The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 13, Number 2 Late Summer 2011

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Late Summer 2011 Index

1. Kellogg's Is Still King of the Cereal Aisle
2. Who Really Makes The Cereal We Eat?
3. New Product: Cereal Box Toppers
4. How To Cite A Cereal Box
5. "Prize Inside" Cereal Boxes Have Returned
6. R.I.P. Cap'n Crunch
Cereal Reviews:
1. Kellogg's Apple Jacks - Apple Clones
2. Post Shredded Wheat - Spoon Size Wheat'n Bran
3. Post Mini Cinnamon Churros
4. Cascadian Farm Fruit & Nut Granola
5. Kellogg's Cinnabon Crunchy Cinnamon Multi-Grain Cereal
6. Kashi Berry Blossoms
7. General Mills Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch

What's New in Cereal?
1. Recently Released Cereal - Cap'n Crunch's Chocolatey Crunch
2. Recently Released Cereal - The Smurfs

Send Us Your News

Kellogg's Is Still King of the Cereal Aisle
by Topher

In an industry report of U.S. RTE (ready-to-eat) cereal for the year ended February 19, 2011, Kellogg's remained the top purveyor of breakfast cereal with a 33.6% share of total dollar sales and a 31.7% share of total boxes of cereal sold. General Mills came in a close second at 32.3% and 27.6% respectively, followed by Post at 12.4% and 12.5%, and Quaker Oats pulling up the rear of the majors at 5.2% and 7.1%.

Malt-O-Meal had a 3.8% share of total dollar sales and a 5.7% of total packages of cereal sold. Private labels continue to see growth with 10.2% of dollar sales and 14.6% of unit sales.

General Mills Cheerios (all varieties) has the largest market share of any brand with 13.6% of dollar sales and 11.4% of all boxes sold. Kellogg's Special K (all varieties) garnered 6.1% and 4.8%. Post Honey Bunches of Oats (all varieties) hit 5.2% of sales and unit volume. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch (all varieties - anyone see a pattern here?) had 2.5% of dollar sales and 3.1% of unit sales.

Cereal Stats The top 5 Kellogg's brands by unit sales are Special K, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Raisin Bran, and Froot Loops. Special K sales have grown over 300% since 2005.

General Mills' top 5 are Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Chex, and Fiber One (a brand that didn't exist six years ago).

Post's top 5 for the year ended February 19, 2011, included Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Shredded Wheat, Selects, and Grape Nuts. All of these brands have multiple varietes.

Quaker Oats doesn't have much more to offer than these 5 brands: Cap'n Crunch, Life, Squares, Honey Graham, and King Vitaman.

Malt-O-Meal's bread-and-butter cereal is Frosted Mini Spooners which outsells Golden Puffs by a two to one margin, M-O-M Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toasters, and Marshmallow Mateys.

For more cereal statistics, please see Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide - Breakfast Food Statistics page.

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Who Really Makes The Cereal We Eat?
by Topher

Cereal Company Flow ChartThere is a lot of confusion when it comes to who manufactures our breakfast cereal. Maybe you hadn't thought about it. You're in for a learn'n.

While Kellogg's manufactures their own premium cereal lines, Quaker Oats is owned by PepsiCo. The former Ralston-branded cold cereals are owned and manufactured by General Mills. Nabisco is owned by Post which in turn is owned by Ralcorp.

Post was owned by General Foods, which was bought by Philip Morris --- now known as Altria Group, in 1985. Philip Morris also bought Kraft in 1988 and merged Kraft with General Foods in 1989. Kraft General Foods acquired Nabisco in 1993 and folded it into its Post Cereals subsidiary. Kraft General Foods was renamed Kraft Foods in 1993. In March 2007 Altria spun-off Kraft Foods as its own publically traded company and a year later Kraft sold Post to Ralcorp. Got it?

Prior to 1997, Ralcorp Holdings sold their branded RTE (ready-to-eat) cereal under the Ralston banner. On January 31, 1997 Ralcorp Holdings sold their branded ready-to-eat cereal business to General Mills. This included its core Chex and Cookie Crisp brands, along with trademark and technology rights for these branded products. Ralcorp continued to make private-label cereals.

In mid-2008, Ralcorp bought the Post Cereals franchise, along with 4 plants and equipment from Kraft Foods. Ralcorp currently markets premium cereal under the Post brand name, but maybe not for long as they announced in mid-July 2011 a plan to spin-off Post!

So... Kellogg's makes Kellogg's; General Mills makes General Mills and former Ralston cereals; Quaker Oats makes Quaker Oats cereals (but is owned by PepsiCo); and Ralcorp makes private label cereals, and Post cereals (for now). Stay tuned.

