The Reinvention of Mister Kellogg

POSTED: March 31, 2019

In a supermarket in Dubai I discovered this packet of breakfast cereal, and I stopped to look at it for so long that I ended up buying it.

The employer of Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle & Pop, have decided to move into the organic breakfast market. The top of the packet declares that it contains Plant Power as opposed, presumably, to those old fashioned meat-based breakfast cereals.

The back of the packet uses a quaint mixture of typefaces and sizes which I will not try to emulate to shout out loud:

Let’s come together for food to champion healthy lifestyles through nutricious uplifting plant-based foods; to never stop exploring, innovating & improving; to continue giving back to our communities and the planet we borrow from

I checked online and this forms just one of a whole new range of cereals, all dressed up to look like they have sprung from some small startup seeking to “disrupt the breakfast cereal market”. Kelloggs have dropped everything recognisable about their last fifty or sixty years of branding. Not only has the logo gone but the highly recognisable colour palette has completely diappeared.

When I saw this I wondered if this constituted a far-seeing pre-emptive attempt to reposition their cereal business for when sugar inevitably follows tobacco into social oblivion. (You can find a brief and interesting history of the breakfast cereal at Mental Floss.)

They have managed to leverage a certain degree of authenticity in this effort because Will Keith Kellogg “was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and practiced vegetarianism as a dietary principle taught by his church”. They can therefore claim that this new emphasis counts as returning to their roots.

Let’s see how this plays out: whether their current customers will go organic or whether the current wholefood market will embrace Kellogg.