Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cereal Advent calendar

Many of our most loved Christmas traditions come from Germany. Now, German cereal innovator, mymuesli, recently introduced a creative new cereal product that brings new excitement for children counting down the days until Christmas. Each Advent Calendar box contains 24 cereal containers in eight varieties that are discovered each day through their own window. A fascinating innovation, although not cheap (59 euros = $78 US).

This is the kind of creative thinking we need to see again among U.S. cereal companies!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kellogg backs down

This summer I reported on a dispute between Kellogg and the non-profit Maya Archaeology Initiative (MAI) over the use of a toucan in the latter's logo. At the time it seemed a ridiculous move on Kellogg's part, and I'm glad to see that sanity has prevailed. The cereal company is going to lay off of MAI, and even give them $100,00 toward one of their projects.

A good lesson in how not to do public relations, something Kellogg especially needs to pay attention to in the midst of their financial challenges.

(Source: Detroit Free Press)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cereal Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and a great day to highlight another blog devoted to cereal. Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with "Poppy", the personality behind Cereal Wednesday, a video blog that almost every week samples and rates a different cereal or associated breakfast food. I always enjoy talking to someone else with the same obsession!

Cereal Wednesday began over four years ago by another pseudonymous figure, NYCD, "as a complete and total goof". Since then Poppy entered the scene as a partner and has largely taken over preparing weekly reviews of cereals, ranging from the popular to the more obscure. These 5-10 minute episodes take about 2.5 hours to produce, and typically feature Poppy opening a box of cereal, sharing her taste impressions, and highlighting key features such as nutrition facts - all unscripted. By her own admission, Poppy is somewhat "quirky", but comes across to viewers as a real person who simply enjoys cereal. Her reactions and opinions seem trustworthy, and overall the home-spun presenations are mildly entertaining and without glitz. While not influenced by it, Cereal Wednesday bears a number of similarities to the trend-setting Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk

All in all, Cereal Wednesday is just plain, idiosyncratic fun, which is why Poppy and NYCD have done it. Like most blogs there's no real money in it, and they don't accept samples from companies in order to maintain their objectivity and independence. Cereal Wednesday is a great complement to my own blog, and will be of particular interest to those looking for actual cereal reviews.

Check them out at:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lucky Charms cereal sifter

For those that love cereal marshmallows and find the actual cereal distracting, here is an invention for you! Tom Lombardi has created a simple way for you to separate the Lucky Charms cereal from the marshmallows. It's simply a custom cup with the perfect-sized holes on the bottom. LINK.
Stocking stuffer anyone?
(What will they think of next?!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Challenges at Kellogg

Recent quarterly financial reports from Kellogg suggest the company continues to face some major challenges. Profits are down 14%, and like a growing number of countries the company is facing a rating review from Moody's Investor Service. The pressure comes as a result of several factors including higher grain prices and a highly competitive marketplace, all this despite trying to cut costs and increase prices.

As I've been saying for awhile now, the big cereal companies are in a difficult position despite their strong brand positions. Consumers are restless and exploring new, authentic options. Can Kellogg's stand out in this environment?

Source: Wall Street Journal - article 1, article 2