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New Product: Cereal Box Toppers
by Topher
I found these interesting Cereal Box Toppers / Cover Lids on ebay. Top-rated seller "dailysteals" offers a 3-pack for $2.99 with free shipping on his ebay site. "The adjustable size of the Cereal Tops allows a custom-like fit to any cereal box you have", though it's not clear to me exactly how this is achieved. Interesting product. Cereal Box Lids

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How To Cite A Cereal Box
by Topher

YouTube Martine Courant Rife, JD, PhD, at Lansing Community College created the YouTube video How To Cite A Cereal Box "because if you can cite a cereal box, you can cite anything". We include it here as a public service for students who need to properly credit the wisdom attained from the study of their breakfast cereal box.

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"Prize Inside" Cereal Boxes Have Returned
by Topher

Trix Funny Fruity StickersThank the folks at General Mills. In 2011 we've seen a set of 5 Hot Wheels "pull back and go" cars; 8 Spongebob Squarepants figures; 8 "Kung Fu Panda 2" Spin Fighter toys; and 4 sets of Funny Fruity Stickers. Depending upon the offer, toys have been included in specially marked boxes of Cocoa Puffs, Trix, Golden Grahams, Reese´s Puffs, Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Honey Nut Cheerios. Now if they'll just start including cereal character spoon sitters they'd really be onto something!

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R.I.P. Cap'n Crunch
by Topher

Where's the Cap'nBrendon Douglas Jones was not the only one to kill off Cap'n Crunch in 2011. While Brendon's "Breakfast of the Gods" imagined the Cap'n losing an epic battle, Jonathan Berr of the "Daily Finance" wondered aloud in his March 7 article if the Cap'n had been retired by Quaker Oats.

"Cap'n Horatio Magellan Crunch, who has sailed the Seven Seas for Quaker Oats since 1963, has fallen into the brand equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. The cartoon sailor is nowhere to be found on the Quaker website..."

If a Fox News blog writer had bothered to read to the bottom of the article he'd have found that Berr concedes, "The beloved cereal spokesman may be fading, but PepsiCo still keeps him around. The company includes Cap'n Crunch cereal on its list of brands both on its corporate website and annual report. And his image continues to appear on the cereal boxes. The company also maintains a Cap'n Crunch website..."

Nonetheless, the articles created quite a squall.

Two days later, E. J. Schultz answered the volley in his AdvertisingAge article under the headline: "Cap'n Crunch Breathes Easier: Talk of His Demise Untrue. Quaker Oats Says Cereal Icon Is Staying Put Despite Scurrilous Rumors of Mutiny".

"No, Cap'n Crunch is not retiring, lost at sea or anything like it. He's here to stay, says Quaker Oats, responding to rumors that the PepsiCo unit was doing away with the sugary-cereal icon. 'Reports of Cap'n Crunch's demise are greatly exaggerated,' Quaker said in a statement to Ad Age. 'In fact, we just launched an official Facebook page for Cap'n Crunch. Now that our Cap'n Crunch brand is in the social-media space, our adult consumers can stay up to date on all things Cap'n Crunch.'"

Although the Cap'n Crunch brand has been reasonably active, with great retro boxes and a recent t-shirt mail-in, there's no question PepsiCo has been pretty lazy with the Quaker Oats franchise after they bought it, rarely resurrecting any of the wonderful stable of characters (many created by Jay Ward) that graced the cereal aisle in its prime. It's almost as if they fired all of the creative talent and then turned over the cereal division to a young executive who didn't want the job and didn't understand the wealth of characters and cereal brands available to him. Too bad. There's a lot of gold in their portfolio.

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Cereal Review
by Molly, Jon, Dana & Madison Spence, Contributing Writers

Kellogg's Apple Jacks - Apple Clones
Kellogg's Apple Jacks Apple ClonesThis newer version of Apple Jack's is good. We had not had it in a long time and it was nice to try it again. I would say it is pretty much the same in every way as the original with maybe just a bit more cinnamon flavor this time around. The added mutant red pieces make it look more appealing and seemed to get both my daughter's attention more than the original. I will also note that one of my girls expressed some concern over the corners on the red pieces and that she was a little worried someone might get hurt --- but it hasn't stopped either of them from eating it and I didn't even notice the edges while I was eating. The intense colors did not appear to effect the milk any and the cereal seemed to have a pretty good hang time before getting soggy. Overall, I would say this is a cereal I would be happy to get again. We rate it 8 boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

Post Shredded Wheat - Spoon Size Wheat'n Bran
Post Shredded Wheat - Spoon Size Wheat'n BranShredded Wheat was invented by Henry Perky of Denver, Colorado circa 1892. He took his idea of a product made of boiled wheat to his friend, William H. Ford, and they developed the machine for making a “biscuit,” which they then baked - creating an edible dry cereal with a long shelf life. Perky’s original intention was to sell the machines, not the biscuits. He returned to Denver and began distributing the biscuits from a horse-drawn wagon in an attempt to popularize the idea. The cereal sold better than the machines and he moved to Niagra Falls and began full scale production of Shredded Wheat.

