Kellogg’s Innovates Its Way Out of a Soggy Cereal Sector

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Kellogg's Froot Loops partners with AWAYTOMARS on fashion collection

Kellogg’s Froot Loops fans can now show off their love of the cereal from head to toe with the new AWAYTOMARS/Froot Loops collection, which is being sold exclusively online. It’s also being previewed at the Kellogg’s NYC cafe on Union Square.

The co-created, unisex, limited-edition collection shows that when it comes to fashion, inspiration can pour in from anywhere—even a bowl of cereal. The collection’s 10 pieces were sparked by the fun spirit, colorful aesthetic and fruity taste of the iconic Froot Loops, new Wild Berry Froot Loops and everyone’s favorite wingman, Toucan Sam.

According to a press release, nearly 700 designers participated in fashion pioneer AWAYTOMARS’ unique co-creation model to develop the collection’s hats, t-shirts, sneakers, hoodie, jacket and dress. From color-blocking a bomber jacket to look like Toucan Sam to designing a spacey sneaker print featuring purple Wild Berry stars, the AWAYTOMARS community concepted, developed and finessed each design, before the company created a prototype and manufactured the final pieces.

“So many of us have memories associated with colorful bites of Froot Loops, and through the power of our co-creation community, we quickly expanded our designs beyond the cereal’s bright red box,” said Alfredo Orobio, AWAYTOMARS founder. “Together, we found a way to infuse the fun, playful spirit of Froot Loops and tie the capsule to the full AWAYTOMARS Spring/Summer 19 collection, which is inspired by the visuals of early 20th-century silent movies.”

The AWAYTOMARS/Froot Loops collection is launching as a preview to AWAYTOMARS’ Spring/Summer 19 collection, which will debut in Paris on Sept. 27. You can shop the entire collection at awaytomars.com/frootloops, and a limited number of items will be available at Kellogg’s NYC until they are sold out. The collection retails from $30-$185.

This new partnership with AWAYTOMARS follows gear and accessories collaborations in 2017 to help fans rock “Whatever Froots Your Loops”—from sunglasses to bikes.

Kellogg's Froot Loops AWAYTOMARS

Kellogg is finding other ways to address its category’s challenges in winning millennials by reinventing a traditional CPG giant and its brands for the new era of better-for-you foods.

Though it faces bottom-line challenges from lower prices and higher trucking costs, innovative new products and marketing have stabilized Kellogg’s share of the declining ready-to-eat cereal category while it also has been able to squeeze new growth out of venerable brands such as Pringle’s potato chips and L’eggo waffles.

Special K cereals, for example, “continued to grow consumption and share in the [second] quarter, as we tout its inner-strength positioning,” Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane recently told analysts.  A new Special K Probiotics variety illustrates the new approach Kellogg is taking to its important sub-brand, focusing on the use of simple ingredients and beneficial nutrients and properties rather than weight loss, he told the Wall Street Journal.

Over a decade ago, Kellogg made a big splash by highlighting Special K and its “Weight Loss Challenge,” prompting consumers to use a diet in which the cereal played an important role, one that would help them “lose a jeans size.” But in recent years, Special K sales have leveled off as millennial consumers have taken a more holistic view of nutrition that has moved away from obsessing over the numbers on a sacle. “Special K was a huge leaky bucket,” Callihane told WSJ.

The Kellogg company also has made some gains with new varieties of its long-standing indulgent cereal brands, adding chocolate to Frosted Flakes and marshmallows to Froot Loops.

“Our share of the cereal category stabilized” collectively as a result of all of these steps, Callihane told analysts. “The cereal category has cut its declines in half from last year, but history shows that it needs more and better health and wellness innovation and communication to get back to growth.”

Kellogg is seeing an uptick in the frozen food category thanks to millennials’ embrace of its brands. Eggo waffles, which found a new audience thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things, has successfully relaunched its Thick & Fluffy sub-brand, while its Morningstar Farms veggie-based meat line has “continued to gain share, sustaining double-digit consumption growth behind its core grilling items.”

Callihane said that the company continues to straighten out a Kashi natural-cereal brand that Kellogg acquired several years ago. “Our Kashi business is steadily improving its performance” and “continues to outpace the category,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kellogg acquired RX Bar last year for $600 million, but has essentially let RX run itself and keep growing robustly. “We continue to see the benefits of maintaining RX’s independence and entrepreneurial approach as well as the benefits of RX’s access to Kellogg’s considerable resources,” Callihane said. “We’ll leverage this growth platform more and more in the future.”

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