General Mills will this month launch its first new cereal brand in 15 years, after exploring a new way to incorporate real fruit into its products.
Shaped like small pieces of toast and sprinkled with blueberries and strawberries, Tiny Toast boasts a fresh fruit aroma and taste. Designed to have a similar family appeal to Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it is the first new cereal from General Mills since it launched the now-discontinued Harmony cereal in 2001.
Originally, the team behind Tiny Toast set out to make a layered cereal with either a cherry filling or a spread – but the concept proved too expensive and not particularly viable, so General Mills coated the cereal with fruit on the outside. The fruity flavours come from strawberry and blueberry powders – though the coarse powders more closely resemble a flake that provides Tiny Toast with its great taste and appearance.
“The R&D team said, ‘well, if fruit on the inside is good, maybe it’s just as good on the outside’. This led to the coating of real fruit,” said Alan Cunningham, senior marketing manager for cereal innovation for General Mills.
“People told us that both varieties tasted real, and not fake like they typically associate with fruit-flavoured cereals,” said Mike Evenson, product developer for General Mills’ innovation, technology and quality division. “We heard from several consumers that the blueberry Tiny Toast tastes like a blueberry muffin, which is just awesome praise. That’s exactly what we were going for. When we heard that, we knew we were on to something good.
“Tiny Toast gives you this really large pop of aroma that’s missing from those other fruit cereals. We watched how consumers responded when they first opened a box, and they were stunned at how good it smelled.”
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