Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Creative Packaging

Over the years I have highlighted innovations in cereal packaging. If companies are looking to innovate this is definitely one area in which there still is lots of room for creativity and new thinking. Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult for the major players to think "outside the box."

Recently I came across some concept projects developed by a graphic design student, Mun Joo Jane, at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. She came up with a couple of cereal packaging ideas that truly draw attention. In particular, her Special K package (rebranded as K+), while elaborate, would certainly stand out on the grocery store shelves and at home.

Take a look at this idea, plus a much more austere concept, and tell us what you think: https://www.behance.net/gallery/27278793/Kelloggs-Cereal

I wonder if the cereal companies are paying attention?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Selfie Spoon

Creative, viral marketing could provide a great boost for cereal companies, and it appears that General Mills might be on to something.

Building on the success of their wildly popular Cinnamon Toast Crunch they have come up with a Selfie Stick that will make it easier for you to take a photo of yourself eating your favorite cereal (i.e. CTC). What makes this selfie stick stand out is that it has a spoon on one end, providing the perfect combination that will allow you to engage in your social media promotion while having breakfast. I'm sure we've all wondered how we could make this happen. Right?

The best part of this new marketing novelty is that it is free, except for shipping and handling. The only problem is that it is sold out (no surprise) on their website, but the promise is that more are coming. Just keep checking.  


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: Kellogg's Origins

Earlier this year Kellogg announced Origins, a new line intended to tap into the growing market for more natural and healthy cereals, and as attempt to turn around the sales struggles that the company has had. While the six varieties making up the brand have been showing up in stores for several months already, more recently their presence has been noticeable with significant shelf space and deliberate marketing.

It's time to give these cereals a spin in the bowl and see what they're really like. With six different products to choose from, this will not be a detailed and rated review on each product like I've done with other cereals, but a more general overview of how Kellogg is doing with this new venture.

With Origins Kellogg, not quite sure of what will really work, does not want to miss any opportunities. There are actually three categories: cereal, granola and muesli; and two of each of those:

  • Fruit & Nut Blend Cereal
  • Ancient Grains Blend Cereal
  • Raisin Apple Granola
  • Cranberry Almond with Pumpkin Seeds Granola
  • Apricot Cashew Coconut with Raisins & Almonds Muesli
  • Raisin Apricot Cranberry with Pumpkin Seeds Muesli

On first glance Origins products definitely stand out. The Kellogg's name is boldly emblazoned on the front and the red theme gives these products a distinct look apart from what the other big companies are offering at this time. The one puzzling aspect of the packaging is that the Origins story is not as pronounced as it could be. Sure, on the back they talk about "Real food, prepared simply" but more could be done in the overall design to convey the natural, wholesome nature of the cereals. I'm not convinced that the average consumer will pick up on this.

The emphasis with Origins is on wholesome and nutritious. They are clear to point out features like the lack of artificial flavors and hydrogenated oils, and the quantities of fiber and whole grains. While there is a certain simplicity to the ingredient list, the nutritious virtue is not perfect. For example, sugar content is still higher than ideal (> 20% of weight).

From the taste samples that I have had, I can say that these are certainly pleasant eating. Being naturally focused, they don't want overpowering flavors, but the blends they have come up with are tasty. The sweetness level helps as well. But, these are far from knock-out recipes, although the mueslis may be the most interesting.

In the end, Kellogg's Origins are a solid new offering that you should at least try. Whether they turn around Big K's fortunes is yet to be seen, but they may have found a way to attract consumers looking for healthier cereals who might not be ready to jump to their nerdy Kashi line.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Kellogg goes natural too

It was just a few months ago that General Mills announced that they would be eliminating artificial flavors and colors, a big move. Not to be out done, in their recent investor call Kellogg basically announced the same thing, promising to eliminate artificial ingredients by 2018.

This is welcome news for health enthusiasts,and certainly not a surprise for those watching the trends in the cereal industry. It just makes one wonder, how much of this is reactionary in order to maintain market share?

If Kellogg and General Mills are going to reverse the slide in cereal sales they are going to have to do much more than just just eliminating some ingredients.

We keep hoping.