By: Laurita Tellado
The “Gracie” Cheerios ad, featuring a multiracial family, stirred controversy for General Mills last year. Still, General Mills re-aired it during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Cheerios hasn’t shied away from featuring multicultural Americans in their ads. Even in 2014, it might be considered a bold move; however, it might be the smartest move to make. Research shows that, while sales of cold cereal are declining, cereal manufacturers such as Kellogg and General Mills can count on people of color– particularly Latinos– to lead them to breakfast food success once more.
A report published by market research publisher Packaged Facts in April, “Cold and Hot Breakfast Cereals,” states that Hispanic households are more likely than non-Hispanic households to have consumed 21 or more servings of cold breakfast cereal in the past 30 days.
What’s more, currently 1 in 4 people under the age of 14 is Hispanic.
This can shed some light on why brands like Cheerios have continued their aggressive courtship of Latinos.
It’s interesting to note that, while cold breakfast cereals can evoke fond childhood memories for many consumers, the report indicated that Hispanics without children are twice as likely as non-Hispanics without children to have consumed 21 or more servings in the past month.
Cheerios faced severe controversy and backlash a year ago when they aired a television ad featuring a multiracial family. In spite of the negative comments the video received on Cheerios’ YouTube channel, the brand re-aired the commercial during the SuperBowl in January.
The company’s response, which was no doubt surprising to many, demonstrates a renewed interest in engaging multicultural and multiethnic families as they enjoy the most important meal of the day.
It remains to be seen whether other cereal brands will follow in Cheerios’ footsteps and avail themselves of a golden marketing opportunity– before the enthusiasm dies down, or the cereal gets soggy.