Wheaties Are Totally Boring, But Not Healthy Enough For Boring People

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.

Is Wheaties Dying A Slow Death? [CNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. PhiTauBill says:

    “It’s all because the cereal is simultaneously, but not boring enough.”

    Not sure this is English. Can someone please translate for me?

  2. Cat says:

    Unfortunately, when your product tastes like the box it comes in…

  3. adent1066 says:

    The taste is terrible, not Grape Nuts terrible, but close

    • Cat says:

      Grape Nuts’ taste reminds me of wild hickory nuts.
      Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.

      • failurate says:

        I know that I don’t like Grape Nuts, a cereal that has not changed much in 100+ years. But for some reason, every 3 years or so, I buy a box to try them again. Consumer fail.

  4. Dallas_shopper says:

    The nutritionals aren’t stellar and it doesn’t taste very good. Hence people aren’t going to buy it.

  5. Cat says:

    C’mon, Wheaties – it’s easy. No imagination is required! Frosted Wheaties? Nut and Honey Wheaties? Raisin Wheaties? Strawberry Yogurt Wheaties?

    See? EASY. Not an original idea in the bunch.

  6. mbz32190 says:

    Why would I buy Wheaties when I could get Total for the same price (both made my General Mills)? Not only do I get the same thing as Wheaties, but extra vitamins and maybe raisins too.

  7. Juneva_Spragg says:

    I like Wheaties. Am I just weird? Is it possible to be weird for liking a very bland/healthy cereal? Do I need to strive for a better weirdness? HELP ME

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I think part of the problem is that Wheaties doesn’t show the cereal on the box. Even the regular Special K or generic corn flakes box shows the cereal on the box, and those might as well be roof shingles because that’s what they taste like. People need a visual connection to the product. Showing athletes on the front isn’t going to convince anyone to pay $4.50 for a box of cereal that might not taste good, and you can’t convince people the cereal tastes good if you don’t show it on the box.

    • Cat says:

      Wheaties has flakes on the box… see, there’s Muhammad Ali.

      • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

        Ha ha ha :)

        Seriously, I have no idea what Wheaties cereal looks like, a picture is definitely needed. sorry, I meant serving suggestion.

  9. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I haven’t thought about Wheaties in years. Prices on cereal are so high now, and there are just too many choices for my pea brain. I stand there. What’s on sale? Do I have a coupon? How much is the store brand? I usually end up getting store brand spoon sized frosted wheat squares, or I make steel cut oats in my pressure cooker.

    Boring vs not boring doesn’t play into it. I can always add some sugar if it tastes like the box.

  10. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I think a lot of it has to do with people in general moving away from carb-heavy breakfasts. Those who are sticking to cereal are going to the super-fiber cereals for other reasons.

  11. Jacob says:

    Lower the price. Store brands of wheat flakes are really cheap.

    • dickgrogan says:

      I love Wheaties, but the price is why I don’t eat it every day.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Me too.

        If you buy generic wheat flakes, they’re pretty much the same. Bored with the taste? Add a little granola. We did that at summer camp long ago and it was good. :)

  12. Corinthos says:

    I agree it is boring. The box always looks like its stuck in the 80s or even before. I associate it with boring people and the elderly. Maybe they should start selling it at Sears. I’ve never tasted the cereal but have no desire to.

  13. philpm says:

    The sales are falling because Wheaties are too damn expensive. I like Wheaties, but I’m not spending $4 for a 12 oz. box of them.

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    They think old fart retired sport stars will help sales?
    The box doesn’t present any real of exaggerated health benefits to the consumer.

    Want to know why Stripe toothpaste disappeared? Because their only selling was “Stripe. The toothpaste with a stripe!”

    • LMA says:

      Hey, that was good enough for my brother and I when we were kids. Striped toothpaste? We were there!

  15. Press1forDialTone says:

    While I was home from school with a cold, my Mom
    bought a box of Wheaties and gave me a small bowl
    for breakfast. I’ve never barfed faster or harder since.

  16. cameronl says:

    I like Wheaties.

    That is all…

  17. ZombieWoof says:

    Brian and Stewie Griffin sitting at the kitchen table

    Stewie: Brian, can you pass me the “wh”eaties?

    Brian: The Wheaties?

    Stewie: Yes, the “wh”eaties.

    Brian: Why are you saying, “wh” eaties?

    Stewie: That’s what I said, “wh”eaties.

    Brian: Why are you eating Wheaties?!? They’re boring and taste like the box they came in?

    Stewie: Sexy Bruce Jenner is on the box and he does it for me.

    Brian: Does what for you?

    Stewie: (thought bubble of half naked Bruce Jenner and half naked Stewie discussing pole vaulting techniques in a bedroom)

    Stewie: “C’mon Bruce, you just stick it in the hole!”

    {cut to commercial}

  18. briguy17 says:

    Well, if it ever went on sale…. I hate paying almost 5 bucks for one box of cereal.

  19. LMA says:

    Srsly? I eat Wheaties every single morning for breakfast. Tastes good, holds up to milk, and it’s the only dry cereal that will actually keep me full until lunchtime.

  20. Darkrose says:

    I love wheaties… I think it tastes fine. What I don’t love are all those sugar laden cereals my kids make me buy. Not because I’m old and boring but because they taste like crap.

  21. Mrs. w/1 child says:

    I love the way Wheaties taste – because they are loaded with sugar! *grin* I would buy them once in awhile for a treat for our family but (as is typical with most grocery store food) the ingredients are a list of tongue twisting chemicals and the corn is likely GM corn.

    There is nothing – not one ingredient that is healthy in Wheaties. Other than various sports figures on the box (who likely eat much more actually healthy food), what makes anyone think this product is “healthy”?

  22. silenuswise says:

    “Consumers who want a plain cereal will most likely look for something with even more fiber”

    And not just that, but why would I want sugar AND corn syrup in my healthy cereal? Wheaties are neither among the tastiest or most healthful cereals. I’ll take my Grape Nuts or shredded wheat any day of the week over crap like Wheaties.