Cold Cereal Promotions

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Part
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Cold Cereal On-Pack Promotional Trends

Our research indicates that Post Consumer Brands and General Mills are the most active companies in terms of launching on-pack promotions on their cold cereal boxes in Canada. After an exhaustive search, however, we were unable to identify any trends in cold cereal on-pack promotions.

METHODOLOGY

We began our research by searching for articles, publications, and reports with information on trends relating to on-pack promotions of cold cereal in Canada. Our focus was on locating industry experts' opinions or publications on the most current or innovative trends in the cold cereal marketplace. However, there was no precompiled list containing this information. What we found was general insights on cereals within Canada. Our next strategy was to search through credible advertising platforms such as Adage and Napkinmarketing. Here we hoped to locate publications with case studies of current on-pack promotions launched within Canada. Unfortunately, this too did not yield any results relating to our query.

In a bid to triangulate a response, we broadened our research criteria and searched for images on photo directories such as Google Images and Instagram. Using this method we hoped to locate pictures of cereal packs that might contain promotions on them. This strategy only displayed results of some cold cereal packs in Canada; no pack was found with a promotional offer on it. Still determined to find hints of trends in cold cereal on-pack promotions, our research team searched within coupon forums such as canadianfreestuff.com and healthyplanetcanada.com. This strategy displayed results of several discount deals and promotional offers by Canadian food and snacks brands, however, no promotions relating to cereals were found.

Finally, we searched for a list of popular cereal brands in Canada and then browsed through their websites to identify any current or recently completed on-pack promotions. Our aim was to find similarities in the campaigns being organized by these brands, and use this information to generate a list of trends. Amongst others, brands like Golden Crisp, Cookie Crisp, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were investigated. Unfortunately, this too did not provide evidence to aid our triangulation. We were able to locate a 2017 Post Cereal on-pack promotion using this means; we also found two dated case-studies (2016 and 2011) from General Mills. These publications found were not sufficient to aid in identifying trends; however, we have provided an overview of the on-pack promotions located. We believe this information is not available publicly either because there are few on-box promotions in the Canadian cold cereal marketplace, or the promotions are rarely published by brands and industry experts. Please read further for details on our findings.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

1. Nintendo and Post: "Super" Cereal Promotion

From Oct. 9, 2017, through January 31, 2018, Canadian shoppers could enter a PIN found on packs of Post cereals and stand a chance to win a Nintendo Switch Prize Pack. This pack consisted of the Super Mario Odyssey game and a Nintendo Switch system. The promotion was targeted at kids and PINs could be found inside 1 million specially branded Post cereal boxes like Honeycomb, Honey Bunches of Oats, Sugar Crisp, Shreddies and Alpha-Bits. In addition, these PINs could be used to receive a reward of 50 My Nintendo Platinum Points, which could also be exchanged for certain downloadable rewards available on the My Nintendo rewards program.

2. General Mills: Incentive to Buy Cereal Box Promotion

Back in 2016, General Mills needed a new, interesting and impactful presence on shelves of retail stores. In order to achieve this, they created promotions on cereal boxes globally. Each of these boxes had the potential to contain a $5-$100 Prepaid Discover card. The promotion covered 10 brands and was distributed in over 1 million boxes across Canada and the US. This program became so successful that customers began to take metal detectors to stores in an attempt to identify the boxes that contained a card.

3. General Mills Canada: Promotional beach towels

In the summer of 2011, General Mills launched an on-box promotion in which they gave away towels as an incentive for customers to continue buying their cereals. In order to redeem the branded towels, customers had to visit the promotional website and input the pin found on their cereal box, together with their mailing address. Cereal brands like Pillsbury and Cheerios were featured on the towels. This campaign was aimed at presenting General Mills as a brand that promotes outdoor activities and healthy lifestyles. The promotion was limited to 350,000 towels and was meant to close on the 10th October 2011. However, as at 15th August of that year, General Mills had run out of towels, indicating that the on-box promotion was a huge success.
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Part
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Cold Cereal On-Pack Promotional Design Trends

After reviewing credible sources, we were unable to identify three to five trends in cold cereal on-pack promotional packaging in Canada. However, we were able to discover two key players that have launched cold cereal on-pack promotions in Canada. These companies are General Mills and Kellogg’s Canada. Below, we have presented a detailed overview of our research strategy and the findings from our research.

METHODOLOGY

We began our research by combing through articles, publications, and reports with information on trends relating to the on-pack promotional design of cold cereal in Canada. Our focus was on locating industry experts' compiled list of trends or publications on the most current or innovative trends in on-pack promotional packaging in the cold cereal marketplace. However, there was no precompiled list containing this information. What we found was general insights on cereals within Canada.
Next, we searched for a list of popular cereal brands in Canada and then browsed through their websites to identify any current or recently completed on-pack promotions. Our aim was to find similarities in the campaigns being organized by these brands, and use this information to generate a list of trends in on-pack promotional packaging. We were able to unearth General Mills and Kellogg’s Canada Post Cereal on-pack promotion in the past two years using this strategy. These publications found were not sufficient to aid in identifying trends in on-pack promotional design.
Finally, we broadened the scope of the research and searched for images on photo directories such as Google Images and Instagram. Our aim was to find useful pictures or documentation of the boxes used for these promotions for more information about image size, color, design, messaging, or the like. We found pictures that revealed the exact nature of the campaigns through the details displayed on the boxes. Continue below for details into our key findings.

