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>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest