Wheaties Fuel to target men
July 24, 2009
by Eric Schroeder
MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc., which earlier this month said its Wheaties brand will undergo an "evolution" later this fall, on July 23 said that evolution will include the launch of a new product, Wheaties Fuel. According to the company, the cereal will be different from original Wheaties and will be geared specifically to men, believed to be a first for the cereal category.
A panel of elite athletes, including Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts; Kevin Garnett, power forward for the Boston Celtics; and Albert Pujols, first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, narrowed the potential cereal formula down to three options: a lightly sweetened crunchy whole wheat flake with granola and crispy rice and a touch of cinnamon and honey; a lightly sweetened, hearty whole wheat flake with cinnamon clusters; and a lightly sweetened whole grain wheat and bran flake with fruit and crunchy almonds. In addition to being sweeter than the original Wheaties, the new cereal will differ by leaving out folic acid and adding in vitamin E.
General Mills said the three formulas now will be tested by a group of everyday athletes, including readers of Men’s Health magazine.
The winning formula will be unveiled on Sept. 9. In the meantime, the elite athletes will be featured in a six-part web series on www.wheaties.com/evolution that provides an inside look at the development of the new cereal.
"It was a unique experience to work alongside these other great athletes in the development of this product, and we were able to give our insight into what athletes really need to fuel performance," Mr. Manning said.
The move is not the first line extension for Wheaties. In the mid-1990s, General Mills launched Honey Frosted Wheaties and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins. Both were discontinued in 2002. A third extension, Wheaties Energy Crunch, was sold between 2001 and 2004.