Putting the Snap Crackle and Pop Back in Cereal
In early July, Kellogg’s announced the opening of Kellogg’s NYC, a café located in the heart of Times Square offering $8 bowls of cereal creatively dressed with a variety of toppings such as green tea powder, passion fruit jam, and lime zest. Promoting the café as a destination that “reminds guests of home and drives new curiosity around the cereal bowl,” the iconic brand is hoping to reinvigorate the somewhat soggy cereal market by creating a space for innovation and experimentation.
Re-Introducing the Brand
Kellogg’s, which will turn 110 this year, is hoping to re-introduce itself to Millennials by creating a different kind of brand experience. But will it work? Despite nostalgia for Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam, the cold cereal category has taken a hit, declining 30% in the past 15 years. Moms have been avoiding sugary breakfast foods for kids in favor of healthier options and consumer preferences have shifted in favor of grab-and-go foods including bars, yogurt, and other heat-and-eat breakfast foods.
It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
One third of cereal consumption happens outside of breakfast hours. Kellogg’s marketing team hopes to capitalize on that fact and get consumers to consider cereal as an after school snack or after dinner treat by promoting it as a versatile product with many benefits. For those who want a sweet snack, they’re mixing cereal into ice cream or tossing in a handful of mini-marshmallows or chocolate chips. For those who prefer to focus on the health benefits, the brand focuses on whole grains and the high protein content of milk. By getting creative with gourmet toppings, Kellogg’s is disrupting the box-to-bowl process and getting consumers to think differently about both their brand and the way people consume the product.
The Edible Experience
This isn’t the first time Kellogg’s has dabbled in a café concept. In 2014, they experimented with a pop-up cereal bar, and last year, the brand introduced their Cereal Bar Street Cart in New York City to raise awareness. This time, the brand is taking a longer-term approach with the Kellogg’s NYC café, signing a 5-year lease for the midtown space. As more brands take an experiential approach to retail, it will be interesting to see if consumers are willing to spend upwards of $8 for a bowl of cereal, and, more important, if it will reposition Kellogg’s for growth.
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Sources: Mintel Hot and Cold Cereal, August 2015, BrandChannel, Cereal Thriller, Kellogg’s Wants to Bowl You Over Beyond Breakfast, July 2016