SCMF Musings: Is $8 Cereal the New $4 Toast?

When we first saw this story, we had a collective de ja vu all over again feeling.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jane Black did a piece on Kellogg’s first-ever restaurant that is opening in New York’s Times Square on July 4. It will be the home of “playful recipes” based on Kellogg’s cereal.


[photo credit: SUPER BOWL | Chef Christina Tosi’s Special K-Frosted Flakes special with lemon, pistachio and thyme. PHOTO: WHITNEY TRESSEL FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

For example, Frosted Flakes topped with a sprinkle of lemon zest, toasted pistachios and fresh thyme could be, “G-r-r-r-e-a-t!” for a mere $6 to $8 a bowl. Other featured cereals include gourmet renditions with Special K and Rice Krispies (two favs here at Jedemi) as the base.


Classic NYC, the delivery to the customer will take place via a set of “kitchen cabinets,” a kind of un-automated automat.

Inside the door will be their food and a little surprise (small treat) like those found in a box of cereal, or a newspaper. The article mentioned the equivalent of the Willy Wonka golden ticket getting a lucky customer into the Broadway smash “Hamilton.”


Of course, the curious mind wants to know why Kellogg’s is doing this. Thankfully, the WSJ story had this quote from Andrew Shripka, the associate director of brand marketing:

This is story-doing versus storytelling. We could have put a great recipe on the box. But this is so much more powerful.

Serving suggestions live! Plus, the highly “Instagram-able” bowls may draw more attention to Kellogg’s cereals, which could translate into more sales in the local grocery stores, or in Walmart, or online via Amazon and Jet.

[Humm… If they team with Amazon for a refill “Dash Button,” this could be a total win-win.]

Amazon Dash buttons

As we see it, this novelty could help Kellogg’s and have global implications since Times Square is a huge tourist spot. And the price won’t be a problem for that clientele.

More Reading: Check out USA Today’s piece here.

Not the UK’s Cereal Killer Cafe

killer cereal gremlins

They are the UK’s first specialty Cereal Cafe —selling over 120 different types of cereal from around the world. Per their website (, the mission of the Cereal Killer Cafe is:

  • To create the perfect bowl of cereal you can choose from 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings.
  • To give you the real sugar rush feeling you had when you were a kid come and visit us for breakfast, lunch or dinner in our nostalgic cafe displaying hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from the 80s and 90s for you to feast your eyes on.

Seems like a cool place to hang out. And definitely independent from a consumer brand showcase like Kellogg’s.

We recall taking a look at an Indiegogo campaign for them from two years ago.

They’ve got lots of swag and a killer cookbook.

Back in the States – A New York-based retailer’s Shoebox Cereal…

Kith, a place for sneakerheads, last August revamped its Flatbush Ave location and re-branded it as ‘Kith Treats.’ It is a 3,000-square-foot sneaker shop that features a cereal bar with 24 varieties of breakfast cereal, plus five types of milk (including chocolate and almond) and 25 toppings (such as coconut flakes and cookie dough). The retailer’s main source of revenue is designer menswear and the latest sneaker releases. Besides the cereal bar, it is known for its 750 cast-Air Jordan II sneakers suspended from the ceiling. You can read about them here.

What we really liked was their use of a “Mini Shoebox” to deliver their customer’s the cereal selections.

Orders of two or more servings are served in collectible mini shoeboxes, because even your cereal should look swaggy.

Their menu looks way fun too!

kith cereal menu

Come for the shoes, stay for the cereal OR vice versa. We love it!!

Not the $4 Toast

We referenced expensive toast (AKA Hipster toast) in the headline, so we figured we should circle back and “explain” ourselves. Actually, you can learn a lot from this Bon Appetit article (f-bomb warning) from March 2014.

“Hipster Toast,” as the phenomenon is being called by outraged and genuinely befuddled media outlets, has taken San Francisco by storm, with iterations at bakeries and cafés around the city. There are even reports of Hipster Toast reaching as far as L.A. (What’s up, NYC? Why no Hipster Toast?) But out of context—and let’s be honest, in most cases—the question is valid: Why would people pay that much for a slice of toast? The answer is equally valid: Because it’s really, really good. Especially at The Mill.

hipster toast The Mill
And this Venture Beat article from three years ago puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the techies in San Francisco. Major rant:

Good toast and a plain cup of coffee shouldn’t cost $6. But I can’t imagine the tech community putting the brakes on this trend any time soon. We’re obsessed with false ideas of quality. We fetishize the precious processes and benchmarks and prices that, in reality, have no bearing on how good something is.

This Grubstreet piece says the glut of gourmet toast can be tracked to the eccentric owner of a little café called Trouble.

It’s a 16-minute read if you are interested.

So that’s a wrap! We’ll be keeping an eye on Kellogg’s earnings to see it they get any traction from this move.


And if we get to NYC, we’ll file a report on site.


—The Gang

Bonus Content

Check it out! General Mills announced… Tiny Toast cereal.


Here’s Time Out London’s piece on the Killer Cereal Cafe.


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