Kellogg's enlists limited-edition Unicorn Cereal to make sales magic
Kellogg's is launching a trial run of Unicorn Cereal in the U.S. starting next month, according to Food & Wine. The limited-edition product — consisting of pink, purple and blue rings sprinkled with white "crunchlets" — is being marketed as "magic cupcake" flavor.
The new item varies in color and flavor from the Unicorn Froot Loops that Kellogg's launched last fall in the U.K. and Asia.
Before the new Unicorn Cereal hits U.S. shelves, the company has made it available through its recently relocated and expanded all-cereal NYC Cafe.
The mania for all things unicorn has not yet dissipated. Burger King introduced a Froot Loops milkshake, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay debuted Rainbow Doritos, and Starbucks whipped up its controversial Unicorn Frappuccino — all part of the "stunt food" trend designed for social media buzz and spotlight brand attention.
Kellogg's strategy here is to build anticipation around trendy products. Its cereal sales have been lagging as consumers turn to easier — and often less sugary — breakfast items. Busy people can find putting together a bowl of traditional cold cereal too time-consuming, and it may be easier to grab a granola bar or a bagel.
Other cereal companies have been trying to reinvigorate sales by bringing back discontinued items and partnering with makers of well-known treats. Post recently resurrected its Oreo O's cereal and also introduced Chips Ahoy! and Nutter Butter cereals. The latter two are only sold online and at Walmart for a limited time and could be a hit by appealing to exclusivity — as well as nostalgia, indulgence and the snacking trend.
Since Kellogg's Unicorn Cereal is only available at the company's cereal-centric cafe in New York City — and in a limited-edition run in stores — being able to buy it and try it could be nearly as rare as the mythical beast. Given the laws of supply and demand, those aspects could dictate a second run.
The package design could make it difficult for shoppers to get their grocery carts past the cereal aisle after kids spot the unicorn on the front. Whether or not this latest fad-based product will help to move the needle upward for cereal sales, it shows that Kellogg's hasn't given up the fight.