is allowing them to reach their goal.

This evolution to more nutritious cereals is a reality we must accept. While classic cereal brands targeted to children will persist, they will certainly never again be as many of us remember them from our childhoods.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Cereal poll update

It's time for our next Breakfast Bowl poll. The last question was: "What is your initial impression of new Wheaties FUEL?"

Here are the results:

Great! Unique and innovative - 37%
OK. Another cereal choioce - 21%
More hype than substance - 21%
Who cares? - 21%

Obviously, mixed results.

Now for the next question. Recently I did a series on custom cereal. The question for you is: "What you think of custom cereals?"


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Sunday, November 29, 2009

More [me] & goji

Last month I did a four-part series comparing my experience with custom cereal manufacturers MixMyGranola and [me]&goji.

In response to my posts [me]&goji co-founder Adam Sirois emailed me his reflections and some additional information. He gave me permission to share his email. Here are some excerpts that provide greater insight into what they are doing:

This is Adam, one of the co-founders of [me] & goji. I wanted to thank you for running the 4-part series on our company versus mixmygranola- it was great to read a nonpartisan comparison. I appreciate the honesty of your review (you actually purchased your own mix, rare!), and I'd like to address a few points you raised in your article to continue the discussion, shed some light on our thoughts behind the industry and highlight some things that set us apart.

Using a combination of MyMuesli and GM's MyCereal soft launch to press in 2001 as a foundation for our business model, we decided to focus on cereal as muesli does not have a big market here and you do not find many small cereal companies in the US the way you do granola; we saw an opportunity there.  We do not try to shy away from the influence they had, but like any new company, we attempted to improve upon the foundations they laid. Apart from being the first custom cereal & granola company in US, we have innovated in several areas including:

-first (& only) to have a LIVE nutrition counter that updates in real time as you add each ingredient
-first (& only) to allow customers to upload any picture onto their Cereal Capsule (who hasn't dreamed of having their face on a cereal box!)
-first to use drag & drop functionality to make the mixing experience interactive
-first to target people with special dietary needs, such as those who are intolerant to gluten or elite athletes with a focused diet
-our website is designed to be educational and engaging where visitors can learn about new exotic foods and their health benefits
-we are an eco-conscious brand and one of the only consumer product companies I know to offer carbon offsets at the purchase point (Green Tags)

As you know, cereal is a $10b industry and it is a product that people are passionate about.  Before us, cereal was considered a fast-moving consumer good with low-perceived value.  What we are trying to do is reposition cereal--similar to the way Starbucks repositioned coffee--as a premium specialty good that can be catered to each individual. We do not sacrifice quality for quantity or price and every ingredient we choose to offer is the best of its kind we have discovered, even if it means sacrificing the organic tag (our blueberries are grown wild in Maine and hand-picked, but not certified organic).

We are not trying to create a gimmick or novelty item, rather a lifestyle brand and a superior product, and I believe we have (Food & Wine named us Best Natural Cereal in August).  While our granola is great, our cereal really sets us apart.

You were one of the first to feature us from the very beginning and we often used your blog as a resource during the early stages of development, so we thank you for that. We continue to follow your blog and recommend it to our cereal fanatic customers. We would love to keep an open line of communication and hear any suggestions / advice you'd like to give.

sincerealy yours,

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cereal Party

Celebrity news (i.e. gossip) holds no interest for me, but one story caught a little attention. A few days ago Taylor Swift won big at the Country Music Awards, but instead of a typical night out celebrating she had a "cereal party" at home with her parents.

Does that mean cereal is the new cool?

(Source: omg)

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Packaging innovations

The Olin Design Group recently passed on to me information on some new bags they designed for food products such as cereal. The bags come in two patented designs, Easy Pour and Zip Pour, both of which provide convenience, reduce packaging and food waste, and still remain attractive for marketing purposes.

Certainly, bag innovations are not new, and some companies have already done a great job with innovative bag designs. The key here is, as I have mentioned before, is for cereal companies to "think outside the box". Some companies have already done so. For example, Target's Archer Farms and several custom cereal manufacturers.

