Tiny Toast

US: General Mills outs first new cereal brand in 15 years

In the US, where cereal is a very big but declining deal, there’s been much publicity given the launch by General Mills of a new brand.

The creator of iconic cereals like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Trix, has added Tiny Toast to its fleet, which it describes as “tiny pieces of crunchy toast covered with even tinier pieces of delicious fruit”.

It’s available in two flavours, strawberry and blueberry, and it’s made with whole grains and flavoured with real fruit and other natural ingredients. The cereal contains no artificial flavours or colours.

“The introduction of Tiny Toast is the latest way General Mills is illustrating its commitment to listening to consumers,” says a General Mills press release.

Last year the company announced plans to remove all artificial flavours and colours from its cereals, estimating that the change will be fully implemented by 2018. The company says that currently over 80% of its cereals are available without those artificial ingredients.

Additionally, General Mills boasts that the cereal is made with whole grains and does not contain any high fructose corn syrup.

Though the food giant has consistently released new versions and flavours of its already-existing brands, this is the first all-new cereal that General Mills has launched in more than 15 years.

Tiny Toast BowlInsights from FoodDive.com

This is a curious move for the legacy packaged foods company. It’s positioning itself across a variety of different industry sectors, with its 301 Inc division leading the charge in investing in startups. Its recent cereal efforts have typically been heading toward meals beyond breakfast.

“We’re trying to focus on formats that are increasingly snackable,” said Alan Cunningham, a senior marketing manager for General Mills cereal innovation recently.

“The main aisle category will continue to evolve in a number of different ways with the presence of pouches. Certainly the ones without milk are more interesting to us.”

In fact, this month the company will feature cereal products that will come in single-serve pouches and snack bars.

While the company’s news release touts its testing with consumers, the real test will be in sales. Is executive confidence inspiring the expansion of General Mills’ iconic legacy? This effort, along with other trend pushes, ensures the company has something to fall back on if the brand fails to meet expectations.

General Mills has been working to make its cereal offerings more attractive to heath-conscious consumers through ingredient changes like removing artificial colours and flavours, releasing Cheerios Protein and gluten-free labels for the brand, and making Lucky Charms gluten-free.

Additional reading:

General Mills: How we created a new cereal brand