- Kellogg is introducing two flavors to its line of Rice Krispies Treats—Birthday Cake and Cookies and Cream.
- Kellogg's new flavors are inspired by consumers on social media who made these sought-after varieties at home. Both kinds will be available with the Rice Krispies Treats write-on wrappers that allow people to create custom messages.
- The flavors will be available at retailers nationwide in January.
An online search for “marshmallow treats recipe” will yield pages of blogs and websites where consumers created their own version of the popular Rice Krispies Treats.
Some homemade recipes include gluten-free versions as well as ones that swap out white rice for brown. But in its latest rollout, which the company said was inspired by social media, Kellogg is adding new products that continue its formula of puffed rice, marshmallows and sugary coatings.
Birthday Cake will feature rainbow sprinkles and a cream drizzle. Cookies ‘n’ Cream will have chocolate cookie crumbles and a cream coating. Kellogg suggests these treats will be perfect for birthday goodie bags and as after-school snacks.
"Every day presents a reason to celebrate, whether it's a big occasion like a birthday or a little victory like completing a math test,” Emily Minardi, associate marketing director of Rice Krispies Treats, said in a statement.
In rolling out these products, Kellogg is responding to America's strong desire for sweet foods as a reward for an accomplishment or as an indulgence to take the edge off a stressful day. The portable, individually-wrapped snack further taps into the consumers' desire to snack while they are on the go, while finding another way to get the increasingly unloved cereal into the hands of the public.
Kellogg also is hoping that by offering flavors that are trending on social media it is giving consumers what they want. It's a smart move for Kellogg, or any company for that matter, to introduce products based on input from diehard followers. Odds are if a large number of vocal people online want it, a majority of shoppers will, too. Plus, it saves companies time and money trying to figure out what new product to introduce.
A growing number of Big Food companies are taking a core brand and reintroducing other versions of that iconic product. The reason is partly because consumers are already familiar with the item, and so manufacturers don't have to spend as much time and effort making shoppers aware of what they want them to buy.
Plus, as companies introduce new varieties, many of which are available for a limited time, it creates buzz for the product, which keeps the item relevant in the face of a challenging market, while reminding consumers of the original — the reason they fell in love with it in the first place.
Oreo has introduced countless versions of its cream-stuffed cookie including Jelly Donut, Red Velvet and a Firework version that Mondelez said in May consumers should use as inspiration for their own flavor creations as part of a contest. Twinkie has done the same thing with its golden sponge cake, introducing several new flavors like Cotton Candy, Blue Raspberry and the Chocolate Peanut Butter variety, which came from a consumer suggestion.
The marketing plan for the Rice Krispies Treats appears to mirror research indicating that consumers still make or purchase sugary snacks for special occasions or as a way to indulge. There is no evidence that trend will sour anytime soon.