Apart from the practical and environmental benefits, it can also be a great way for cereals to stand out on grocers' shelves and in consumers' minds.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More dubious labels

Following soon after the controversy over the Smart Choice Program, a new controversy has emerged over Kellogg's recent immunity claims printed boldly on several cereal boxes. Essentially, they are playing on the current flu fear by giving the impression that cereal has some special immune strengthening qualities. In truth, these qualities are simply the vitamins in the cereal - a significant overstatement.

Kelly Brownell, of Yale University's Center for Food and Policy says "this one belongs in the hall of fame. By their logic, you can spray vitamins on a pile of leaves, and it will boost immunity".

Based on the widespread negative media attention this is receiving, it is obvious that Kellogg (and other companies) have to stop trying so hard to get a sales edge. Exaggerated claims do nothing to help their brand credibility.

(source USA Today)

UPDATE: November 4th - Kellogg announced today that they will be discontinuing this packaging. (source BrandWeek)

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dumb choices

A few weeks ago I reported on the controversy brewing over the Smart Choices Program launched by a number of food manufacturers, including cereal companies.

Things got more exciting recently when the FDA sent a warning to these manufacturers stating the new labelling may be misleading, and calls for a more a standardized system for such simplified nutritional labelling.

In response, General Mills announced this week that they will be abandoning the Smart Choices symbol.

Smart move.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Follow The Breakfast Bowl on Twitter

In an effort to provide quicker news stories and simpler reflections and discoveries I am launching The Breakfast Bowl Twitter account to complement this blog. Follow me @breakfast_bowl!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Head-to-head: Custom cereals - Part 4

This is the fourth part of a series of posts about my recent experiences ordering from [me]&goji and MixMyGranola, the leading U.S. custom cereal manufacturers.

In short, both companies have done a great job and are creating a good product and ordering experience. In my opinion, there is no clear winner, at least not in these early stages of their evolution. I would have no hesitations ordering from either of them again.

Going through the entire process from ordering to eating has been a fun experience. Certainly the novelty factor alone gives custom cereals certain appeal. It is an innovative concept that has the potential to shake-up the breakfast industry.

But, I have a few questions and concerns:

1. Will custom cereals ever become mainstream? While it may be possible for a small business to flourish with this business model, I wonder whether it will ever catch on enough to have a significant long-term impact on the role of cereal of in our society.

2. How will custom cereal companies distinguish themselves from each other? Probably the most amazing part of this exercise has been the realization that there is more similarity between MixMyGranola and [me]&goji then differences. Unfortunately, in the effort to copy the success of mymuesli they seem to be neglecting the opportunity to further innovation and creativity. Long-term success will depend on each of these companies finding their unique niche and capitalizing on it.

3. Is there life beyond granola and muesli? Obviously the very nature of granola and muesli make them great candidates for a breakfast cereal base. But, I would like to believe that the next stage in custom cereal will include even more cereal options for consumers.

I look forward to watching this cereal drama unfold, and will keep you posted here.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Head-to-head: Custom cereals - Part 3

This is the third part of a series of posts about my recent experiences ordering from [me]&goji and MixMyGranola, the leading U.S. custom cereal manufacturers.

After placing my order I knew that I would have to wait for my order. To my amazement it didn't take as long as I had expected. Even though I live on the opposite side of the country from both of these companies I had my cylinders of custom cereal within just a few days. To be exact, my MixMyGranola shipment arrived in 2 business days via FedEx, and the [me]&goji order was only one day later via UPS. Pretty impressive.

Having received the goods it was fun to look over the canisters. Each had a custom label with the name of my mixture, the list of ingredients and the Nutrition Facts calculated according to my recipe. I noticed, however, the MixMyGranola's label was not completely accurate as it listed "Organic Granola" without breaking down what comprises that granola as they are required to do. (I could find this information on their website, however). Also, in keeping with the similarity between the companies, both cylinders had personalized, hand-written signatures and other markings such as happy faces, etc. from the individual who prepared my mix. Nice touches to reinforce the personalized service and custom nature of these products.