KEY FINDINGS

GENERAL MILLS CANADA

IMAGE SIZE
  • Case 1: General Mills free chocolate milk promotion size was a 2liter chocolate milk; the chocolate milk on the advert page was made of paper having a rectangular shape.
  • Case 2: General Mills and Cineplex annual movie campaign had the regular shape of a movie ticket as such; there are no details regarding the image size of this on-pack promotional packaging.
COLOR
  • Case 1: The color used for the General Mills free chocolate milk promotion was mainly brown and white; this represents the color of the chocolate milk juice.

DESIGN
  • Case 1: The General Mill free chocolate milk was design to have a rectangular body and a pyramid top end where the opening was located.

MESSAGING
  • Case 1: General Mill chocolate free chocolate promotion had a message tag of “purchase a specially marked package of General Mills Cereal product such as products Yellow box Cherrios 525g, Multi-Grain Cheerios 560g, Honey Nut Cheerios 685g, Lucky Charms 580g, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch 600g”. Cut the coupon found inside the box and redeem the coupon with a purchase of the promotional products. The promotion prize is 2L chocolate milk.

KELLOGG'S CANADA

IMAGE SIZE

COLOR
  • Case 1: Kellogg’s Canada free personalized spoon had a silver color with a personalize name engrafted into the spoon.

DESIGN

MESSAGING
  • Case 1: Kellogg’s Canada free personalized spoons were for customers who bought two specially-marked Kellogg's cereals that were participating in this promotion, they got pin codes that could be redeemed for a free personalized spoon with no limit to the number of spoons that can be requested. Kellogg's cereals that qualified for this promotion include Rice Krispies, Cereal 440g, Froot Loops, Cereal 345g, Krave, Chocolate Flavor Cereal 323g, Corn Pops, Cereal 320g, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Cereal 425g, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and Cereal 680g.
  • Case 2: In order to win the prepaid gas card, a customer has to buy any two Kellogg's cereals boxes that have special promotional marks on them, take a picture of the receipt and upload the receipt for validation in line with the receipt upload guidelines. Kellogg's Canada products that qualify for this promotion are Kellogg's All-Bran flakes, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Mini-Wheat’s, Rice Krispies, Special K, Vanilla Almond Cereal, Special K, Original Cereal, and Kellogg's Two Scoops Raisin Bran Cereal.

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Part
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Cold Cereal Trends in Canada

Unavailability of information in the public domain resulted in the identification on only two major trends in the Canadian cold cereal market, i.e. the decline in popularity of cold cereals and the decrease in sales and the increase in demand for healthier cold cereals. Further details of our research methodology and findings can be found below.

METHODOLOGY

We searched different credible resources such as IBISWorld and Euromonitor, Government of Canada Websites, the company websites of key competitors in the cold cereal market such as Kellogg Canada, and media websites such as PRNewswire and we were only able to find two cold cereal trends in Canada. They are trends in the cold cereal market because they were cited in different reports from market analysis reports, government websites, company websites, and media websites. Our detailed research process is as illustrated below.

We started by doing an exhaustive search through market reports such as IBISWorld and Euromonitor and also survey websites such as Nielsen, but we were only able to identify two trends instead of five as highlighted by the research criteria. We tried searching further, but some market reports were locked behind paywalls. The only trends that are available in the public domain are the two we identified; however, there may be additional insights that are limited by paywalls.

We also searched the Government of Canada Websites for reports on the cereal industry in Canada, as well as the organization website of Cereals Canada, but we were not able to identify additional trends through this strategy. Next, we tried searching for cold cereal industry reports on resources such as Forbes and PRNewswire, and Canadian news websites such as CBC, but again we were only finding the trends we had already identified with additional trends highly unavailable.

Lastly, we focused our search on the websites of key competitors in the Canadian cold cereal market such as Kellogg Canada. Our aim was to find company reports that contained insightful information on the trends in the cold cereal industry. We checked the annual financial reports of the companies, but they only provide product insights. We even tried another approach where we searched for top cold cereal products to see if there were any similarities in the products that we could use to identify trends, but this strategy also failed.

COLD CEREAL TRENDS IN CANADA

1. DECLINE IN POPULARITY OF COLD CEREALS AND DECREASE IN SALES

The demand and popularity of cereals have been on a decline in Canada especially cold/ready-to-eat cereal. This trend is attributed to Canadians having less time to prepare breakfast and finding alternatives at cafes and coffee shops where they buy most of their foods.

According to a Nielsen study, there is a decline of cold cereal in the Canadian food industry as only 15% of Canadians eat breakfast at home while 30% of Canadians buy breakfast meals from drive-throughs.

According to Euromonitor International, a market research firm, "Canadian cold cereal sales totaled $918.7 million in 2016 — a decline of 7.3% since 2012." Additionally, cold cereal sales are expected to decrease by a further 7.3% by 2021. This decline is as a result of a growing number of breakfast meal options and the consumer desire for grab-and-go breakfast meals outside the home.

Even though in 2018 there was a general decline in the ready-to-eat breakfast cereal market, hot cereals like oats and grains maintained a positive performance because they continue to portray a healthier image to consumers. Kellogg Canada is the largest player in the Canadian cereal market and due to this, the company has suffered the most from the overall decline of the category.

2. INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR HEALTHIER COLD CEREAL

Canadians currently favor breakfast foods that are healthier and that have higher protein content and greater satiety. Generally, North America has the highest percentage of people who want to eat natural foods in the form of healthy organic and all-natural cereal.

Healthy cereals that have a whole grain claim are at the top in terms of consumer demand globally and in North America for both hot and cold cereals. Additional healthy claims in cereals include high/added fiber, ethical-environmentally friendly packaging, organic, and no additives/preservatives. Consequently, cereal company such as Kellogg Canada have turned to the production of healthier, lower cholesterol, and gluten-free oats because of consumer demand for healthier cold cereal.

