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Forget baby boomers and Gen X. The demographic in General Mills' sights is the New Green Mainstream.

Characterized as relatively young, fit and affluent, with a strong sense of family, the New Green Mainstream is the primary target for Big G's new Sunrise, its first organic cereal.

"They aren't only interested in organic foods and they don't buy only pesticide-free," said Scott Lutz, VP-new enterprises at General Mills.

Instead, this new and growing group doesn't look at organic foods as a "cause" but rather as a wholesome family option. In fact, some 40% of the U.S. population has expressed some interest in organic foods, leading General Mills to take a mass-appeal approach to marketing Sunrise (AA, Jan. 4).

The wheat, corn and honey blend cereal is certified organic by Oregon Tilth, an industry organization that sets policies and standards for organic products.

An estimated $25 million-plus introductory TV and print campaign breaks in mid-April, via Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis.

"We'll be treating this the same as any kind of major launch, if not more so," Mr. Lutz said, but declined to give specific figures. "It compares very favorably [to other launches] in terms of total spending."

He said that while the brand will have a big prime-time TV presence, including some news programming, media also will be targeted to the key demographic.


While the executive wouldn't discuss specifics about creative, he did say it would focus on the name Sunrise and how it can help start the day in a healthy manner for the whole family. Mr. Lutz called it "pretty emotional advertising."

Also on tap is ambitious direct mail sampling to consumers who may have reservations about the taste of organic food.

The idea behind Sunrise is to offer a product within a specific niche but with a broad appeal, an idea also being explored by Kellogg Co. with its upcoming Country Inn line.

"This category has long [settled for] high trial and low repeat. I'd rather have a much more loyal consumer, but the category has not been driven [in the past] by loyal consumers," Mr. Lutz said.

He noted that with 250 to 300 brands on the shelf, cereal is somewhat like the shampoo category.

"One share point and you're a hero," he said. "Only 25 brands have a one share or better, so the question is 'Can a niche brand sustain its marketing support?'

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