- Three Wishes is a new cereal made of chickpea, pea protein, and tapioca.
- Unlike many name-brand cereals, Three Wishes is high in protein, low in sugar, and grain-free.
- The company was relying on in-store sampling to get customers to try its cereal, but the pandemic forced it to change strategies.
- So the founders began hosting drive-thru samplings in their driveway.
- View more episodes of Business Insider Today on Facebook.
It might look like your normal, everyday comfort food cereal – but it’s not quite that.
Instead of commodity grains and a ton of sugar, Three Wishes Cereal is made of chickpea, pea protein, and tapioca.
“We changed cereal entirely,” said Margaret Wishingrad, CEO and cofounder of Three Wishes Cereal. “We made it high-protein, low-sugar and grain-free, which is something that hasn’t been done before.”
The Wishingrad family spent two years creating this recipe after struggling to find healthy options for their newborn. Today, Three Wishes offers four flavours: cocoa, cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened. On the company’s website, each individual box sells for $US9.99, or $US39.99 for a pack of six.
Because their cereal was so unconventional, the Wishingrads initially relied on in-store samplings at places like Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Sprouts to market their product after launching in October.
“When you hear chickpeas, pea protein, tapioca, you’re like, eh, that’s not going to taste good,” cofounder Ian Wishingrad told Business Insider Today. “Cute packaging, but not going to taste good. And then you try it, you’re like, this is amazing.”
But then the coronavirus pandemic hit – changing the way Americans shop for groceries.
“Obviously no one’s doing sampling now,” Ian said. “No one wants to receive anything from anyone in the store. And so our ability to get our product in people’s mouths was immediately shut off.”
Studies have shown that in-store samplings can lead to more same-day purchases as well as long-term sales for food businesses.
Without that opportunity now, the Wishingrads came up with another idea: drive-thru sampling.
During one weekend in April, about 50 cars came through the family’s U-shaped driveway in Scarsdale, New York, to get free cereal samples.
“We happen to live on a very busy street,” Ian explained. “We put a huge sign out there. And Margaret wore gloves and a mask and tongs, and we made it a totally contactless, kind of cute drive-thru experience, which was really nice for the community, and was able to kind of make people turn some heads and think, this is kind of an interesting way to go about business in this new normal.”
The Wishingrads are planning future drive-thru samplings in grocery store parking lots to reach customers beyond just their Scarsdale neighbours.
“Anything we could do in America to eat healthier, reduce your sugar intake, eat a better diet, is going to help,” Ian added.
But even for the Wishingrads, cereal offers more than just its ingredients.
“I think anytime people deal with an unprecedented situation, much like a pandemic, the reaction is to go back to weird old comfort behaviours,” Margaret shared. “We really think cereal is a classic American comfort food. And so for us, being able to give you permission to have both the comfort and the health and really enjoy cereal the way it’s meant to be enjoyed is something really important.”
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