In the Canadian market, the most popular cold cereals based on vending and pantry service are Kellogg’s Favorites Single Serve Cups, Kellogg’s Mini Wheats, and ProGranola 12g Protein Cereal which are all healthier types of cold cereals.
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Part
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Perceptions of Post Cold Cereals

There were no hard data found that support the consumer perceptions of Post cold cereals in Canada as this information might be highly specific in nature. The consumer perceptions of Post cold cereals revolve around the delicious flavors, nutritious ingredients, good value for money, and enticing package design. Meanwhile, some negative perceptions include disliking modified flavors of classic varieties and lack of packaging improvement such as converting to "Ziploc" packaging styles.

METHODOLOGY

In order to address the request, we first searched for directly available reports on the consumer perceptions of Post cold cereals in Canada. We looked for this information in various sources such as in the customer testaments page in the Post cold cereal's Canadian website and on its Facebook page; food industry sites like Food and Drink, Occasions, Cellier, City Bites, and others; news sites such as The Globe and Mail, La Presse, and similar sites; top food blogs such as the Canadian Foodie, Mindfully Spiced, Cerealously, and other relevant sites. Based on these sources, we were not able to find reports that contain hard data on the consumer perceptions of Post cold cereals. What we found are some customer reviews on the Post cereal's Canadian website. We also found a review from the Cerealously blog on the attributes of a few variants of Post cold cereals in Canada.
We then checked if we can find more Post cereal consumer perceptions by looking through survey sites to determine if there are cereal-related surveys that feature Post cold cereal products. We checked the sources above and several consumer survey sites in Canada such as the Food in Canada, Newswire, Harris Poll Online, PineCone Research, Toluna, and other similar sources. However, we were not able to find any Post cold cereal-related surveys that contain hard data even after extensively searching through these sites. What we found are general consumer cereal and food surveys, and not specific to Post cold cereal products.
Given the lack of hard data found on the consumer perceptions of Post cold cereals in Canada, we then checked major online sites in Canada where Post cereals are sold such as in the Walmart Canada and the Amazon Canada site. We hope to obtain some insights on the consumer perception of Post cold cereals in Canada by looking at the reviews or comments on the Post products in those online sites. We then consolidated the reviews found on the Post cold cereal products that were featured on these sites. Based on these pieces of information, we have compiled our limited findings on the consumer perception of Post cold cereal products in the section below. We also inferred that the reason why the hard data on the Canadian consumers' perception of Post cold cereal is not available might be due to the highly specific nature of this information.

Perceptions of Post Cold Cereals

Based on the question portion of Post Canada's website, it was concluded that Post's products were viewed as following Kosher standards. Meanwhile, in the Walmart's online site where several Post cold cereal products were shown, consumers are mostly praising the overall tastes of the current varieties available such as "Oats Almond, HoneyMaid Smores, Shreddies, Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit, Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted, Sugar Crisp, and Dark Chocolate Shredded Wheat Cereals." However, they are lamenting the flavor change done for Post's Honey Combs variety. There were some complaints about the package label's "now bigger honey taste" as the consumers claimed that the label is not reflective of the product's taste.
As for the HoneyMaid S'mores, there are some complaints that the chocolate parts do not contain enough chocolate. Also, some consumers mentioned that the Grahams used were not really "Golden Grahams." For the rest of the ingredients, the consumers find them acceptable. Some considers this flavor as highly satisfactory.
Consumers also lauded the low sugar content and the mini-chocolate chips contained in the Shredded Wheat - Dark Chocolate flavor." As for its Alpha-Bits variety, one consumer reported that she is impressed by the new novelty packaging and the improved readability of the label. However, with regards to the new taste of the product, the new Alpha-Bits variety's taste is not considered as good as the previously released variant.
Meanwhile, in Post Canada's Facebook account, there was some general clamor for the packaging to be improved such as converting the plastic packaging to a resealable one. There were also some customers who were clamoring for the older cereal flavors to be brought back.
In Amazon Canada's e-commerce site, consumers gave high ratings to the following variants of Post cereals: "Honey Bunches of Oats, Almond, HoneyMaid Smores, Shreddies, Great Grains, Shredded Wheat Big Biscuit, Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted, Sugar Crisp, and Dark Chocolate Shredded Wheat Cereals."
Some reviews in the Amazon site mentioned about the retained crispiness even after soaking the cereals in milk. They also lauded the high fiber content and the low-sugar formulation in some varieties. They are also satisfied with the right size of the individual cereals. Customers also love the bigger packaging available. Most reviews also mentioned about the satisfactory price of the products.

GENERAL STATISTICS ON THE CEREAL-EATING HABITS OF THE CANADIANS - HELPFUL FINDINGS

Since there were no surveys or reports that contain hard data on the Canadian consumer perceptions of Post cold cereal products, the following are the helpful findings to help assess general cereal hard data from a survey from Kellogs, a rival company. Based on the survey, nine in ten Canadians consume cereal. Over half of those surveyed revealed eating cereals around one to three times weekly. Thirty-five percent eat cereal during dinner. Around 21% consume the product any time in a day.
Seventy-five percent of the Canadians interviewed choose cereal products based on taste. Around 60% consider nutrient-content when selecting their cereal products. For the 42% surveyed, the value of the product is their main consideration when choosing cereal products. As for the accompanying food option, 91% will opt for plain milk on their cereals, 22% will go for yogurt, 17% with hot milk, and 11% prefer flavored milk.
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Part
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Cereal Shopping Journey

In Canada, the major purchasing drivers for cereal shoppers include the taste, nutrition, and value of cereals. The growth of disposable income in Canada has also resulted in cereal consumers buying brand names and high-end cereals. Additionally, the biggest consumers of cereals, who are also the typical purchasers of cereal in Canada are millennials because they form 78% of cereal consumers. Further details of our findings and research methodology follows below.

