SHREDDED WHEAT AIMS YOUNGER WITH HONEY NUT: KRAFT'S POST USES POPULAR FLAVOR, $25 MIL IN ADS TO LIFT CEREAL BRAND. (PART 1/2)

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Kraft Foods' Post division, trying to build a younger consumer base for its Shredded Wheat cereal, is rolling out a new Honey Nut extension with an anticipated $25 million-plus ad effort beginning in September.

The product is the second flavor extension to the Shredded Wheat franchise Post acquired from Nabisco Foods in 1993. The company's Frosted Shredded Wheat introduced earlier this year racked up a 0.9% share of the ready-to-eat cereal market, on top of the base brand's 2% share, said Tim Callahan, Post's VP-marketing and strategy. That share is based on an $8 billion market, as measured by ACNielsen Corp.

PLENTY OF HONEY

Honey is a popular flavor among cereal marketers; within the past year, Kellogg Co. introduced Honey Crunch Corn Flakes while General Mills relaunched Honey Nut Clusters. General Mills' Honey Nut Cheerios is now the No. 4 seller in the U.S., according to Information Resources Inc.

"It's a good, all-family flavor," Mr. Callahan said, noting "there's a nutritious halo around honey."

For Post, the new product also represents a way to give a younger profile to the base brand, which primarily appeals to older consumers.

"It's a big business," he said, but it appeals mainly to health-conscious adults.

FULL SLATE OF AD SUPPORT

Honey Nut Shredded Wheat, which will be marketed in bite-size pieces, will receive a full slate of ad support, including a print and TV campaign from Grey Advertising, New York.

The TV spot follows in the steps of Grey's current campaign for Post, themed "Breakfast made right" and featuring company employees. The newest commercial, however, will be "lighter and funnier," Mr. Callahan said, and feature children as well as company employees.

"It will reflect the fact that parents primarily enjoyed the goodness [of Shredded Wheat], but up until Honey Nut, kids didn't want to eat it," he said.

Interestingly, Post-which has made much of its universal coupon good for all of its cereal brands-will put out a coupon just for Honey Nut Shredded Wheat. (contd. in Part 2)

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