This may very well be the line that has recently dropped out of many parents’ mouths as Weetabix, a popular cereal brand in the U.K., has been experimenting with a whole new type of advertising.
Weetabix is a whole grain cereal similar to America’s shredded wheat-style cereals. The company has begun hiring children with very busy social lives to wear the company logo while they attend their extra-curricular events. In return, the children are earning about $400. The company is intending to send the message that children who eat Weetabix can pack more into their day than their friends who opted for a different breakfast.
This move hasn’t come without controversy. Many opponents of this campaign are claiming that children are being sold as mobile billboards. As these socially active kids attend their clubs and run the sports fields, they are reaching a whole new market of potential consumers.
Like any other child-at-heart, I love cereal. Whether it be a small bowl with breakfast or an afternoon handful, I simply can’t get enough. Cereal can be a good source of nutrients but it can also be an even better source of excess sugar (among other things.) While some cereals are falling to the wayside in a quest to introduce healthier foods to the masses, Fiber One has created a new option for cereal-lovers.
According to the nutrition panel, each ¾ cup serving of the Fiber One 80 Calories Honey Squares contains only 140 mg of sodium and a whopping 10 g of dietary fiber– that’s 40 percent of your recommended daily value! The ingredient list boasts whole grain corn as the number one ingredient but it also contains sucralose, which is fine in moderation although I personally prefer a natural sweetener.
It tasted great as a morning meal and I tried it with both vanilla almond milk and regular skim milk on different occasions. The texture was light and crunchy and it was very filling. I also tried it on top of a yogurt parfait and it added just the right touch of crunch without the amount of sugar that’s in the granola I usually splurge on.
In a category of food that produced over $600 million in revenue last year, Corn Pops only made $74 million, an 18% decrease since the year prior. The breakfast food that is advertised as being “crispy, glazed, crunchy, sweet,” can no longer compete with its peers. Cereals like Cheerios and Frosted Flakes made over $200 million last year.
Not only are big name cereals beating out Corn Pops but the sales of private brands have impacted totals.
Some have argued that the recent price hikes in corn are the culprits behind the demise of this long standing brand. There is some validity to that claim. However, one has to wonder if it’s the ingredients of the cereal that have really lead to the poor sales. Sure, the cereal is “crispy, glazed, crunchy, sweet” but what makes it so?
When you hear high sodium food, you usually think salty snacks: pretzels, chips, crackers and the like. You may be surprised, however, that some of the highest sodium foods aren’t salty tasting at all.
We all should be cutting down on our sodium intake, as recommended by the 2010 American Dietary Guidelines, so head to your pantry and see if any of these sneaky sodium-packed foods have found there way into your kitchen.
Breakfast cereals are notorious for not only being packed full of sugar, but sodium as well. Cereals “are more concentrated in salt than 50 to 60 percent of the items in the salty snack aisle,” says Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center.
Looking back on my childhood, I grew up eating a lot of sugary foods for breakfast. From Pop Tarts to Toaster Strudel to Corn Pops, sugar was a big part of the most important meal of the day for me. Of course, at the time, my mom was just happy that I was eating any kind of breakfast before running out the door to school, but now we know so much more about proper nutrition that it’s about time some of the major food manufacturers took at look at cereal’s sugar content. Especially cereals that are obviously targeted to children.
Late last year, General Mills reduced the amount of sugar in its popular cereals Lucky Charms, Trix and Cocoa Puffs. According to The Associated Press, PepsiCo Inc. also launched a new instant oatmeal with 25 percent less sugar. Now you can add another big food manufacturer to the list of reduced-sugar breakfast foods: Post Foods. The company recently told The Associated Press that it will cut the sugar content of its Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles per serving from 11 grams to 9 grams. According to the report, this is in an attempt by all food companies to address consumers’ concerns at the growing childhood obesity epidemic.