METHODOLOGY

In our search for information, we started by looking for market surveys that were published by companies in Canada's cereal industry such as Kellogg Canada, the largest player in Canada's breakfast cereals market. With this strategy, we were able to find relevant surveys that we used to draw out information on the consumer journey of Canadian cereal shoppers. We focused on Canadian consumers, but in the end, we expanded our research to target U.S. consumers. Through this expansion, we were able to find additional resources that we used to address the research criteria.

In addition to the market surveys, we also searched for relevant information in market research reports on sources that included Fona International, IBIS World, Euromonitor International, and Statista. This strategy was also fruitful and we used the reports that we found to further provide insights on the customer journey of cereal shoppers in Canada/U.S.

From all the resources that we were able to identify, it was clear that they contained information on consumer buying behavior and preferences in the cereal markets of Canada and the U.S. This information was relevant to the research criteria and we used it as necessary to draw useful insights.

CEREAL SHOPPING JOURNEY CANADA/UNITED STATES

1. MAJOR PURCHASE DRIVERS

When it comes to choosing cereals, Canadians are driven by taste above everything else at 75% followed by nutrition at 60%, and value at 42%. In addition, organic claims are also consistently growing and around 50% of U.S. consumers associate "organic with healthy."

In the U.S., top cereal flavors include almond, cinnamon, honey, apple, and cranberry. Some uncommon flavors that have recently hit U.S. shelves include "orange, coffee and macadamia nut, limoncello blueberry, dulce de leche, and even ice cream flavors."

According to an IBIS World Canada market report, the demand for cereal products has decreased because cereal consumers have shifted to pricier breakfast alternatives because disposable income has recovered. Additionally, "depreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to the Canadian dollar has hindered exports, and households have evened out spending to include branded and more expensive healthy cereals."

The market report also noted that over the next 5 years, the growth of disposable income is bound to persuade consumers to buy brand names and high-end cereals, a factor that is expected to improve returns in the cereals industry. Canadian consumers have also shifted their appetites and tastes and are now demanding healthier cereals.

In reference to a Statista report, the average revenue per person in Canada's breakfast cereals market was $31.10 in 2019. The report also noted that Canada's breakfast cereals market will grow at a CAGR of 1.1% from 2019 to 2023.
The Euromonitor report titled "Breakfast Cereals in Canada" indicated that a wide range of factors was behind the sustained decline in breakfast cereals in Canada over the last decade. These factors include changing consumer behavior and rising health-consciousness among Canadian consumers. However, "ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast cereals, hot cereals, including oats and grains, bucked the trend and maintained a positive performance in 2018." This was largely because these cereals have a less processed nature and the presence of fewer artificial ingredients, hence portraying an overall healthier image.

2. THE ROLE OF BRAND LOYALTY AND BRAND REPUTATION

According to Kellogg Canada's findings in regard to cereal habits, Canadian consumers like to mix their cereals up with 19% of consumers creating their own custom blend of cereal favorites.

In the U.S., cereal consumers that are aged between 18 and 34 years consume a wider variety of cereals than older Americans. In terms of cereal types, 60% of American consumers expressed interest in trying quinoa while 54% are interested in chia.

IBIS World identified one threat in the Canadian cereals industry to be time-poor consumers shifting towards more convenient breakfast products over cereals.

In reference to the Euromonitor report, Kellogg Canada owned the largest portion of the breakfast cereals market in Canada by value in 2018. Other major players in the market included PepsiCo Beverages Canada and General Mills Canada Corp.

3. FREQUENCY OF CEREAL PURCHASE

In Canada, Manitoba is the epi-cereal-center region in regard to cereal consumption because 33% of people here consume a bowl of cereal three times a week or more. Kellogg Canada also noted that 9 out of 10 Canadians eat cereal and more than 50% of these consumers eat cereal one to three times a week.

In addition, 35% of Canadian cereal consumers want to have cereal for dinner while 21% of consumers enjoy cereal at any time of the day. Lastly, in Canada, the average per capita consumption of cereal in terms of weight was 5.3 kgs in 2019.

4. CEREAL PURCHASE

According to a market survey by Kellogg Canada, millennials are the biggest consumers of cereal in Canada at 78% followed by Boomers at 59%.

ADDITIONAL HELPFUL FINDINGS

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Cereal On-Pack Promotion Examples: General Mills Canada

On-pack promotional offers General Mills has used on its cold cereal boxes in Canada in the past two years include the free labels, free 2L of chocolate milk, Cineplex free movie, free character-themed socks, free mittens, cheer postcard, Support the Bees and Bring Back the Bees promotions.

METHODOLOGY

We began our research by searching for the cold cereal brands that General Mills supplies in Canada. While they are generally the same as the ones distributed in the US, the promotions are not all the same. We focused our search on promotions that were done in Canada in the last two years involving the cold cereals brands listed on General Mills' website.

General Mills offers a blog on its website that offered information about its Bring Back the Bees promotion, but we couldn't find any of its other past promotions the blog.

We then searched for deals and coupons on various trusted Canadian forums and money-saving websites to give some insight into the campaigns that General Mills had run. These websites would give a heads up to their readers on when General Mills would be coming out with a new promotion that could benefit them. It was through this means that we found some useful information regarding their past promotions.

