The Mans Breakfast Of Champions

March 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Trends and fads today are providing us with endless ways to sub-classify ourselves. You are no longer just a mom, you are a power yoga student, car pooling facilitator, and PTA member and there is a product for each. Both a blessing and a burden of market research is the ability for companies to reach the most selective of niche markets, so it comes with no surprise that we are seeing the introduction of Wheaties Fuel.

For men that consider themselves the non-professional but serious athletes, Wheaties is providing a breakfast cereal for a full day of activity. I am surprised we hadn’t seen this appear sooner. Energy drinks, gels, cubes, beans, bars, pills, and gums have been abundant for years. If this works, it will become a genius move for General Mills to be the first to capture male athletes in a market dominated by children and mothers. On top of which, the recipe changes they have made to create “fuel” are minimal at best making the real risk the price of advertising and promotion.

But this venture won’t come without (branding) risks. The campaign is strictly directed at males however purchasing statistics tell us females have historically been the purchasers of cereal, and marketers presumed that even when men shopped, they bought what a wife or girlfriend asked.

The New York Times said in a July article:

Nutritionally, the cereal will differ from traditional Wheaties by leaving out folic acid, which the company maintains is more important for women than men, while adding vitamin E, thought to be more lacking in men’s diets.

‘Nobody in this enormous category is speaking to men,’ said David Clark, a marketing manager at General Mills. ‘Men don’t use their wives’ razors or deodorants; why would they be eating their cereal?’ Men account for 60 percent of Wheaties eaters, but its box features female athletes and its campaigns have never zeroed in on men.

Assumptions about men are changing and so is General Mills approach. A Saatchi & Saatchi campaign.


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