Kellogg’s Thinks Outside the Box with a Cereal Cafe

Kellogg’s Thinks Outside the Box with a Cereal Cafe

Kellogg’s Thinks Outside the Box with a Cereal Cafe 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

In the face of changing consumer preferences, blurring lines between dayparts, and decline in overall cereal sales, Kellogg’s set out to create an out-of-the-box concept to get consumers to think differently about cereal. What resulted was an all-day gourmet breakfast concept in the heart of Times Square.

Crafting an all-day breakfast concept doesn’t seem all that far fetched when you consider many fast casual and QSR brands making the shift to capture that share of the marketplace. According Noel Geoffroy, Kellogg’s SVP of marketing and innovation, “One-third of cereal consumption happens outside of breakfast hours. Cereals are meeting people’s meal needs across all parts of the day — in between meals, after school, even after dinner.”

The cereal brand knew they couldn’t just come at it from a standard cereal position, so they tapped none other than world renowned, Momufuku Milk Bar Pastry Chef, Christina Tosi, to help craft the recipes. The menu, featuring ten items, integrates innovative ingredients with traditional cereal transforming the breakfast bowl experience. From “Life in Color” which combines Fruit Loops, lime zest, marshmallows and passion fruit jam, to the “The Corny Blues” which features Corn Pops, blueberry jam, lemon zest and a pinch of salt, or “The Circus” which highlights Raisin Bran, toasted peanuts, and banana chips, there’s nothing ordinary about it.

Small bowls are priced at $6.50, and regular at $7.50, both accompanied by a twelve-ounce container of milk. Guests looking to amplify their bowl even more, can upgrade to yogurt or soft serve ice cream for an additional two dollars. Critics have raised the question, “Why pay for a bowl of cereal when you can afford to buy whole box for less?” It comes down to the experience.

The 20-seat café incorporates countertop seating, white brick walls, tiles, and Kellogg’s signature red for a retro feel. Customers place their order at the counter and receive a buzzer to be alerted when their bowl is complete. Diners then pick up their food waiting in a cube-like pantry system. Adding to a little childhood nostalgia, each bowl comes with a prize. Some have been pretty extravagant like Broadway tickets to the musical Hamilton, while others have been a little more accessible like an Uber gift card or VIP event access. Either way, it seems like a little more encouragement not to skip the most important meal of the day… no matter what time it is!

With a guaranteed five-year lease on the NYC hotspot we can guarantee they’ll be doing some serious cereal testing over time. And, with promises of a rotating menu changing every three months, it should give fans a few new reasons to come back.

While this brick-and-mortar breakfast concept may not be a model of multiples, Kellogg has also been trying to win back their customers in-aisle. Teaming up with mass-market retailer Meijer, Kellogg’s implemented an in-store program dubbed “Stir it Up,” targeting moms and health-conscious consumers. To reacquaint customers with Kellogg’s and to get them to think differently about the basic bowl of cereal, they put the breakfast brand in the highly trafficked produce area in the front of the store.

The activation? For every three boxes of Kellogg’s brand cereal customers purchased they were offered $3 off a fresh berry purchase. It conveniently coincided with the Midwest berry season, giving shoppers plenty of fruits to pick from. To showcase this cross category partnership, Kellogg’s built a custom display to showcase the cereal below and fruit selections on top, making it a convenient merchandising solution all in one spot. Endcap displays and shelf communication within the cereal aisle further promoted the incentive.

This innovative in-store program showed healthy returns for the brand and retailer proving to be one of Kellogg’s most successful weeks in terms of ROI and sales, according to Kyle Ingram at Integer. Meijer plans to continue a seasonal approach with the “Stir it Up” initiative, and most recently implemented another Kellogg’s sampling program, “Fresh Ideas for Breakfast,” that encouraged customers to blend cereal with fruit and yogurt to build their own parfait.

Takeaway: Emerging brands are embracing innovation out of the gate, and understanding it’s the entry point into today’s marketplace. Meanwhile, legacy brands are in a position to either reconnect or reinvent their offer to compete. Equally in both instances consumers need activation in the shopping experience, which requires thinking outside of the box, down the aisle, and all of the points in between.

Photo Credit: Kellogg’s NYC

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