BOB EASTLEY: Musings of a cereal killer

Bob-EastleyIf you read the title, you know that I’m a diabolical (and I like that word) cereal killer. I can go through a box of Total Raisin Bran in three days, four at the outside. Sure, scrambled eggs and bacon and English muffins are tasty, but my morning mainstay is cereal and milk.

Now it’s time for true confessions. While I like Wheaties and Grape Nuts and other fibrous, nutritious repasts (try that five times fast), my real passion is presweetened anything. Yes, I’m talking Alpha Bits and Cocoa Krispies and even Trix. I don’t care if they’re for kids. Frost it and glaze it and fill it

with empty calories, … and I’ll have a double helping.

If you bump into me at the grocery store and notice a box of Cocoa Puffs in my cart, you might logically assume that it’s for my grandchildren. Okay, we’ll go with that. I suppose, if there’s any left, they can have a bowl.

Meanwhile, I need to raise an issue. When I was growing up, we ate Sugar Pops and Sugar Smacks and Sugar Crisp. Note the common theme. Then, sometime in the early 1990’s, that all changed. Apparently, some former cult followers of Euell Gibbons, or perhaps some overly zealous soccer moms, or maybe it was (were?) the communists who convinced the general public that sugar was bad. After that, everything went by an alias.

Take a walk down the cereal aisle. You’ll see Corn Pops and Honey Smacks and Super Golden Crisp. Honey Smacks my ear, … it’s the same stuff we were eating in 1980. You can put an Obama bumper sticker on Rush Limbaugh’s Mercedes, but that doesn’t make him a Democrat.

My reason for bringing this up is that it may be time for the Battle Creek brain trust to rethink their strategy and re-institute their old brand names. Have you noticed what college kids are consuming these days? It’s not brown rice and organic vegetables. I saw a student the other day with a big slab of pepperoni pizza, a bag of chips, a king-sized Snickers bar and a Monster energy drink.

I’m suggesting that, instead of trying to camouflage their products, the cereal companies may want to embrace the Facebook generation and take a page from Jolt Cola, which hyped itself as having “all the sugar and twice the caffeine.” If you tell any frat rat that there’s a cereal out there that will make his brain spin and help him survive an all-nighter, he’ll be all over it like wet on water.

I’m working on the ad campaign now. No Yolk noodles claim, “We don’t have what you don’t need.” Boring. How about, “Sugar Stars: Sure, they’re bad for you, but they’ll give you a buzz.” I bet they won’t be able to keep them on the shelves.

In our next episode, we’ll examine the virtues of Cheez Whiz.

 

Contact Bob Eastley at eastleyr@ferris.edu.

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