MINNEAPOLIS — Seven Sundays is introducing grain-free ready-to-eat cereal formulated with cassava, upcycled sunflower protein, Medjool dates and coconut oil. The launch marks the Minneapolis-based muesli brand’s entry into the boxed cereal market.
Seven Sundays Grain Free Sunflower Cereal is debuting at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. Varieties include berry, cinnamon and cocoa. The company partnered with the maker of cold-pressed sunflower oil to source the leftover meal, which is rich in fiber and protein but is typically wasted or used as animal feed.
“We wanted to create something with a short ingredients list, only clean ingredients,” said Hannah Barnstable, founder of Seven Sundays. “The driving force was our original mission, to clean up the cereal aisle, and we felt we could have a real impact on traditional boxed cereal.”
She and her husband, Brady, first discovered muesli while honeymooning in New Zealand and were unable to find many options available in the United States. The pair launched the business in 2011 and today offer a range of muesli varieties featuring nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grains and organic honey in more than 5,000 retail outlets nationwide.
“I still look at our muesli in the cereal aisle and am so proud of it and the ingredients in there, but I am still passing so many boxed cereals where the innovation is lacking and even the quote-unquote ‘healthy’ ones still have a tremendous amount of sugar,” Ms. Barnstable said. “So, we decided to challenge ourselves in a very challenging year to develop a boxed cereal that was really different.”
The global pandemic presented several snags while the company developed the product, Ms. Barnstable said, citing delays in production runs with manufacturing partners due to facility lockdowns. Additionally, during the early panic-buying phases, buyers were overwhelmed and uninterested in new product introductions.
However, as more consumers remain at home in the near term, seeking healthier breakfast options, the timing of Seven Sundays’ expansion in the cereal aisle may prove beneficial. Ms. Barnstable is hopeful the familiarity of boxed cereal will attract new shoppers to the brand.
“The reality is muesli is a new type of cereal for most people, whereas boxed cereal is a much, much larger category with a lot more product awareness to it,” Ms. Barnstable said. “I think it just broadens the scope of who our potential consumers could be.”