Next, we tried to find useful pictures or documentation of the boxes used for these promotions for more information on these deals. We found pictures that revealed the exact nature of the campaigns through the details displayed on the boxes. The reason for assuming that the boxes were for promotions in Canada was that their labels were written in both English and French, which is characteristic of products sold for the Canadian market.

After an exhaustive search, we found that some cold cereal brands under the General Mills umbrella are not listed, specifically, in campaigns or promotions. We could not find any data on promotions using those brands. That is not to say that they are not included in the promotions, but we could not find photographic evidence of specially marked boxes.

General Mills Canada: Cereal On-Pack Promotion Examples

2017 PROMOTIONS:

  • Free Labels Promotion: When customers purchased a specially marked package, they would receive one free label sheets which had 23 labels. The promotion ended on November 20, 2017, and featured on several cereals and snacks.
  • Cheer Postcard Campaign: The campaign featured specially designed Cheerios boxes that had a cut-out postcard for customers to send to Team Canada athletes to encourage them while competing at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Free 2L of Chocolate Milk Campaign: Inside specially marked boxes were coupons that allowed customers to get free 2 liters of chocolate milk with their next purchase of a General Mills cereal. This promotion was on several cereal brands.
  • Bring Back The Bees Campaign: The one-week campaign was launched on March 9, 2017, to raise awareness about the declining bee population and to provide enough seeds for people to plant 200 million wildflowers in Canada and the United States. They ended up sending 1.5 million wildflowers in one week. The campaign featured on General Mills' Honey Nut Cheerios boxes.
  • Cineplex Free Movie Promotion: The General Mills and Cineplex annual movie campaign was featured on specially-marked family size cereal boxes from several brands.

2018 PROMOTIONS:

  • Cineplex Free Movie Campaign: The free movie offered via specially marked boxes (family size) of General Mills products that began in 2017 ran until January 31, 2018. The campaign was on several cereal brands.
  • Character-Themed Sock Promotion: Inside specially-marked boxes of General Mills cereals such as Honey Nut Cheerios and Multigrain Cheerios there were pins through which customers could go online to redeem free socks designed with the company's cereal box characters.
  • Free Mitten Promotion: In this campaign, customers that purchased specially marked boxes of General Mills cereals were able to obtain PINs with which they retrieved a free pair of mittens with three different designs to choose from. This promotion was also on several brands.

2019 PROMOTION:

  • Support the Bees Campaign: General Mills in partnership with Groove Jones created an interactive AR (augmented reality) campaign to help support its Cheerios and Nature Valley Granola Bars sustainability initiatives. Customers were granted a "spectacular AR experience" of growing their own virtual wildflower garden or forest, which they were able to unlock after scanning Cheerios or Nature Valley packaging.
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Cereal On-Pack Promotion Examples: General Mills US

In the past two years, General Mills has used several on-pack promotional offers on its cold cereal boxes in the U.S. A total of eight examples of on-pack promotional offers from the company are detailed below and include the Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal ‘Solo’ free movie ticket promo; the free ‘The Last Jedi’ spoons in boxes of their Cereals offer; the rainbow and unicorn marshmallows offer; the prizes for buzzcoin collection from cereal boxes offer; the free DC comic offer; the on-pack cocoa puffs cereals giveaway promotion; the on-pack Pokémon booster pack promotion; and the on-pack interactive AR promotion for cheerios offer. In-depth analyses of each example are outlined below after the research methodology detailing the search processes used to uncover the findings.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In retrieving examples of on-pack promotional offers used by General Mills on its cold cereal boxes in the U.S. in the past two years, we first searched through its website, specifically focusing on its product pages and news and articles on their promotional and marketing efforts since such information is likely contained on its website. Fortunately, we found that on General Mills blog are several compilations of information about the on-pack promotional offers it has used in the past two years. While the information did not feature all on-pack promotional offers on General Mills cold cereal boxes, we adopted another strategy that sought to uncover the information from ‘Google Images’ with a keen focus on graphics published by reputable business and marketing websites. Using both strategies, we uncovered a total of eight examples of on-pack promotional offers that General Mills has used on its cold cereal boxes in the U.S. in the past two years.

1. General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal ‘Solo’ Free Movie Ticket Promo

In 2018, General Mills included a free on-pack movie ticket promotion for "May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story" on its Honey Nut Cheerios cereal box. The company collaborated with Fandango to deliver free tickets to fans worth approximately $8 of the total value of the film ticket if they purchased three boxes of participating cereal. The link to the image of the promotion can be accessed here.

2. General Mills On-pack Offer of a Free ‘The Last Jedi’ Spoons In Boxes of their Cereals

In 2017, General Mills offered a free color changing spoon on-pack cereal box offer in 'The Last Jedi' promotion. The company made available an assortment of six color-changing spoons in specially marked cereal boxes. Interestingly, each spoon featured a different character from Episode VIII of Star Wars. The spoons would change color once exposed to cold milk. The image to the box can be accessed here.

3. General Mills On-pack Offer of Rainbow and Unicorn Marshmallows

In 2019, General Mills’ on-pack offers (rainbow and unicorn marshmallows) came back with a bang and were featured in approximately 15,000 cereal boxes of Lucky Charms Marshmallow Only. The link to the image of the promotion can be accessed here.

4. General Mills On-pack Offer of Prizes for Buzzcoin Collection from Cereal Boxes

General Mills is currently running an on-pack promotion called the 'Good Rewards' program, which allowed the customers that were shopping for Honey Nut Cheerios to scan a buzzcoin symbol on the cereal box. The symbol represents points the customers can donate to their preferred charity and celebrity team they wish to support. The image of the box can be accessed via this link.

