General Mills is jumping on the fall-flavor train early this year with pumpkin-spice cheerios.
According to General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas, the new pumpkin-flavored cereal, which is made with pumpkin puree, will hit the shelves within the next few weeks and will be available through December.
Siemienas said the company began working on the new flavor last year while brainstorming consumers’ taste interests.
“Pumpkin Spice was an obvious choice,” he said in an interview. “It’s a flavor people look forward to, it reminds them of fall and has a great taste.”
Cheerios Marketing Director Susanne Prucha agreed, saying, “We are always looking to remain relevant with our consumers. When we started talking about a fall flavor, there was no doubt consumers love pumpkin-flavored things across all categories.”
Last fall, a survey commissioned by Delta Dental Plans Association found that millennials are the top consumers of seasonal items, such as pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apple ciders.
“Nearly nine in ten (86 percent) 18-34 year-olds consume beverages like pumpkin spice lattes during the fall and winter compared to fewer (67 percent) of those 35 plus who do the same,” the association noted in a November news release.
The consumption of breakfast cereals, however, has recently been on the decline, particularly with millennials due to the inconvenience of actually sitting down to enjoy it. In February, the New York Times reported that millennials often pass up cold cereal because of the hassle of washing out the bowl.
“Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by [market research firm] Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it,” the Times reported.
The Times also claimed that younger consumers are not as attached to cold cereal for breakfast as their elders – millennials either do not eat breakfast or would rather eat it somewhere other than home. And whenever they do get the chance to eat at home, cold cereal is often replaced by yogurt, smoothies, or breakfast sandwiches.
“The cereal category is certainly shifting,” Melissa Abbott, the director of consumer food research organization Culinary Insights for the Hartman Group, told the Times. “Consumers over all are less interested in industrially processed grains as a meaningful start to their day.”
In an effort to increase sales, cereal companies began positioning cereal as something other than breakfast by incorporating it into snack bars and crackers.
“They have to embrace that people love the flavor and texture of cereal and the vintage nature, but it’s not about breakfast,” Kellogg’s consultant and New York pastry chef Christina Tosi said.
Last year, the “Bedrock Fizz” cocktail, created by the head bartender Kelvin Uffre at the Eddy Restaurant, became a sensation among young New Yorkers. The Bedrock Fizz, a take on the Famous Ramous Gin Fizz, adds Fruity Pebbles to the mix for a fun, nostalgic twist.
“I was using Apricot Eau-de-Vie and the flavor reminded me of Flintstones Vitamins,” Uffre told Gothamist.
To finish the drink off, Uffre adds Fruity Pebble-infused Greenhook Old Tom Gin and Aperol, topping it with cream and egg white that have had a “dry shake” – without ice – to give it the foamy, effervescent top.
“When you pour it into a Collins glass and add fresh seltzer, the shelter further aerates the mixture, then it sits in our blast chiller to seal his merengue produced by the seltzer,” Uffre told Gothamist. “After a few minutes, you pull it out and poke a hole to add additional seltzer causing the merengue to rise.”
“This dramatic presentation allows us to garnish the soufflé with Pebbles and offer the guest the whimsical experience of biting into this cocktail before drinking it,” Uffre added.
[Photo by Thinkstock]