- Kashi recently launched Kashi by Kids, a line of organic cereals co-created by children, according to a news release. The cereal company, owned by Kellogg, worked with kids ages 12-17— the Kashi Crew — to develop the breakfast cereal. It comes in shapes such as swirls and filled pillows, and includes berry crumble, honey cinnamon and cocoa crisp flavors.
- As part of the Kashi by Kids launch, the cereal is partnering with Edible Schoolyard NYC to bring nutrition education to kids and their families.
- Kashi said it plans to work with the Kashi Crew to develop other kid-friendly products.
Breakfast cereal sales declined more than 2% from 2016 to 2017 as families turned instead to Greek yogurt or protein-heavy breakfast bars, although kid cereals performed somewhat better. Among the top cereal makers — General Mills, Kellogg and Post — only Post saw a year-over-year increase in dollar sales — up 0.14% from 2016 to 2017, thanks to kid cereals.
It makes sense that Kashi is dipping a toe in the kid cereal business. Its strong reputation as a health-conscious food company means busy parents might feel more comfortable pouring their children a bowl of Kashi for Kids without fearing the high sugar content associated with other brands. The cereal also touts the inclusion of whole grains, organic ingredients and fiber, appealing to health-conscious kids and adults. It also helps that Kashi went straight to some of the very same individuals they are marketing the new cereals to for help in designing the product. That could add further credibility to the product.
Still, there’s long been a public wariness about marketing cereal — or any food — directly to kids. Studies found placing kids’ cereals on the lower or middle store shelves, for example, made them easier for children to find and request. Studies even found the placement of a brand mascot's eyes could make a difference — those looking directly out into customers’ eyes seemed to do better than those looking elsewhere. And, of course, there’s long been backlash against aggressive marketing tied to children’s cartoons, superhero movies or toys.
Kashi apparently hopes its cereal will go big with parents looking for healthy morning options, and that working with kids to produce new products will appeal to the younger set outright. It remains to be seen whether the strategy pays off, but there's no doubt that industry leaders will be watching and waiting to emulate these tactics if they pay off.