5. General Mills On-pack Offer of Free DC Comic

In 2017, General Mills partnered with Warner Bros to run an on-pack promotion for free DC Comics inside cereal boxes that customers purchased but could not collect. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, redid six cereal boxes with a new DC Super Hero makeover. The cereal boxes also featured one of DC’s comic books including Power Play, Dark Reflections, Truth Hurts", and “Alien Justice.” The image of the box can be accessed here.

6. General Mills On-pack Cocoa Puffs Cereals Giveaway Promotion

In 2018, General Mills launched a new Cocoa Puffs brownie crunch cereal and offered on-pack promotional gifts including a Frisbee and two on-the-go customized containers. According to the ODM Group, the on-pack promotional products provided extensive room for branding. The image of the cereal box can be accessed here.

7. General Mills On-pack Pokémon Booster Pack Promotion

In 2019, General Mills partnered with Pokémon to run a promotion that lasted from Jan 2019 to March 30th. In this campaign, promo booster packs were included in some boxes of “Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Lucky Charms, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs.” Each 3-card booster pack included two common cards and 1 of 4 special foil cards with either “Cubone, Pikachu, Charmander, or Eevee.” In total, there were 13 cards available to customers, and each contained a Pokémon from the Kanto region. The link to the image of the box can be accessed here.

8. General Mills On-Pack Interactive AR Promotion for Cheerios

In 2019, General Mills also partnered with Groove Jones to create many artificial realities (AR) experiences for Cheerios fans. These AR experiences sought to bolster Cheerios' sustainability strategies. General Mills used Earth Month to debut the “Help Us Support the Bees and Trees” campaign, which was included on Cheerios cereal boxes such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Maple Cheerios, and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Customers would download an app and scan a code on Cheerios cereals boxes to unlock interactive AR experiences, which they could use to create a virtual forest or wildflower garden. The image to the cereals box can be accessed here.
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Cereal On-Pack Promotion Examples: Kellogg's Canada

Over the past two years, Kellogg's Canada has been running several On-Pack promotions that allow it's customers to win gifts and prizes. To participate in the promotion, a customer has to buy two boxes of Kellogg's cereals that are specially-marked. A purchase of any of the two special cereal boxes could give a customer a chance to win one of the following: a $5 prepaid card for gas, a $5 prepaid grocery card, free Hasbro toys, annual pre-Christmas toys promotion, holiday cash, Kellogg's personalized spoon, Grown -ups Go Free, and $5 holiday prepaid card.

FREE $5 PREPAID CARD FOR GAS

This promotion started on 28th February 2019 and is expected to run through to 7th June 2019.

In order to win the prepaid gas card, a customer has to buy any two Kellogg's cereals boxes that have special promotional marks on them, take a picture of the receipt and upload the receipt for validation in line with the receipt upload guidelines.

Kellogg's Canada products that qualify for this promotion are: Kellogg's All Bran flakes, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Mini-Wheats, Rice Krispies, Special K* Vanilla Almond Cereal, Special K* Original Cereal, and Kellogg's Two Scoops Raisin Bran Cereal.

Here's the link to the images of the promotion products: https://www.kelloggsgascash.ca/

FREE $5.00 GROCERY PREPAID CARD

From May 31st 2018 to June 15, 2018, Kellogg's customers who bought any two specially marked boxes for the cereals participating in this promotion got a free $5.00 grocery prepaid card. All one needed to do was to take a picture of the receipt showing the date and time of the purchase as well as the two specially-marked boxes and then upload the receipt to Kellogg's.

The participating cereals in this promotion were Corn Pops Cereal, 515g, Froot Loops Cereal, 580g, Frosted Flakes Cereal, 650g, Mini Wheats Brown Sugar Cereal, 700g, Mini Wheats Original Cereal 700g, Rice Krispies Cereal 640g, Special K Original Cereal 620g, Special K Vanilla Almond Cereal 658g, Two Scoops Raisin Bran Cereal 755g.

KELLOGG’S FREE HASBRO TOY PROMOTION

This promotion, that gave out toy or game coupons to customers, expired on January 15, 2018. When a customer purchased two specially-marked Kellogg’s Cereal boxes for the cereal brands participating in this promotion, they collected PIN codes which they redeemed later for either a free toy/game valued at $10 or one coupon for $10 off a $25 game.

The coupons for this promotion expired on March 31, 2018, and the qualifying cereals were Kellogg's Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Mini-Wheats, Mini-Wheats Brown Sugar, and Rice Krispies.


kellogg's canada holiday cash promotion

For this promotion, customers were required to buy two packages of Kellogg's participating cereals and get a $5 Pre-Paid Card. Customers had to take a photo of the receipt and submit it by January 25, 2019 and use the unique link sent to their email to register the pre-paid card. The pre-paid card would arrive in their mail within 3-4 weeks. This promotion ran from October 14, 2018, to January 11, 2019.

FREE KELLOGG’S PERSONALIZED SPOON Promotion

This promotion ended on September 30, 2017. When a customer bought two specially-marked Kellogg's cereals that were participating in this promotion, they got pin codes that could be redeemed for a free personalized spoon with no limit to the number of spoons that can be requested.

Kellogg's cereals that qualified for this promotion include Rice Krispies* Cereal 440g, Froot Loops* Cereal 345g, Krave* Chocolate Flavour Cereal 323g, Corn Pops* Cereal 320g, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes* Cereal 425g, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes* Cereal 680g.


GROWN-UPS GO FREE

This promotion started in March 2017 and ran up to Easter bank holiday and school breaks. Kellogg's Canada partnered with Merlin Entertainments to re-launch its annual on-pack 'Grown-ups Go Free' promotion. This on-pack promotion gave customers a free voucher to help families get free tickets to tour the Merlin top attractions and save up to £50. Participants had to cut out the voucher and take it to their preferred destinations. Provided that they bought one full price ticket for an adult or a child, another adult can join for free.

