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Why are there 10 different varieties of Kellogg's® Mini-Wheat cereal?

ipsedixit Sep 16, 2011 10:20 PM

Yes, why?

Why do we need all of these varieties?

Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Big Bite cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Bite Size cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Blueberry Muffin
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Cinnamon Streusel Bite Size cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Little Bites Chocolate cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Little Bites Original cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Maple & Brown Sugar cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Strawberry Delight cereal
Kellogg's® Frosted Mini-Wheats® Touch of Fruit in the Middle Mixed Berry
Kellogg's® Mini-Wheats® Unfrosted Bite Size cereal


No deep thoughts here.

Just something that intrigues me. In a weird sort of unsettling way.

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    Robinez RE: ipsedixit Sep 16, 2011 10:26 PM

    More than likely it is because they haven't come up with an 11th variety. Yet.

    1. a
      acgold7 RE: ipsedixit Sep 16, 2011 10:59 PM

      Because it's cheaper and easier to do a "brand extension" of an already established and presold concept than to come up with a new product and establish it in the marketplace in order to build market share for the company.

      4 Replies
      1. re: acgold7
        bushwickgirl RE: acgold7 Sep 17, 2011 12:47 AM

        Agree. I call it "a flavor for every taste" syndrome; doesn't hold a candle to the 40 varieties of Pop Tarts, though. That's unsettling.

        1. re: bushwickgirl
          Cathy RE: bushwickgirl Sep 18, 2011 07:26 AM

          And only one of those varieties of Pop Tarts is made without frosting.

          1. re: bushwickgirl
            Isolda RE: bushwickgirl Sep 20, 2011 04:59 AM

            And the only edible variety of Pop Tart is brown sugar-cinnamon, which must be served heavily toasted with tea at 3 in the afternoon.

            1. re: Isolda
              ipsedixit RE: Isolda Sep 20, 2011 08:25 PM

              I beg to differ.

              I can eat just about any flavor of Pop Tarts, and most of the time I am more than happy to eat them "straight up" -- as in, straight from the cellophane packaging.

              But the best way to eat Pop Tarts? As the "bread" for ice cream sandwich.

        2. Tripeler RE: ipsedixit Sep 17, 2011 02:01 AM

          A huge number of products in a single, popular line must be an attempt at securing plenty of shelf space. This goes for both the Mini Wheats and the Poptarts.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Tripeler
            ferret RE: Tripeler Sep 17, 2011 09:40 AM

            Shelf space, shelf space, shelf space. You might as well ask why we have Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke with Splenda....

            1. re: ferret
              bushwickgirl RE: ferret Sep 18, 2011 04:12 AM

              It's interesting to me that shelf space is the driving force here; I agree with the marketing concept of brand extension for multiple flavor variations of product, but in NYC, shelf space is at a premium, in all but very few mega markets, and I rarely see any kind of variety beyond 4-5 options. Only the big dogs get to play.

              On a similar note, I noticed an ad for Hamburger Helper this past week, which now apparently has over 40 varieties; this just blows my mind. I suppose, with all these options, one could exist on a diet of Mini-Wheats, Pop-Tarts, Hamburger Helper, Coca-Cola products and premium ice cream flavors and never get bored...

              1. re: bushwickgirl
                bulavinaka RE: bushwickgirl Sep 18, 2011 07:34 AM

                Shelf space for sure, but they wouldn't be allotted the shelf space if the product didn't sell. Margins at supers are pretty slim in general, so turnover is very important.

                1. re: bushwickgirl
                  Jen76 RE: bushwickgirl Sep 18, 2011 11:03 AM

                  "and never get bored..."

                  Well, that would be a matter of whether one likes those products to begin with. ;)

                  1. re: Jen76
                    bushwickgirl RE: Jen76 Sep 19, 2011 12:31 PM

                    That is key. ;-)

            2. a
              awm922 RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2011 08:55 AM

              "Variety is the Spice of Life"....it's that simple. If no one bought all those varieties, they wouldn't be worth the money to produce, ship, market and sell.

              1. iL Divo RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2011 11:11 AM

                "Why are there 10 different varieties of Kellogg's® Mini-Wheat cereal?"

                because I love 'em :)))))

                1. Sooeygun RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 07:20 AM

                  I don't know about the US market, but here in Canada, Brown Sugar and Maple at two separate varieties.

                  1. ChrisOC RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 07:38 AM

                    They are trying to push Puffed Rice off of the shelf.

                    1. c
                      centralpadiner RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 08:31 AM

                      There are also 11 varieties of Cheerios these days. I think it is sad that these once "healthy" cereals have had to be loaded down with artificial color and flavor in order to appeal to a larger audience and maintain market share. I think I find it most unsettling because so many people see the name "Cheerios" and assume that it is a relatively healthy, great for kids kind of food.

                      Honey Nut Cheerios
                      Multi-grain Cheerios
                      Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
                      Banana Nut Cheerios
                      Chocolate Cheerios
                      Cinnamon Burst Cheerios
                      Frosted Cheerios
                      Fruity Cheerios
                      Oat Cluster Crunch Cheerios
                      Yogurt Burst Cheerios

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: centralpadiner
                        mpjmph RE: centralpadiner Sep 19, 2011 01:01 PM

                        The only artificial flavor is vanillin in a few varieties, and only two (fruity and yogurt burst) have any added coloring. All of the fruit flavors come from actual fruit (apple puree in apple cinnamon, banana puree in banana nut, and pear puree in fruity). The chocolate Cheerios have actual cocoa in them. As far as sweetened cold cereals go, the various Cheerios flavors actually are some of the better options.

