Monday, March 26, 2012

More Wheaties questioning

Last week General Mills released their latest financial data, and the news doesn't look good for Wheaties. There is growing evidence that their market share and sales are declining. A recent story at CNBC captures the situation well (and includes quotes from yours truly).

I've talked about the brand struggle at Wheaties for several years now, and even as recently as last month. Wheaties is a familiar brand that has captured many significant connections with sports in America over the past few decades. But, despite our nostaglia with the cereal, it just doesn't have much appeal any longer. Is it time for Wheaties to bow out of the race? Or, is there still potential with a renewed vision?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

New life for custom cereals

One of the trends that I have been watching for several years is the rise of companies that create custom cereals according to customer demands. This innovative manner of making cereal had its beginnings in Germany and is led by mymuesli. Two U.S. companies, [me]&goji and MixMyGranola, tried to copy this model here. At first this looked very promising.

Last summer, however, it appeared that this approach might not being having the intended success. [me]&Goji announced that they would be shutting down. In the fall, MixMyGranola entered into a partnership with Element Bars, a food bar company, although it does not appear that relationship is still intact. Just this week, however, Element Bars announced that they were acquiring [me]&goji which had already ceased operations. Jonathan Miller of Element Bars says that they "share the same vision of custom, whole foods and hope this acquisition will continue our growth in the custom food space." It is not yet clear how the cereals will be branded.

One of the difficulties that these upstart companies faced was breaking into the large cereal market. Perhaps their future will be brighter if they are part of a company with more resources. We will continue to watch.