General Mills hopes to spice things up and reinvigorate the Cheerios brand with the release of limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.
Cold cereal has long lost its dominance in the U.S. breakfast market with fast food entering the space and alternative options such as snack bars and Greek yogurt gaining popularity, reports Bloomberg. Kim Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, says, “It goes beyond the supermarket—breakfast in general has gotten intensely competitive.”
Despite being the best-selling cereals in the U.S., the company has faced five years of declining sales in the face of a shift away from cold cereal. Jim Murphy, president of the cereal division General Mills said, “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with cereal. We just have to keep it relevant.”
Cereal has had successful turnarounds in the past, and Murphy believes General Mills has taken steps to make its products more appealing and relevant to customers. It has launched Gluten-Free Cheerios and Cheerios Protein, and has removed artificial flavors and colors from most of its cereal portfolio. “Cereal has been killed off three or four times,” Murphy said. “It’s incredibly resilient.”
Limited-edition Strawberry Cheerios are hitting store shelves now and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios will appear around Labor Day.