Friday, December 31, 2010

Cereal Leftovers

As 2010 comes to a close it's time to clear out a collection of recent cereal related items that caught my attention but didn't make the cut for a full blog post.:

The Mommy Files on provide a fun llist of the "craziest breakfast cereals ever"

BBC looks at why eating breakfast at your office desk is not a good idea

Fooducate challenges Michelle Obama's belief that Honey Nut Cheerios is a healthy breakfast

Pediatrics journal publishes a study that makes the startling discovery that high-sugar cereals increase children's total sugar consumption. Brilliant!

babble evaluates the recent move by cereal companies to lower sugar content

Technorati Tags: ,

Post joins the bandwagon

We've been noting the increasing trend for healthier cereals, especially among those targeted to children. General Mills and Kellogg have been making changes in this direction in recent years, but now Post has announced reduced sugar for its Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereals. But, notably absent, are Alpha Bits and Golden Crisp, the latter in particular a cereal with over 50% sugar. So, does this represent a true philosophical shift for Post, or is it merely a public relations move?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New focus for Special K

It's that time of year again when we're feeling guilty about over-indulgence during the Holidays and pondering New Year's resolutions for better fitness and weight loss. It's no surprise then that Kellogg is again gearing up its marketing for Special K, its cereal positioned to help people (and women in particular) shed pounds.

Unlike previous years, however, this year's Special K approach is somewhat different. Instead of focusing on being another weight loss product, the theme is now "What will you gain when you lose". In other words, they are emphasizing the emotional benefits of reaching their weight loss goals, such as confidence and pride.

I have long questioned whether or not Special K could sustain itself as credible weight loss system. This latest move might be a step in the right direction. Be not fooled, however. Kellogg is still taking advantage of the anxiety many are facing about being overweight. That's still a big part of the message. In fact, in conjunction with this campaign they have launched an iPhone app to assist those following the weight loss program. But, the shift to emotional needs, might be a better long-term strategy which could make for stronger overall brand identity. Helping women feel good about themselves could be extended to other aspects of life such as work, motherhood, aging, etc. It will probably require, however, an even more overt move to feminize Special K. That could be risky, but might be what it takes for Special K to assure its prominence long-term.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

McDonald's joining Starbucks with oatmeal

More evidence that oatmeal for breakfast is a growing trend:

According to the L. A. Times, McDonald's restaurants will begin selling a maple-flavored oatmeal mixture for $1.99 beginning this week. The cereal will also contain apples, raisins, cranberries and cream and will be served in a cardboard cup. McDonald's has probably seen the success that Starbucks has had selling oatmeal over the several years ago. Jamba Juice has also added it to their menu.

Oatmeal is a great comfort food, and gives McDonald's a new, healthy option for breakfast guests.

Will this contribute to a further surge for oatmeal and hot cereals in general?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weaning Kids Off Sugar

Sugar has been a mainstay in breakfast cereal for decades, but new developments this week suggest that its significance may be waning.

First, a new study from Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (and reported in Time) reveals that children eat less sugar if they're allowed to sweeten the cereal themselves. This suggests that the high levels of sugar in many cereals may not be necessary to satisfy the sweet teeth of children.

Not likely a result of this study, but coincidentally General Mills has announced that they will continue to lower the amount of sugar in children's cereals to no more than 10 grams per service (source: This fulfills what they were promising exactly one year ago and is further indication of the growing awareness among consumers of health issues and the desire for more nutritious options.

Cereal is evolving.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Holy Crap?

In a crowded cereal marketplace the key is standing out.

Here's a bold attempt by a small Canadian company. Last year their company, HapiFoods, began selling a new, health oriented cereal. The "Holy Crap" response they received from consumers led them to use the name. And, now with some media exposure, they have sold thousands of this cereal, and another variety, Skinny B. In fact, they are weeks behind in production, and turned down an NBC Today Show appearance because they wouldn't have been able to handle the demand.

The cereal is a combination of chia, hulled hemp seeds, buckwheat, apples, cranberries, raisins and cinnamon. It is also free of wheat, gluten and lactose. While the cereal is somewhat novel, the packaging is far from innovative or exciting. But, the name itself is enough to garner attention. So far it's been working.

(Source: Toronto Star)

Technorati Tags: , ,