The Shredded Wheat Company was sold to The National Biscuit Company in 1928 (which became Nabisco in 1941). In 1993, in the USA, Nabisco cereals were sold to Kraft-General Foods which owned Post. Post was sold to Ralston in 2008.

Post Shredded Wheat is now available in 5 shapes and sizes. Wheat'n Bran has but two ingredients: whole grain wheat and wheat bran. No salt, no sugar. It's got 8 grams (32% RDA) of natural fiber per serving. These are crispy, tightly wound biscuits which taste pretty good with or without milk. 5½ Boxtops... (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

These aren't our favorites. Kellogg's Mini-Wheats and Kashi Autumn Wheat are not wound as tight and therefore have a better texture. My current favorite is the all-natural Kashi Autumn Wheat.

History is courtesy of Jean Walton.
A more complete history can be found at the "Collectible Site for The Shredded Wheat Company".

Post Mini Cinnamon Churros
Post Mini Cinnamon ChurrosThis was a nice regional release that we found in Texas, and clearly aimed at the hispanic population. It's a simple cereal made of wheat flour, sugar, oil, cinnamon, salt and fortified with 11 vitamins. The cereal looks like churros cut into thick 1/2-inch pieces, and tastes like dried churros right out of the box. It's super crunchy, even in milk. Churros come in a fun box and are a great concept. They deserve to go national, or at least super-regional. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cascadian Farm Fruit & Nut Granola
Cascadian Farm Fruit and Nut GranolaCascadian Farm makes an excellent Honey & Oats Granola, which is especially good with fresh blueberries or peaches. Fruit & Nut is simply a "Honey & Oats" granola with raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds, and one big clump of cranberries. Minus the honey. This is a cereal you can eat all day long. You'll have no choice. This concoction leaves stuff stuck in your teeth. If you like to keep your tongue active throughout the day, this cereal is for you. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kellogg's Cinnabon Crunchy Cinnamon Multi-Grain Cereal
Kellogg's CinnabonYou might have enjoyed Kellogg's Cinnamon Mini-Buns (1991-2004) or Kellogg's Mini-Swirlz Cinnamon Buns (beginning in 2005). Maybe even Cinnabon's own Cinnabon Cinnamon Crunch cereal? This is Kellogg's third attempt to bring us a sweatened cinnamon mini bun in a box. Teaming up with Cinnabon for name recognition was a good idea and an excellent brand extension. This attractive box houses a crunchy cinnamon multi-grain cereal that's actually a lot better for you than its namesake. The cereal looks like little Cinnabons, with intense cinnamon and frosting aromas and flavor. They're crispy and float in milk. The texture is a little mealy, but they are otherwise pretty good. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Kashi Berry Blossoms
Kashi Berry BlossomsKashi Berry Blossoms are "toasted whole grain squares with real fruit". The "real fruit" manifests itself as microscopic bits of dried strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries baked into the cereal squares. Individually the quadrates have a strong hint of berry fruit punch. The real fruit flavor comes through after the squares soak awhile in milk, but wait too long and the cereal sogs, losing its crunch. Not much to hate. Not enough to like. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

General Mills Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch
General Mills Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch"Sonny went a little bonkers in the bakery and now every little brownie is packed with so much chocolatey flavor that you can't help but to cuckoo!" If General Mills can bring you Cookie Crisp, why not another dessert for breakfast? This is a bit of a departure from the regular round cocoa flavored corn puffs. These are small brownie-square shaped corn puffs, almost 3/8-inch square. They look like brownies with little chocolate chips baked in. The flavor is more chocolatey and less cocoay than regular Cocoa Puffs. It also turns your milk chocolate. "Enjoy dessert at breakfast". 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Recently Released Cereal - Cap'n Crunch's Chocolatey Crunch
Quaker Oats Capn Crunch Chocolatey CrunchQuaker Oats has reissued Cap'n Crunch's Chocolatey Crunch with a nice portrait of the Cap'n. This was previously issued as Choco Crunch a few years ago. (Not to be confused the the original 1982 version that featured Choco the Blob and what was essentially regular Cap'n Crunch with Cocoa Puffs tossed in).

Recently Released Cereal - The Smurfs
Post The Smurfs Cereal Post The Smurfs CerealPost has released a very attractive 2-sided box of The Smurfs cereal in connection with the 2011 "The Smurfs in 3D" movie. This puffed rice flake cereal is essentially a Fruity Pebbles variation. This is the third Smurf cereal that Post has released. Back in 1983 they brought us Smurf Berry Crunch, and then Smurf Magic Berries (with marshmallows) about 5 years later.

Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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