Kellogg’s Wants You to Think Cereal Is a Vegetable

At one supermarket chain, you can find your Frosted Flakes right there among the apples and spinach

Fruit, Froot Loops ... let's not get bogged down in semantics. <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-260701p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">digitalreflections</a>/ <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

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If you’re a regular at the Midwest’s Meijer supermarkets, you’ve probably seen it, looming amid the broccoli crowns and apples and salad greens: a  tower of cereal boxes from Kellogg’s.

Why peddle crunchy, sweetened breakfast grains in the realm of fresh produce? “Kellogg’s believes it can benefit from the better-for-you vibe of products placed along the perimeter of grocery store,” reports the industry publication Food Dive. This, even though many highly marketed commercial cereals are essentially “crushed-up cookies in a bowl,” as Vox recently put it

Indeed, a serving of Kellogg’s flagship Frosted Flakes contains 10 grams of sugar while Frosted Mini-Wheats deliver 11 grams—the rough sugar equivalent of three Oreo cookies. Several other Kellog’s offerings, including Froot Loops and Honey Smacks, contain even more, according to this 2014 Environmental Working Group report.

It’s easy to see why Big Cereal would want to expose its products to the healthy shine of fresh fruits and veggies—cereal sales have been dropping for a decade. But the effort could easily backfire, Food Dive warns:

If the strategy works for Kellogg, more manufacturers may race to compete for more shelf space in the produce section. That could eventually disrupt the better-for-you appeal the perimeter of the store originally had, and the plan could backfire for all manufacturers that migrate packaged food brands there.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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