The big question is: What about the cereal itself? I am usually reluctant to review cereal by taste as that is largely subjective. But, let me briefly describe what I observed. [me]&goji's granola is definitely the more hearty of the two cereals. Even the base granola itself comes with extras like sunflower seeds, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Interestingly, when milk is added the density of the cereal prevents any floating. MixMyGranola is a much more basic granola mixture. As far as my taste preference is concerned, I tended to enjoy more the taste of MixMyGranola's version, probably because it contains more sugars and therefore is sweeter. But, both were great to eat and will not disappoint anyone who enjoys granola.

With my stomach full, in my next post I will offer some final reflections on this entire experience.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Head-to-head: Custom cereals - Part 2

This is the second part of a series of posts about my recent experiences ordering from [me]&goji and MixMyGranola, the leading U.S. custom cereal manufacturers.

A couple of weeks ago I went online to place fairly identical orders from these two companies. Despite the different offerings, it was fairly easy to come up with a cereal combination that would allow for a fair comparison. In the end I decided to concoct a mixture that included their base granola plus dried blueberries, almonds and flax seeds.

Both companies have dynamic web sites that allow for the instant creation of the cereal of your choice. They also have premixed versions for those that either can't make up their mind or don't want to go through the hassle. (But half the fun is coming up with your recipe!) As far as the online simplicity and user experience, both websites are well designed and easy to use, although [me]&goji's is more appealing because you drag and drop your ingredients into an on-screen bowl. Cool! Each also allows you to see the nutrition composition of your formula before you purchase.

As far as choices are concerned, [me]&goji offers 9 cereal bases, including gluten-free options. From there you can choose from 19 grains and spices, and 14 dried fruits. MixMyGranola's options offer more possible combinations. Although there are only 4 bases (3 granolas and 1 muesli), you can pick from 17 nuts and seeds, 20 dried fruits, 24 extras (including such unusual ingredients like gummybears, pretzels and candy corn), and 17 enhancers (powders including spirulina, green tea and bee pollen).

In many ways these companies seem to be quite similar, even down to the use of a cylinder in which your cereal is packaged. But, each also adds its own twists, apart from the ingredients offered. [me]&goji allows users to donate $1 upon checkout to a worthy cause, this month to renewable energy projects and breast cancer survivors. MixMyGranola offers some special price incentives. If you join their monthly "granola club" you can save 15-35%. And if you first sign-up for their email newsletter you get a 10% discount off your first order, although I tried that and my special code didn't work - so no discount!

As far as cost is concerned, my [me]&goji order totaled $15.39 with shipping. The MixMyGranola bill came to $13.25 with shipping. But, it is important to note that the [me]&goji cylinder is somewhat larger. If you calculate the total cost per unit of weight, MixMyGranola is about 50% more expensive, although they are much more aggressive in offering discounts through their granola club, newsletter offers, and even a coupon included with the shipment. Shipping charges also can differ. I ended up paying an identical $4.99 for each order, but that's because [me]&goji's rate was still a "summer special". MixMyGranola rewards those who buy in builk, offering free shipping for orders over $40.00.

Ordering was a pleasant experience, but one disadvantage to conventional cereal shopping was evident. I couldn't take my cereal home with me and instead had to wait until it was delivered. More on that in the next post.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Head-to-head: Custom cereals - Part 1

This week I am doing something new for this blog: I will be posting a multi-part series depicting my recent experiences with the two leading U.S. custom cereal manufacturers.

In the past year or so two companies, [me]&goji and MixMyGranola, have largely copied the success of German cereal maker mymuesli to introduce the concept of custom-made cereals to the U.S. This is certainly an innovative approach that allows consumers to design their own cereal online and then to have the finished product shipped to them in a cardboard cylinder. [me]&goji and MixMyGranola are betting their business hopes on the realization that there is a growing desire for personalization of all consumer goods and a quest by many for quality above commodification.

A couple of weeks ago I placed fairly identical orders from these two companies and have since had the opportunity to experience and compare their service and cereals. Watch for my reflections in upcoming posts.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Laser branded Corn Flakes

The Internet is currently abuzz with a report (that apparently began with a Tweet) in Britain that Kellogg will soon be etching some of its Corn Flakes with the Kellogg logo as a way to stand out from either fake or generic brand knock-offs. Of course, early speculation was that this was a hoax (even though we are nowhere close to April 1st), but some credible sources such as the Telegraph and AdAge have done their homework and vouch for the story. Apparently Kellogg does have the technology and sees this as a way to strengthen the position of some of its core brands.