The participating cereals include: Rice Krispies, Fruit ‘n Fibre, and Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes
Part
09
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Part
09

Cereal On-Pack Promotion Examples: Kellogg's US

On-pack promotional offers that Kellogg's has implemented on their cold cereal boxes in the United States in the past two years include Special K EOS lip balm offer, buy a box get a box for free, holiday sock offer, free Scholastic kids book, win Hasboro Gaming game bundle, instantly win $25 Crayola cash, free water bottle, and get Fandango movie tickets.

Special k eos lip balm offer

Special K is a sub-brand of Kellogg's, focusing on breakfast cereals and meal bars manufactured by Kellogg's. The Special K EOS lip balm offer was used on the different variants of Special K cold cereal boxes of Kellogg's in the United States. Customers who purchase two of the specially marked Special K products won a limited edition EOS lip balm for free. This promotional offer can be found on Kellogg's Special K Cereal, 'Blueberry with Lemon Clusters'.

Buy a box get a box for free

Another on-pack promotional offer of Kellogg's was directed towards 'Frosted Flakes', a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's. This on-pack promotional offer involved a coupon stuck on the Frosted Flakes packs which the customer can use for their next visit to get a free cereal. The free cereals included Kellogg’s Krave, Donut Shop, Chocolate Frosted Flakes, or Special K Nourish Berries & Peaches.

Holiday sock offer

Holiday sock offer was another on-pack promotional offer of Kellogg's. Customers who purchased any three of Kellogg's or Keebler participating products were provided with credits which they redeemed to get a pair of festive socks for free. More credits can be gained to collect all the four different pair of socks. The same on-pack promotional offer was implemented on Kellogg's Froot Loops as well.

Free scholastic kids book

When customers purchased any one of the Kellogg's cold cereals, they received a scholastic kids book for free. Each customer was allowed to get up to 10 books for free. Kellogg's Raisin Bran and Kellogg's Krave were some of the cold cereals the promotional offer was directed towards.

Win hasbro gaming game bundle

During this on-pack promotional offer, some of the Kellogg's cold cereal packs came with special marks, indicating the pack might have a winning sticker. Those who won the winning stickers were given a Hasbro Gaming game bundle for free.

Instantly win $25 crayola cash

Some of the Kellogg's and Keebler's cereals came with special marks on their packs. And, few of those packs were filled with winning game pieces. By making use of the game piece, the customer can win $25 Crayola cash. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks was one of the cold cereals the offer was implemented. Later, a similar on-pack promotional offer was applied to Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and/or Corn Pops Cereals.

Free water bottle

Free water bottle was an on-pack promotional offer, implemented on specially marked Special K products. Customers who purchased three of those products were given a 16.9oz double walled steel water bottle for free. This on-pack promotional offer can be found on Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight and few other Special K cold cereals.

