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.
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.
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.