At minimum,  this has got people talking and interested in Kellogg's Corn Flakes. And, if it ever does get made, you can bet that they will sell tons of boxes just so people can see the special flakes.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Investing in innovation

Innovation has been a regular theme on this blog as I believe that this is a necessity in an increasingly crowded breakfast cereal market.

A couple of years ago General Mills announced the search for a partner in innovation, and it now looks like they found their soul mate, Nestle. Together the two companies have announced the formation of an "Innovation Centre"  in Switzerland as part of their Cereal Partners Worldwide joint venture. This pursuit of innovation is intended to look for ways to bring about "consumer benefits, such as improved content, as well as freshness, taste and texture."

The proof, of course, will be in the results. We'll be watching.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

How much would you pay?

There was furor recently in Bakersfield California when a convenience store was spotted charging $12.00 for an 18-ounce box of Honey Bunches of Oats. (The normal price at most stores is less than half that). Despite the negative media attention, high prices at convenience stores is not a big surprise and certainly not illegal. But, it does raise the question: Especially in light of the current state of the economy, what is the most you'd pay for a box of cereal?


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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hi-tech bowl

It's been awhile since I've highlighted a new bowl for cereal lovers. Here's one that is probably more fun than practical, and also educational.

The Loopa Gyroscopic Toddler Bowl is designed to be spill resistant because of its gyroscopic technology. The inner bowl is weighted and connected to two outer rings that keep it upright no matter what.

This could make breakfast even more fun for kids!

(From ThinkGeek)

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Smart Choices?

Critics have been out in full-force the last few weeks after the introduction of the Smart Choices Program, a labeling program sponsored by large food manufacturers, including breakfast cereal companies such as Kellogg and General Mills. The Smart Choices checkmark will appear on a wide range of food items if they meet certain nutritional standards.

An obvious lightening rod for criticism are cereals, since a number of sugar-laden ones like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops will bear the logo. Even the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are expressing some skepticism of the program.

Obviously, this is a great marketing tool directed at confused and harried shoppers. But, in the end will the apparent low standard backfire? Today's savvy consumers are increasingly demanding much more.

(Source: New York Times)

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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Cereal Project

If you are looking for that favorite cereal from your childhood, or just curious about the myriad of cereals available a new website is designed to be your one-stop cereal database. Already, The Cereal Project, contains over 1,220 U.S. cereals, with new ones added regularly. A fascinating resource part of the website.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cereal poll update

It's time for our next Breakfast Bowl poll. The last question was: "Are there too many breakfast cereal choices available today?"

Here are the results:

Yes - 43%
No, just right - 21%
No, we need more choices - 36%

Now for the next question. Earlier this month General Mills unveiled the next generation of Wheaties: FUEL.

So, "What is your initial impression of new Wheaties FUEL?"


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wheaties FUEL - more evolution

As announced in July, General Mills has been working to strengthen the brand image of Wheaties, and today officially unveiled its new Wheaties FUEL cereal.

As a result of their market testing they decided on a Cinnamon Honey Crunch flavor that is "lightly sweetened" and features crunchy whole wheat flakes and crisp rice.

Obviously, from the box, this cereal is the ultimate men's cereal, or so they would want consumers to believe. The message is clear: This cereal is designed by sports nutritionists, tested by athletes, and will provide "long-lasting energy to fuel your wins". From a marketing perspective FUEL is bold and brilliant.

The nutritional qualities touted include the fact that it is made with whole grain, contains 100% of the Daily Value of B vitamins, and 5g of fiber to curb hunger. There are still some nutrient quantities not fully revealed, such as the proportion of simple carbohydrates and the protein quantity.

Wheaties FUEL will not be available on grocer's shelves until January, but it is possible to purchase a Collector's Edition box now for $9.99, which includes shipping. The price also includes a 3-month subscription to Men's Health magazine, a marketing partner in this venture.

