Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bear Naked goes custom

I've long been an advocate of customized cereals, largely because of the innovation and success of mymuesli in Germany. There were several attempts in the U.S. over the years, but earlier this year when the last one closed, it looked like those small-scale ventures were the last gasp for giving American consumers the opportunity to create their own cereal mixes. But, others are still seeing the potential, including MyCerealMix, a small player; and, now I have discovered that Kellogg-owned Bear Naked also launched their own customization effort earlier this year.

Bear Naked Custom Made Granola is a website ( that allows consumers the opportunity to create their own granola recipe and have it shipped to them in an attractive canister. On the surface this is very similar to the other companies that have entered this field at some point, but there are some noteworthy differences. First, this is a well-designed online store, backed by one of the major cereal manufacturers. Second, they are stepping outside the ordinary with fifty different non-GMO ingredients, including several very novel ones for cereal, such as jalapeno, lavender, kale and olives. These diverse ingredients allow for some out-of-the-box combinations, including some "chef blends" with names like "Chocolate Strawberry Jalapeno," and "Olive You, Kale."

The ordering process is pretty simple, although there are certain limits when creating your mix. There are only three granola bases to start with, and you can only add three additional ingredients. Bare Naked brags that their website is powered by IBM's Watson to help you create the perfect blend, but I have not found that feature to be that useful. Once you have determined your recipe, you get to choose from one of five canister designs, featuring a different styled bear. The price is $9.99 for 11oz, and that includes shipping.

This is a major development. For the first time a major U.S. player is entering the custom cereal market. So far, this seems low profile, as I haven't seen any advertising, other than a few social media posts. It somehow passed my notice until now, and I doubt that many others have really tapped into it yet either. If Kellogg wants this to be successful they will need to find some way to get the word out, and entice consumers with the opportunity to create cereals that they might actually eat!

No comments: