Annie’s, Pop-Tarts and brownies



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Cereals from Annie’s

New, sort-of, from Annie’s Homegrown, is a set of three organic breakfast cereals: Frosted Oat Flakes, made from oats and wheat, and Cocoa Bunnies and Berry Bunnies, both made from oats, corn and rice. Cocoa bunnies are flavored with, of course, cocoa, and Berry Bunnies contain (in small amounts, to be sure), actual dried strawberries, dried blueberries, blueberry purée and strawberry purée.

Mr. Tidbit’s “new, sort-of” remark is based on the fact that Annie’s introduced organic breakfast cereals almost a decade ago, but they had disappeared. The new offerings might be expected to do better now, with the corporate strength of General Mills behind them.

Yes, Annie’s is a General Mills brand. The Big G bought Annie’s two years ago, although you’d never guess that if you relied for your information on Annie’s packaging or on their website. (You can find Annie’s easily enough on the General Mills website.)

Such cloudiness is not uncommon in the grocery business, where these days consumers are said to be more open to niche brands than to Big Anything. Kellogg’s, for example, owns both Kashi and Bear Naked.

A Pop-Tarts breakfast

Mr. Tidbit has virtually made a living (if you call this living) out of making fun of Oreos — or, rather, making fun of the frequent peculiar flavors offered by Oreos. He is reminded, occasionally, that many similar amusements could be enjoyed almost daily if he were but to cast a wider net. Today, for example, there’s a lulu from Kellogg’s venerable but surprisingly prolific Pop-Tarts brand toaster pastries: Frosted Maple Bacon.

Both the maple and the bacon are artificial flavors, of course, and although Mr. Tidbit feels that the bacon contribution is less than wonderful, the maple aroma is pretty good. If he wore a hat he would doff it in the direction of the Pop-Tarts flavor team in acknowledgement of their courage in making this attempt. Could cheeseburger Pop-Tarts be next?

One brand washes the other

What has been called “cobranding” — the inclusion and prominent promotion in one product of a brand-name item from another firm — used to be very common, and it still surfaces now and then today. New from Hostess, for example, are brownies topped with your choice of Mars products (featured with their logo as big as Hostess’s): Milky Way pieces or m&ms.

Unclear? A complementary cobranded product from Mars might be Twinkie-flavored m&ms.



Al Sicherman

Author: Al Sicherman

Al Sicherman and his used dog, Gus, live in Minneapolis. Al is on the left/

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