- Earlier this week, General Mills released a list of new products it plans to launch this summer. Among them are Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites, according to Popsugar.
- The cereal-doughnut mashup features a cinnamon coating on the outside and a gooey cinnamon filling on the inside. The treats, available in a box of 18 and meant to be microwaved, are due to hit frozen food aisles nationwide later this month.
- The sugary doughnuts may evoke nostalgia among millennials who remember starting their days with the sweet cereal as kids.
With Cinnamon Toast Crunch bites, millennial consumers can treat themselves to the cereal of their childhoods in a new, indulgent format. The product is more than just nostalgic, however. It also reflects growing consumer demand for product mash-ups and convenient morning food applications — though this product seems more like a dessert than a breakfast staple.
Still, the tradition of sitting down to a bowl of cereal for breakfast has declined as busy consumers seek on-the-go food options. Consequently, sales of ready-to-eat cereals have declined in recent years. Most brands show little sign of rebounding as consumers reach for bars, shakes, yogurt and other handheld items. Market research firm Euromonitor projects cereal will decline 2% in volume and 5% in sales during the next four years alone.
Little wonder General Mills is looking for innovative ways to extend its highly recognizable cereal brands and unique flavors — like Cinnamon Toast Crunch — to other grocery categories. It’s a way for the cereal maker to capitalize on a known brand entity and built-in fan base and surprise and delight them by serving up a fun twist on a favorite product. The real challenge will be marketing the product so that cereal fans explore the frozen snack aisle.
Still, more and more food product mash-ups are cropping up as brands look to cross aisles in the grocery store in order to sell to an audience they may not have yet reached. Brand mash-ups have become a popular way to achieve this. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts has coffee-flavored Pop-Tarts, Kraft-Heinz recently launched Velveeta frozen snacks and Kellogg just released Top Ramen Chicken flavored Pringles.
So will consumers bite at cereal-flavored frozen doughnut holes? As a novelty snack item, they may be willing to give it a try. It’s hard to imagine that this snack mash-up has long-term staying power, though. Consumers are moving away from cold sugary cereals in exchange for healthier options, and a box of frozen sugar-coated microwaveable doughnut holes doesn’t exactly scream health benefits either.