Bet you wouldn't skip breakfast so often if chocolate was involved

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Even health-conscious adults wouldn't mind a little chocolate indulgence in their cereal now that it's considered good for you. At least that's what Quaker Foods and Kellogg Co. hope.

Based on stellar success in Europe, where chocolate abounds these days as a cereal ingredient, Quaker will roll out Life Chocolate Oat Crunch this December and Kellogg will launch Special K Chocolatey Delight early next year.

Although cocoa has long been a popular ingredient in kids cereals, real chocolate-especially the antioxidant-rich dark kind both cereals feature-has not been seen much in the U.S., especially in cereals with a health positioning.

Quaker, which this year returned to 2003 media-spending levels of roughly $17 million for Life after years of inactivity on the brand, hopes to persuade moms to buy the variety for themselves by touting its nutritional profile along with "the bit of the chocolate they crave," said Quaker Chief Marketing Officer Regan Ebert.

Ms. Ebert said the launch-the biggest for the Life franchise next year-will get a "360-degree marketing effort" early next year including TV, print, PR and Internet. Element 79, Chicago, handles.

Meanwhile, Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight will likewise maintain its health profile (and 100-120 calorie count per serving) while offering a morsel of chocolate to dieters. Ads for the Special K Challenge during New Year's resolution time will feature the variety as "the next great solution in our line of Special K cereals, which makes it easy for a person to swap cereals and stick to the Special K plan," said Roxanne Bernstein, senior brand manager- innovation at Kellogg.
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