One would think, considering Americans’ sudden love of all things whole-grain, that the classic General Mills cereal Wheaties would be doing well. Instead, sales of the cereal have been falling for years, and no one seems interested in other cereals under the Wheaties brand. It’s all because the cereal is simultaneously boring and not boring enough.
What do you think of when you think of Wheaties? Famous sports figures? Plain brown flakes? Kurt Vonnegut? Most likely, you don’t associate Wheaties with much of anything, which is a problem for a cereal charging name-brand prices.
“It’s OK to be healthy, but they just haven’t stood out,” cereal blogger Lloyd Moritz told CNBC. “Cheerios has successfully rolled out new flavors and Special K has latched on to fitness consumers and the women’s market.”
Consumers who want a plain cereal will most likely look for something with even more fiber, while consumers who prefer fun cereals have a lot of options that are much more fun than Wheaties.
Currently, the brand is reissuing classic sports-star boxes like the Muhammad Ali one illustrating this post. Will that be enough to make consumers remember that Wheaties exist? Uh, probably not.