Monday, June 18, 2007

Did Snap, Crackle and Pop Surrender to the Fat Police?

Kellogg's is making big changes in how they market breakfast cereal to kids. They're also making big changes to certain breakfast cereals formulas to ensure they meet some new health guidelines. (Kellogg's created the guidelines themselves.)

Apparently, Tony the Tiger is ok... (Well, actually, he's great, but you know what I mean.) But Toucan Sam and Snap, Crackle and Pop may be on the unemployment line if Kellogg's can't find a new recipe for them by 2008.

While nutritionists can debate the merits of their "complete breakfast", the question for marketers is did Kellogg's capitulate to pressures too soon, too late or just in time? Animated cereal characters have been on TV for a generation, so are they really the cause of obesity?

As a marketer, can you reinvent an iconic brand relatively quickly? Does Froot Loops even exist without Toucan Sam?

My thoughts:

  • It was time to change the formulas. They are one small part of the obesity epidemic, but they can help a bit. They would have been punished in sales if they'd resisted too long;
  • If they can get Froot Loops to taste close to the way they taste, stick with Toucan Sam. If it's a dramatically different flavor, then invent a new brand and a new way to market it. Let Toucan Sam live and die with his product.
Those are my two cents... Yours??