- Kellogg has introduced a new cereal called HI! Happy Inside featuring prebiotics, probiotics and fiber. The Michigan-based CPG company said its new product makes digestive wellness support easily accessible.
- HI! Happy Inside contains 1 billion live probiotics from active strains, 2.5 grams of prebiotics and 8 to 9 grams of fiber, depending on the variety. The cereal comes in Simply Strawberry, Bold Blueberry and Coconut Crunch flavors.
- The new product is being sold in 34.5-ounce resealable bags at Costco and Boxed for a suggested retail price of $12.99, while six-count cups are available on Amazon at a suggested retail price of $13.99. Kellogg said individual cups will be available nationwide in food, drug and e-commerce channels in early 2019 for $1.99.
A new product designed to optimize digestive wellness could be an attractive addition to the cereal aisle for health-conscious consumers. Awareness of how probiotics can enhance gut health for consumers has increased, thanks to yogurt advertising campaigns and other outreach. Besides yogurt, probiotics are being added to juices, confectionery items, baked goods and even beer and wine.
But this isn't the first time Kellogg has used a functional add-on to boost its brands. Last year, the company repositioned its Special K cereal — mainly marketed as a weight-loss product — by adding probiotics and calling it Special K Nourish.
The use of probiotics and prebiotics is expected to significantly grow in the coming years due to its reputation for relieving digestive issues, boosting the immune system and contributing to the maintenance of balanced gut microbiota, or "good" bacteria. Demand for prebiotic-containing products — such as health drinks, dairy, infant food, meat and bakery products — could reach $7.8 billion by 2022, according to a Global Industry Analysts' report.
Despite the bright future projected for these ingredients, Kellogg might need to do some on-package and other consumer education about why prebiotics and probiotics are important to digestive health. A recent survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by the company found 29% said they were aware of probiotics, but just 15% said they knew about prebiotics.
Other companies are likely to introduce similar products since digestive and gut health is a trend in demand by consumers. Because of that, combining prebiotics, probiotics and fiber in one breakfast or snack product could be a winning combination for Kellogg, as well as for its competitors. One challenge that could curtail acceptance of the Kellogg product, however, could come in the price: a 34.5-ounce resealable bag of HI! Happy Inside at Costco and Boxed has a suggested retail price of $12.99. It remains to be seen whether enough consumers will be willing to pay that amount for a cereal despite its health benefits.
News of HI! Happy Inside comes as the company recently announced it plans to sell its Keebler bakery brands and cookie business. After years of slow growth, it looks like Kellogg is starting to shed underperforming brands to focus more on snacks and core products that remain popular and could help boost its bottom line. It will take some time to find out whether HI! Happy Inside cereal will significantly assist in that goal, but it could prove to be an interesting, on-trend effort nonetheless.