Wheaties is having an identity crisis.In the 1960s, the iconic American cereal dubbed “the breakfast of champions” represented nearly 7% of all cereal sold in the United States. Today the General Mills owned brand has dropped to a mere .5 per cent of sales, according to Darren Rovell at CNBC.
So what has changed?
It’s pretty simple: Wheaties is too healthy for junk food lovers yet not healthy enough for the health food crowd.
From Rovell’s report:
Industry insiders have speculated that Wheaties, like Corn Flakes, wasn’t healthy enough for the fibre One crowd and wasn’t bad enough for those who wanted to eat Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes.
“It’s OK to be healthy, but they just haven’t stood out,” Moritz said. “Cheerios has successfully rolled out new flavours and Special K has latched on to fitness consumers and the women’s market.”
Ironically, General Mills is cannibalising its own product as Wheaties is likely losing business to other General Mills product lines like Cheerios.
Wheaties’ current conundrum is evidence that companies have to be nimble and able to change their products with the times if they want to consistently attract consumers.
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