The true test of whether this evolution becomes a revolution will be apparent early next year. Will this new cereal and brand capture a bigger market share for General Mills? Time will only tell, but I think they are off to a good start.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Monster Cereals

NOTE: Blogging has been very sparse in the last month or so as life took an unexpected turn with the death of my father this summer.
One of the most successful cereal franchises has been the "monster" cereal brands produced by General Mills (i.e. Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry, etc.). With Halloween coming next month it is appropriate to highlight a relatively new blog focusing on these pop icons.

Check it out at:

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Cereal Index: Is the economy turning around?

As I pointed out at the end of 2008 the recession impacts spending habits, including down the cereal aisle. Discount brands tend to do well when people are watching where every penny goes.

In recent months there have been signs that the economy is improving. And the unofficial, and purely hypothetical, "cereal index" seems to  confirm that. Kellogg recently posted double-digit quarterly growth, and CEO David Mackay confirmed the principle of the "cereal index", noting that retailer branded products are not selling as quickly as they were. (source Australian Food News) That is obviously good news for the big cereal companies.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cheerios and cholesterol - Take two

Only just months after the FDA reprimanded General Mills for cholesterol reduction claims with Cheerios, the company has turned up the heat, now claiming that "Cheerios can help reduce cholesterol 10 percent in one month". New boxes are beginning to appear in supermarkets boldly stating the claim, and a special website is devoted to the message.

This all comes as a result of a clinical study released in April by Provident Clinical Research that revealed these results.

There is no word as to whether the FDA will be content with this new health claim.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

More evolution

As part of today's first-stage announcement regarding the future of Wheaties, General Mills has updated the Evolution website, providing many more details on where they're headed in the coming months.

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Wheaties Fuel - the evolution begins

The New York Times today is revealing upcoming plans about the upcoming Wheaties "evolution" that we have been expecting and speculating over. (You will notice that I was interviewed for this article, and my blog post from last year, "The Breakfast of the Mediocre", is referenced).

Wheaties Fuel will be a new type of Wheaties that will be targeted to men. Three prototype formulas have been created, and in the next few weeks selected readers of Men's Health magazine will get to try them and pick the best one, which will be announced on September 9th, the previously publicized date for the "evolution".

It looks like a deliberate marketing strategy with considerable potential. For the sake of an iconic brand I hope it works.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009


Everyone once in a while I come across examples of art utilizing cereal. Recently a reader passed along a link to Cerealism, the work of Michael Albert, a modern pop artist whos work includes collages made from cereal boxes.

Wildly interesting.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cereal Bowl expands to Middle East

The Cereal Bowl restaurant chain is expanding, and not only in the U.S., but now to Qatar and other regions of the Middle East. As I observed previously the growth of cereal restaurants has struggled in recent years, and it appears that Cereal Bowl is taking a lead over Cereality. Their latest press release indicates that their expansion plans include at least 15 restaurants in the U.S., in additional to the expansion to the Middle East. While the Middle East seems to be a strange location for such a restaurant it may be a great move, as places like Qatar and Dubai are emerging powerhouses and a prime ground for Western companies looking for a foothold. We'll keep watching.

(Source PRLog)

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Time to think outside the box?

I've been away for the past few weeks, but cereal life continues...

In recent weeks a new discussion has emerged as U.K. grocer, Sainsbury, has announced that it will be using bags instead of boxes for its own brand of cereals. This is hardly innovative, as many other companies have been using bags, most notably Malt-O-Meal in the U.S.

What is significant, however, is that the discussion may be picking up, and reports are that even Kelloggs is considering it. Obviously boxes do perform a practical role, helping to preserve the physical integrity of the cereal, and they are a major part of the marketing and merchandising. But, with conventional cereal packaging there seems to be excessive waste between the box and the inner bag. Some companies have already begun experimenting with other forms of packaging, including a sharp and sturdy bag by Jordans, also of the U.K.

