Thursday, August 25, 2016

Customization still available in the U.S. with MyCerealMix

A few months ago I pointed out that yet another custom cereal maker, MixMyOwn, shut down. This is at least the fourth such company to quit, unable to match the success of this format in Europe, namely mymuesli of Germany.

Just when I thought that this approach was dead on this continent, I was made aware of another one, MyCerealMix, that has recently cropped up to try their hand at this innovation. The company claims that it is possible to make your own cereals "from 30+ all-natural ingredients. No added sugar, nothing artificial. It's easy, healthy and delicious." Similar to the others, you start with a base and add various things such as nuts, seeds, freeze-dried fruits, and "super foods" to come up with your own concoction. Your mix is shipped in a windowed, resealable, foil pouch.

I reached out to the company, and founder Tobias Patella was kind enough to fill me on more details and answer some questions I had. He told me that this all started as a result of his own paleo/primal eating lifestyle, and he wanted to see cereals that were all-natural, but could be personalized to individual preferences and needs. Although they have a website where people can put their recipes together, and they utilize social media to spread the word, they got started an old-school way, simply handing out flyers in southern California and giving out samples at gyms. As far, as what makes MyCerealMix different than the others who have failed at this, Patella said that, "we are differentiating our product by guaranteeing that all of our ingredients are 'better for you. By offering a truly healthy offering for all consumers that look for an alternative to the sugary-loaded cereals you'll find everywhere else."

On the one hand, I remain convinced that the custom cereal concept is a valid one, and somebody is going to make it work in the U.S. People want personalization in life, and this offers that. On the other hand, however, I wonder whether they will have the startup capital and other resources to make their brand competitive in a challenging marketplace. Will they will be able to distinguish themselves adequately as a brand, and not just through customization?

We'll be watching!

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