                        1. re: mpjmph
                          centralpadiner RE: mpjmph Sep 20, 2011 01:43 PM

                          The point is, that good old fashioned Cheerios are wonderful just the way they are. And pretty good for you too. I think these other versions are just one more way that parents are led to believe that food has to be sweetened, colorful, chocolatey, etc. to be eaten by children. And let's be honest, "yogurt" on cereal is not really yogurt, but another type of sugary icing. It's not like you are getting the healthy affects of bacterial cultures found in yogurt the way you would if you mixed your cereal into some actual yogurt. So this one is probably my biggest pet peeve, since calling it "yogurt cereal" is quite misleading.

                        2. re: centralpadiner
                          traveleryvette RE: centralpadiner Sep 23, 2011 08:48 PM

                          I remember when Kellogg's Sugar Sugar Crisp the one with the bear on the box changed its name to Golden Crisp so to elude that was not a sugar laden cereal. It trying to say must be healthier now with name change.

                        3. ipsedixit RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 08:22 PM

                          I'm tempted to buy all 10 varieties, dump them in one big large plastic garbage bag, shake and then have myself *the* Mother-Lode of Mini-Wheats.

                          1. r
                            racer x RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 09:52 PM

                            "Why are there 10 different varieties of Kellogg's® Mini-Wheat cereal?
                            Why do we need all of these varieties?"

                            For the same reason the Japanese need all these varieties of Kit-Kats?

                            Or that we need a dozen or more formulations each of acetaminophen and of diphenhydramine in every pharmacy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: racer x
                              Tripeler RE: racer x Sep 20, 2011 04:34 AM

                              The many, many versions of Kit-Kats in Japan have come along individually, one at a time.
                              There is no massive shelf of these products, rather, they are released as special products for a very short period of time. Blink and you will miss them.

                            2. r
                              racer x RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 09:55 PM

                              Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fascinating essay examining this phenomenon a few years back.

                              1. j
                                jlhinwa RE: ipsedixit Sep 19, 2011 10:14 PM

                                I had the same question about Special K cereal recently when my mom asked me to pick her up some at the store. I had no idea that there were so many choices, including a "high protein" version. I mean, how "special" is the Special K formula if they have 10 different flavors?!?!

                                1. i
                                  Isolda RE: ipsedixit Sep 20, 2011 04:58 AM

                                  I have to say I am so impressed that so many of you know all the varieties of a cereal like that. I just go through the aisle and grab the ones I know we like (plain frosted mini wheats and unfrosted mini wheats). It would never occur to me to try strawberry or some other fake fruit flavor. Just imagining the sweetness of that makes me feel ill. But I guess there's something for everyone. My husband buys Lucky Charms every time he goes to the market.

                                  1. b
                                    beevod RE: ipsedixit Sep 20, 2011 07:09 AM

                                    For the same reason there are more than 10 models of Chevrolet.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: beevod
                                      Midlife RE: beevod Sep 21, 2011 04:53 PM

                                      Well............... the marketing guy in me wants to agree and say that it's all about shelf space. The more products your brand has the more space you can control for your name.

                                    2. splatgirl RE: ipsedixit Sep 23, 2011 07:13 AM

                                      And have you seen how many varieties of graham crackers there are now?

                                      I just want good old Nabisco graham crackers made with actual food ingredients that actually taste like something other than chemicals and cardboard and that aren't the size of a saltine, although I suppose the "regular" size of saltine is now comparable to a cheezit.

                                      I think the marketing monsters are trying to make s'mores a food group.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: splatgirl
                                        Humbucker RE: splatgirl Sep 26, 2011 04:09 AM

                                        What other widely available graham cracker varieties besides regular (honey) and cinnamon have you seen?

                                        1. re: Humbucker
                                          splatgirl RE: Humbucker Sep 26, 2011 06:49 AM

                                          At least ten different packaging, size and shape options, most of them with some kind of "s'mores" marketing angle.

                                          1. re: splatgirl
                                            ipsedixit RE: splatgirl Sep 26, 2011 08:26 PM

                                            12 different Nabisco graham cracker varieties.


                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              racer x RE: ipsedixit Sep 27, 2011 09:35 AM

                                              it's not really quite that bad. One of the 12 isn't a cracker, it's a preformed pie crust, which is a different kind of product. And several of the others are only low-fat versions or are just packaged differently (eg, "family size").
                                              So really just a half-dozen or so basic kinds (original, honey, cinnamon, chocolate, etc).

                                      2. pdxgastro RE: ipsedixit Sep 23, 2011 07:54 PM

                                        Because they don't have to change the machinery to make different flavors, just the ingredients. :o)

                                        1. r
                                          racer x RE: ipsedixit Sep 24, 2011 08:07 PM

                                          Well, you have to wonder at what point the shelf-space domination strategy loses out to choice overload.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: racer x
                                            bushwickgirl RE: racer x Sep 26, 2011 06:49 PM

                                            Great article, and discusses in depth basically what I go through when in a large over stocked market, although since I'm marginally mentally aware of the debilitating effect choosing from multiple products causes, I try to get through shopping best I can without throwing up and leaving the store empty handed. Thanks for the link.

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