Quaker refreshing hot cereal lineup

by Eric Schroeder
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CHICAGO — The Quaker Oats Co. on Aug. 24 said it was introducing two new hot cereal varieties while reformulating its signature instant oatmeal products. The new varieties are Quaker Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal and Mix-Up Creations.

As part of the program, Quaker is introducing two new hot cereal varieties — Quaker Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal and Mix-Up Creations — while reformulating its signature instant oatmeal products.

New Quaker Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain Hot Cereal combines oats, wheat, barley and rye with nuts and fruits. The hot cereal, which is considered a good source of fiber, is available in apple cranberry almond and banana walnut.

For children, Quaker has introduced Quaker Mix-Up Creations Instant Oatmeal. The product, which is available in half-pouch servings in five different varieties, allows children to create their own breakfast by mixing together different oatmeal flavors into unique combinations.

In reformulating its instant oatmeal line Quaker, a division of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, said it has added larger whole grain oats for “a heartier texture.” In addition, Quaker has cut sugar content by 25% in three of its signature varieties.

“Americans need to go back to basics and that starts with breakfast,” said Jaya Kumar, president of Quaker Oats. “We all inherently know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in fact, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they feel satisfied after eating it — but still only about half of Americans eat breakfast every day. We see a universal need for education and motivation to help Americans make breakfast a daily, healthy habit.”

To support the new product introductions, Quaker will launch “Amazing Mornings,” an integrated marketing campaign, via national television, print, digital and social media and promotional offerings. Bob Harper, fitness trainer and co-host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” has been enlisted to contribute to Quaker’s initiatives via Facebook, traditional publicity and motivational outreach to consumers.

The refocus on the Quaker brand comes in the wake of a difficult second quarter for Quaker Foods North America in which profit and sales fell 13% and 4%, respectively.

When financial results were announced July 20, Hugh Johnston, executive vice-president and chief financial officer at PepsiCo, said there was “no doubt” PepsiCo would have liked stronger performance from Quaker.

“The fact is, we’ve underinvested in this brand and we’re now moving forward with a plan to refocus, strengthen and extend the advantages of the Quaker portfolio by improving quality, aggressive investment in innovation, and delivering greater differentiation in the marketplace,” he said.

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