Maybe it is time for cereal companies to move beyond the box, and with innovation bring new life to their cereals.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Honey and Hispanics

Cereal innovations and extensions are nothing new, but this latest Corn Flakes one has a new twist. Kellogg has introduced Corn Flakes Touch of Honey which they have developed because of their belief that Hispanics prefer honey-sweetened cereal. The over-55 crowd will probably also find the addition of honey to a staple cereal enticing. In a rare U.S. move, Kellogg is also adding Spanish to the box.

This isn't the first cereal targeted to Hispanics in the U.S., but it does indicate a growing trend to meet the changing the demographics around us.

Source: Brandweek

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kellogg adds fiber

Over the past few years we have seen cereal manufacturers modify their recipes to make them more attractive to nutrition-conscious consumers, and to avoid the negative perceptions associated with some breakfast cereals. The latest is Kellogg, who just one year ago reduced sugar in some cereals. Now, they have announced that by the end of 2010 80% of their cereals will contain at least 3 grams of fiber. Apple Jacks and Froot Loops will be the first to experience this boost. This is somewhat similar to General Mills' decision several years ago to include whole grains in most of their cereals.

In reality, adding fiber (which will likely be the insoluble type) to cereals otherwise high in sugar, and artificial flavors and colors is somewhat disingenuous. Ultimately, it's nothing more than a marketing ploy.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cereal and common sense

The U.S. is known for frivolous lawsuits, and a recent one involving cereal proves the point. A woman filed a complaint against PepsiCo (owners of Quaker) for misleading consumers with its Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries. Apparently this cereal does NOT contain real fruit!

Fortunately the U.S. District Court dismissed the case citing the role of "personal responsibility and common sense".

What's next? Maybe somebody will discover there's no fruit in Froot Loops!

(Source: Lowering the Bar)

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wheaties evolves?

New Wheaties boxes are appearing on grocery store shelves, but not with athletic heroes. Instead a new line of boxes is promoting something new that will be unveiled on September 9th. No solid clues are given, except a tag line of "Fuel. Win. Evolve". and a website ( that contains nothing more than this image.

While we'll have to wait 3 1/2 months to know for sure, this could be something significant from General Mills. Hopefully. In recent years Wheaties has lacked the lustre it once had. Perhaps a new, stronger brand aimed at today's true fitness buffs could make this a hard-core cereal with a position all its own.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cereal without cereal

Here's an innovative twist for the morning breakfast bowl:

Naturally Sweet Baking Company of Nashville, Tennessee has developed a technique to dry fruits in a manner that produces a granular "whole fruit cereal" that can be eaten like and in place of conventional cereals. To be precise these are not really "cereals" (i.e. which are grains), but they mimic them and provide an alternative for those who can not or prefer not to eat grains, or for something new and different.

Currently, there are two flavors: sweet apples and tart apples. Pear and apricot versions are coming soon. These are available in stores only in Tennessee, or online.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cheerios and health claims

General Mills has been slapped by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of health claims that appear on Cheerios boxes. The claim is that you could "lower your cholesterol 4 percent in six weeks", which is too specific for the FDA and treads into drug claim territory.General Mills countered saying that the claim has been on boxes for more than two years and is backed by a strong clinical study.

In a highly competitive environment cereal companies are doing all they can to stand out and gain an edge. In this case General Mills may have gone a little too far.

Sources: Reuters, General Mills

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beam some up

Some cereal is just meant to be fun, and Kellogg's new Star Trek offering is just that. Tied in with the popular new movie it should be a fun way to start the day, especially for Trekkies.

A must for collectors.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kellogg and truth in advertising

Kellogg recently agreed to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after charges were laid concerning false claims in advertising. Kellogg stated that Frosted Mini-Wheats improve children's attentiveness. The FTC charged that these claim were false and that Kellogg misrepresented the clinical study in question.

Kellogg has been trying hard to emphasize the nutrition soundness of its cereals, especially for children, but this time they tried too hard.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spilt Milk Bowl

I've highlighted new designs in cereal bowls before. Most of them try to solve a problem, like keeping the cereal crunchy, etc. Perpetual kid is offering one that has no real practical advantage, but it might be a fun one to have around. Made from flexible silicone the Spilt Milk Bowl adds a splash of fun to your breakfast table!

(Thanks Jacob for the tip!)

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