Get fandango movie tickets

Certain Kellogg's cold cereal boxes were specially marked and customers who purchased six of those Kellogg's products were able to win a Fandango movie ticket. This promotional offer can be found on Kellogg's Froot Loops among others.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Post Consumer Brands and General Mills are notable companies whose brands have launched on-pack promotions on their cold cereal boxes in Canada."
  • "The "Super" Cereal Promotion is the most recent cold cereal on-pack promotion implemented in Canada by Post Consumer Brands in collaboration with Nintendo."
Quotes
  • "Free labels, free 2L of chocolate milk, Cineplex free movie, free character-themed socks, free mittens, cheer postcard, Support the Bees, and Bring Back the Bees promotions are on-pack promotional offers General Mills has used on its cold cereal boxes in Canada in the past two years."
Quotes
  • "The On-Pack promotional offers by Kellogg's Canada on its cold cereal boxes in the past two years are: a purchase of any two specially-marked boxes of Kellogg's cereal can get a customer one of the following: a $5 prepaid card, free $5.00 Grocery Prepaid Card Kellogg’s free Hasbro Toy Promotion, annual pre-Christmas Kellogg's free toy promotion, Kellogg's Canada Holiday Cash Promotion, Free Kellogg’s Personalized Spoon, Grown-ups Go Free and Kellogg's $5 Holiday Prepaid Card"
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "The company says the survey was conducted among 1,353 randomly selected cereal-eating Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists."
  • "In a statement, Kellogg says nine out of 10 Canadians eat cereal, with more than half of us consuming cereal one-to-three times per week. About 35 per cent of us will have it for dinner and 21 per cent of us will enjoy it any time of day."
  • "Millennials are the biggest fans of the crunch (78%) versus Boomers (59%)."
  • "Canadian cereal choices are driven by taste above everything else at 75%. Nutrition follows at 60%, and value at 42%."
Quotes
  • "In developed cereal markets, such as the United States and Canada, consumers are eating less cereal as they look for breakfast foods that deliver more protein and greater satiety, as well as products that can be eaten on the go or at a sit-down spot other than their home, like work or school."
  • "Mintel reports cereal eaters ages 18-34 eat a wider variety of cereals than older Americans. Millennials also are more deeply engaged in the category with strong opinions about cereal, both positive and negative. On the positive side, 84% see cereal as a great snack. "
  • "Organic is also a consistently growing claim with nearly half of US consumers associating “organic” with “healthy.” "
  • "60% of U.S. Adults express interest in trying quinoa while 54% are interested in chia."
  • "The top flavors in U.S. cereals have remained steady over the past 5 years, although we have seen increases in two of the top 10: Blueberry (+158%) and Almond (+75%)."
Quotes
  • "Conflicting trends over the past five years hampered the Cereal Production industry in Canada. Demand has waned for cereal products as consumers shifted to pricier breakfasts as disposable incomes recovered. Moreover, as people returned to work, they had less time to prepare breakfast. "
  • "Instead, Canadians opted to buy food at cafes or coffee shops, decreasing demand for cereal. Additionally, depreciation of the US dollar relative to the Canadian dollar has hindered exports, and households have evened out spending to include branded and more expensive healthy cereals. Over the next five years, rising disposable income will encourage consumers to purchase brand-name, high-end cereals, which is expected to improve industry returns"
  • "Profit has proved volatile over the past five years due to fluctuations in commodity prices Consumers have shifted their appetites, demanding healthier cereals Time-poor consumers will shift toward more convenient breakfast products"
Quotes
  • "Revenue in the Breakfast Cereals segment amounts to US$1,159m in 2019. The market is expected to grow annually by 1.1% (CAGR 2019-2023)."
  • "In relation to total population figures, per person revenues of US$31.10 are generated in 2019."
  • "The average per capita consumption stands at 5.3 kg in 2019."
Quotes
  • "A myriad of factors contributed to the sustained decline in breakfast cereals in Canada over the last decade. Chief amongst these were changing consumer behaviour and rising health-consciousness."
  • "Canadian consumers, especially the younger population, started to shift from eating regular meals to a mixture of meals and snacks over the last few years. Rising health-consciousness also led to a greater focus on healthier snacking options."
  • "In contrast to the overall weakness in ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast cereals, hot cereals, including oats and grains, bucked the trend and maintained a positive performance in 2018. This was due in large part to its less processed nature and the presence of fewer artificial ingredients; hence having an overall healthier image."
  • "Kellogg Canada remained the largest brand owner in breakfast cereals in Canada in value terms in 2018. The company has a stronghold thanks to a number of mainstream brands in RTE breakfast cereals; hence, suffered the most from the overall decline in the category."
  • "Kellogg Canada was followed by PepsiCo Beverages Canada and General Mills Canada Corp in breakfast cereals in 2018. "
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "General Mills Canada has a new promotion on their cereals and snacks, so have a look while shopping for these specially marked boxes, featuring this promotion for free labels from My Label Factory."
  • "You will receive one free label sheets featuring 23 labels, when you purchase one specially marked package, while supplies last, "
Quotes
  • "Consumers can cut out a Cheer card located on the front of the Cheerios box, fill it in and mail it free of charge to an athlete at Canada Olympic House in South Korea."
  • "Cheerios is bringing back its ‘Cheer’ postcard and giving consumers the opportunity to share words of encouragement with Team Canada athletes ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, "
Quotes
  • "Keep an eye out for General Mills cereal boxes featuring this new promotion for 2L of chocolate milk FREE on your next purchase of a General Mills cereal."
Quotes
  • "The goal was to provide enough seeds to help Americans and Canadians plant 200 million wildflowers for pollinator habitat."
  • "In one week the campaign not only reached its goal, but surpassed it by an un-bee-lievable amount. Honey Nut Cheerios will send more than 1.5 billion seeds to people who requested wildflower seeds to join the effort to #BringBackTheBees."
Quotes
  • "The annual "Cineplex Free Movie Offer" is back with General Mills! "
Quotes
  • "In a new national program, the CPG co is leveraging that popularity, giving away free socks designed with General Mills’ characters on them as part of an in-store promotion that launched March 5 and will be in market until mid-April."
  • "The socks are designed with the faces of Buzz the Bee, Lucky the Leprechaun and the Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares."
Quotes
  • "here is a pair featuring the bee from Honey Nut Cheerios, a pair with a leprechaun hat for Lucky Charms, and also a pair with a Golden Graham design."
  • "A new General Mills promotion is coming! Get a free pair of mittens when you purchase specially marked boxes of General Mills cereal. "
Quotes
  • "The General Mills free movie offers are back again this year! Look for specially marked boxes of General Mills cereals featuring offer codes."
Quotes
  • "The Canadian Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act (laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38/) requires that all labels be bilingual in English and French and that the following information appear on the package/label of consumer goods sold in Canada: "
Quotes
  • "General Mills partnered with Groove Jones to create multiple AR experiences for two of their top selling brands – Cheerios and Nature Valley Granola Bars."
  • "The AR experiences launched the “Help Us Support the Bees and Trees” campaign for Earth Month. This program supports Cheerios and Nature Valley’s sustainability initiatives. "
  • "Customers that scanned the Cheerios or Nature Valley packaging unlock a spectacular AR experience that allows them to grow their own virtual forest or wildflower garden. The experience is fully interactive and includes trivia with interesting facts"
From Part 07
Quotes
  • "....box of Honey Nut Cheerios cereal from General Mills featuring a free ticket promotion for May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. General Mills is teaming up with Fandango to offer fans one free ticket (maxed at an $8.00 total value) to the film when they purchase three boxes of participating cereal."
Quotes
  • "General Mills cereal box promotion for December’s The Last Jedi at one of my local Target stores. You can now collect an assortment of color-changing spoons available in specially marked boxes of General Mills cereal. "
  • "There are six spoons in total to collect with each spoon featuring a different character from Episode VIII – BB-8, Captain Phamsa, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Kylo Ren, and Rey. The spoons change color after they have been exposed to cold milk."
Quotes
  • "These specially-marked boxes also include one of four exclusive DC comic books – titled “Power Play,” “Dark Reflections,” “Truth Hurts,” and “Alien Justice.”"