Has the food/packaged goods industry gone mad?
What's in a name? Intrigued by new marketing and product innovations, Stephen Brown analyzes the product name of a new cereal known as "Sexcereal".
“Sexcereal”… Has the food/packaged goods industry gone mad?
First off, I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. At least, I don’t write them down.
And I never make grandiose announcements to friends about achieving my goals (memories of Rob and Doug Ford’s diet challenge a couple years back still sends shivers). However, I don’t mind using this time of year to reflect on my health and rethink some of the choices I’ve made after a few months of gluttony.
I actually started early this year. On December 29th I gave up diet… cola (let’s not name names). As a non-coffee drinker, I have to admit that I’ve relied on a convenient can of diet cola for a caffeine hit over the years. It dawned on me recently that I don’t even like the taste anymore, but I keep drinking it (Habit? I think so.). So, I just stopped and replaced it with more water. Not that big a deal. The big deal is that I need to lose 10 to 15 lbs… but I had that on the list last year and it didn’t happen, not sure I’m going to kill myself (despite my trainer’s best attempts) this year either.
So with this health check in mind, I found myself on a Sunday afternoon thinking about a “maybe I should stock up on healthier foods now that the New Year has arrived and this crazy weather has me housebound” shopping trip. Grocery stores have never been a problem for me… I learned early to avoid the cookie and baked-goods aisles (I have a sweet tooth). But as I near the end-cap of the cereal aisle, my eyes are drawn to a brand I have never seen before… “Sexcereal”. Of course I stop… how could I not. There’s a male and female version… for obvious reasons. I reach for the package...
I reach for the package and start reading: “Big Life Living, Fuel Your Fire. Formulated by nutrition professionals. With his health in mind!” Then I flip the package over and discover its origins – it’s an invention thanks to our friends at Dragons’ Den (didn’t see that episode… that show has long since lost its charm… if it ever had it).
I’m intrigued by new marketing and product innovations… so I had to buy it. After all, if it had the stopping power to stop this skeptic, it was worth a try. It’s not a new idea… a healthy mixture of oats, wheat germ, and a whole bunch of other granola-ish type ingredients that you can find in all sorts of muesli, cereals and power bars. This product is far from the first one to promote healthy eating (they suggest a very reasonable amount be sprinkled on your yogurt).
Why “Sex” in the name? A little tasteless, but wrapping it all in the context of sex is definitely unique. Let me be clear – the “Sex” is because there are two distinct blends for our two distinct sexes… but I think we can all see they’re really playing with us by making us think that the bag is filled with crushed Viagra and we’ll all be better in bed if we eat this cereal.
So will it work?
Does this product have the chops to gain a fan base and get people buying it and incorporating it into their daily rituals? After my taste test, the skeptic in me returns. They’ve done a great job of not making it too sweet (it seems healthy) but from a flavour point of view, it’s lacking. And I can’t help think the name alone “Sexcereal” is a misstep. I love the idea of cereal designed differently for men and women – a great marketing insight – but implying that it’s going to increase your sexual prowess is seriously overpromising (honestly… if you want to get better in bed, exercise more and stop watching so much damn porn). To me, this product is all sizzle, and no steak. The effort spent on the gimmicky name and package design should have been focused more on the actual food product.
My prediction: Sexcereal won’t be on shelves next New Years. And I will lose 8 lbs and stay off diet cola. Oh, and Rob Ford will remain large and in charge.
Happy 2014 everyone!
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