Kellogg heats up cereal category

by Monica Watrous
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. – As part of ongoing efforts to reshape the slumping cereal category, the Kellogg Co. is introducing Special K Nourish, a line of hot cereal and bars.

With such ingredients as quinoa, fruit, nuts and seeds, the individually packaged products offer both portability and nutrition benefits.

Packaged in single-serve microwavable cups, the hot cereals contain a whole grain blend of quinoa, oats, wheat and barley, plus nuts and fruit in a removable cap that may be stirred in. In maple brown sugar crunch, cranberry almond and cinnamon raisin pecan varieties, the products contain 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per serving. They will be available at retailers nationwide beginning in July for a suggested retail price of $2.29 for two servings.

The bars feature a whole grain blend with quinoa, fruit, nuts and seeds and are available in dark chocolate nut, cranberry and lemon twist flavors. The products contain 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and 170 to 180 calories per serving. They will be available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $1.29 for a single bar and $6.49 for a 5-count box.

The company previously rolled out Kellogg’s To Go breakfast shakes and mixes and plans to launch Nutri-Grain Biscuits breakfast cookies this year. Both products are designed to provide the benefits of cereal without the bowl. Earlier this year, Special K flatbread breakfast sandwiches debuted, delivering on both health and convenience platforms.

Driving innovation in the breakfast category has been a continuous priority for Kellogg, as increased competition and demographic shifts recently have challenged ready-to-eat cereal sales. Noting a lag in adult cereal consumption during a May 2 earnings call with financial analysts, the company revealed forthcoming products that target the elusive high-income boomer. These include Kashi Heart to Heart Chia, Raisin Bran Omega-3 and Special K Multigrain.

“I think the real issue there is our innovation,” said John Bryant, president and chief executive officer, during the May 2 call. “And the innovation in the category needs (to be) more nutrition- and benefit-oriented and, quite frankly, less about pricing and merchandising.”
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