General Mills' Fiber One: A Marketing 50 Case Study

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General Mills' Fiber One cereal sat quietly on store shelves for 20 years. Then Fiber One Honey Clusters appeared in 2005, igniting a new-product explosion that this year turned Fiber One into one of the nation's best-selling ready-to-eat cereals.

Pretty good, considering the line faces the challenge of making fiber more appetizing to consumers. "Most people think fiber tastes like sawdust," says Brand Manager David Clark, 40.

In the past 18 months, Fiber One has expanded from five items in two categories to 20 items in six categories. Fiber One ready-to-eat cereal alone has seen 2008 sales rise 38.2% to $44.1 million for the period ended Oct. 5, according to Information Resources Inc.

Consumers' fear of fiber has also inspired the brand's advertising. A 2007 TV campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, featured a character called "Mr. Mehta, a store manager who continually must reassure disbelieving shoppers that Fiber One is indeed high in fiber despite the fact that it tastes so good," Mr. Clark says. "We had such great response to Mr. Mehta that we made him a fixture in the campaign."
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