Friday, May 03, 2013

It's in the Bag

This is not really new, but something I've been wanting to post for several months now.

A trip down the grocery aisle in recent years reveals the growing trend toward low-cost cereals, often packaged in bags. For cereal purists the mass marketing of cereal in plastic bags seems to take away much of what has made cereal a staple of the breakfast table. The box accompanying your bowl is part of what has made cereal such an integral part of our culture.

Nevertheless, consumers are increasingly realistic. Breakfast cereal is not cheap, and when the economy goes south, people are looking for the best deal. MOM brands, the largest alternative manufacturer of cereal has increased its market because it has taken advantage of this trend, primarily through its Malt-O-Meal brand of bagged cereals that copy big name brands. But, MOM has diversified with other brands as well.

One of the new, creative MOM brands is Spooners, a premium edition of its Malt-O-Meal Mini Spooners, a Mini-Wheats knock-off. Multigrain Spooners come in five flavors, but the real story here is the bag. This is not the flimsy cellophane bag of Malt-O-Meal stacked in bins in the cereal aise. These bags are a thicker plastic that is self-standing. Very attractive. Practical. Potentially revolutionary.

The stand-up bag is not new. We spotted it six years ago used by the UK cereal maker, Jordans. At the time I wondered how long it would take for others to tap into this innovation. MOM appears to be a company willing to "step outside the box" and that is probably why they are experiencing the success they are.

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