Kellogg’s Chex cereal leverages past marketing blunder but success could be short-lived, says GlobalData

Following today’s news (June 30th) that Kellogg’s has released a green onion cereal after an initial publicity stunt in 2004;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the situation:

“Kelloggs’ use of the social media presence that has formed around its previous marketing blunder to launch the new green onion cereal is a smart and entertaining way of connecting with its consumers during a time of global unrest. Consumer engagement via social media has become a powerful tool for FMCG brands during the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that nearly a third of younger consumers worldwide claim that they look to brands as a means of distraction and entertainment during the pandemic, with this noted by 32% of iGen and 30% of Millennials in a survey by GlobalData.

“However, it is also a warning story. When entering a new market, brands must understand their audience, particularly the cultural nuances that impact consumers dining and food preferences. Never was this clearer than with Oreo maker, Kraft Foods’ missed opportunity in China – the company failed to accommodate Chinese tastes, instead relying on a US marketing model, which ultimately cost it the market.

“By leveraging what is essentially a 14-year old meme, the green onion-based cereal has seen a burst of interest and support in the online community. That said, netizens can be fickle and online trends fast-moving; should the company wish to sustain sales for this unusual product, quality is paramount.

“While the marketing gimmick has given the piece a strong start and significant exposure in South Korea, the brand needs to make sure that it also aligns with growing health trends, particularly as cereal is generally targeted at mornings and family occasions. Considering ingredient formulations that highlight low sugar, calorie or targeted health are clear winners in this category and will help Chex to carve out a strong market position based on more than novelty.”

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