Kellogg’s NYC aims to elevate the cereal experience

July 8, 2016
4 min read

Earlier this week, Kellogg’s NYC, a cereal café, opened its doors to locals and tourists alike in New York’s Times Square. The café is a collaboration between the Kellogg’s brand and co-founders Anthony Rudolf (former Director of Operations for Thomas Keller Restaurant Group) and Sandra Di Capua (former Project Manager and Maître D’ at Eleven Madison Park). The partnership was formed to create an experiential offering as the Kellogg’s brand turns 110 this year.

The café serves several composed cereal bowls developed by chef and owner of milk bar, Christina Tosi, who original creations include cereal milk soft serve ice cream sweetened with Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Chef Tosi’s cereal bowl recipes include The Circus, with Raisin Bran, toasted peanuts, and banana chips, as well as Berry Me in Green Tea, featuring Rice Krispies, fresh strawberries, and green tea powder. Beyond composed cereal bowls, the menu also includes ice cream sundaes topped with cereal, and customizable cereal bowls with your choice of add-ons including fruit, nuts, spices, or chocolate chips. Patrons pick up their order from numbered kitchen cabinets that are opened to reveal their cereal creation, along with a surprise, such as the morning newspaper, or even tickets to see “Hamilton,” the Broadway musical.

Will added ingredients add to cereal’s appeal?

Kellogg’s NYC is not the first cereal-focused café to open (London’s Cereal Killer Café opened in 2014), although it may be one of the first to elevate the cereal experience. The café is also not the first retail-branded outpost; Chobani introduced a branded café in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in 2012, which expanded to triple its size in 2015.

29% of US cereal eaters add extra ingredients to their cereal

US cold cereal sales have been declining since 2010 as consumers are opting for more convenient or nutritious breakfast options, according to Mintel’s Hot and Cold Cereal US 2015 report. Offering cereal as a restaurant experience not only encourages eating cereal away from home, it also expands the cereal eating occasion beyond the morning. Consumers are already open to eating cereal throughout the day and as a snack, and with Kellogg’s NYC’s late-night hours, they can satisfy those occasions.  Additionally, Chef Tosi’s flavor-driven menu emphasizes cereal’s versatility with both sweet and savory options. Seasonal options, which will rotate every three months, also help expand flavor perceptions. For patrons desiring a fully customizable experience, the café’s “Raid the Pantry” menu allows them to create their own cereal concoctions, in turn highlighting cereal’s versatility. Mintel research shows that more than one quarter of cold cereal eaters want to be able to add extra ingredients (eg nuts, fruit) to their bowl.

What We Think

While the price of a cereal bowl at Kellogg’s NYC is significantly higher than what you’d pay to enjoy cereal at home (bowls range from $4-$8), the experience warrants a higher price point. The concept aims to shift consumer perceptions of the declining category toward the positive, expanding usage occasions and flavors, all while boosting cereal’s sense of fun and nostalgia. As Mintel Trend Experience is All explains, consumers are craving experiences more than ever; Kellogg’s NYC not only allows customers to engage with the brand directly, the experience of visiting the café helps tell Kellogg’s brand story, and creates brand authenticity.

Amanda is the Associate Director of Foodservice Research, responsible for overseeing all of Mintel’s US foodservice offerings. She was previously a Senior Analyst at Mintel specializing in the retail food industry, responsible for writing monthly analysis reports across several retail food categories from gluten-free foods and salty snacks, to cereal and condiments.

Amanda Topper
Amanda Topper

Amanda Topper is the Director of US Research: Food, Drink, Foodservice, Flavors & Ingredients, responsible for overseeing all of Mintel’s foodservice offerings, as well as providing insight and competitive analysis across scheduled deliverables, and client and industry presentations.

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