New Tool: ProSource
Check out our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.

Mass Customization of Packaging Makes Cheerios' Heart Campaign Tick

For American Heart Month, consumers can personalize their own yellow cereal cartons to remind loved ones of heart health. These types of mass customization campaigns, in this case digital printing of variable data, are where digital printing can shine.

In honor of American Heart Month, Cheerios is offering the chance to purchase special-edition boxes or personalize your own for the ones you love.
In honor of American Heart Month, Cheerios is offering the chance to purchase special-edition boxes or personalize your own for the ones you love.

Digital printing is said to be catching up—or perhaps, has already caught up—to traditional printing methodologies in terms of resolution. But the global installed base of more traditional presses is going strong and will be workhorses of high-resolution printing for the foreseeable future. Digital printing of containers and labels is still finding a sweet spot in packaging between two application categories: fail-fast new product launches, and geography- or time-limited marketing campaigns that rely in packaging graphics.

That’s why the latest iteration of the Happy Heart Shapes campaign by General Mills’ venerable brand Cheerios is well-suited to take advantage of digital printing. The brand is celebrating five years of its Happy Heart Shapes campaign, where the cereal known for its iconic “o” shape transforms into a heart-shape, reminding consumers of the role Cheerios can play in supporting Americans who want to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Starting today, in honor of The American Heart Association's American Heart Month (February), Cheerios is bringing back its well-received Happy Heart Shapes. But in a fun new twist, it’s launching special-edition boxes featuring names of those who inspire you to make heart healthy choices. Special-edition boxes with names like Mom, Friend, Grandparents, and Family in both English and Spanish available at retailers nationwide throughout February. But here’s where it gets really cool, and really custom, bespoke, and really made-to-order. Consumers also can order personalized yellow boxes online featuring any name (within 18 characters) at Cheerios.com for $20. The cartons are being printed digitally on an X JET Switch model flatbed UV printer, supplied by Ink Cups Now.The cartons are being printed digitally on an X JET Switch model flatbed UV printer, supplied by Ink Cups Now.

“From being there to cheer on your kids’ activities to laughs across the breakfast table – these are the moments with loved ones that remind us why it’s worth saying, ‘Yes’ to taking care of our heart health,” says Kathy Dixon, Senior Brand Experience Manager for Cheerios. “This year, the special-edition Cheerios name boxes and Happy Heart Shapes are a simple reminder for people to take care of their heart so they can be there for all of life’s special moments.”

The brand is conducting this campaign in partnership with its long-standing partner and global merchandising company Zagwear on the printing and fulfillment of personalized cereal cartons. Pre-printed, filled, and sealed cereal cartons are delivered to Zagwear company for printing of the variable data. Cereal boxes for the campaign have some features of their own that set them apart from traditional Cheerios boxes, such as heart health information and visual references to the heart-shaped cereal pieces. But all of those features arrive to Zagwear pre-printed, only that 18 characters-worth of variable data on the front of the carton is digitally printed. That variable data space sits where the Cheerios brandmark would normally reside.

The cartons are being printed digitally on an X JET Switch model flatbed UV printer, supplied by Ink Cups Now.  All the inks have been thoroughly tested for regulatory compliance as well as odor migration to the cereal. Capacity is approximately 150 to 200 cartons per hour.

“Consumers can access the e-commerce shop to order a personalized box via Cheerios.com. We have an integration in which we receive orders, including the variable name data.  We print orders as we receive, package the Cheerios boxes up in specially designed and sized shipping cartons and then ship to the individual consumers.  All the printing, fulfillment and shipping is taking place under 1 roof at one of our facilities,” GMI and Zagwear representatives tell Packaging World.The brand is conducting this campaign in partnership with its long-standing partner and global merchandising company Zagwear on the printing and fulfillment of personalized cereal cartons.The brand is conducting this campaign in partnership with its long-standing partner and global merchandising company Zagwear on the printing and fulfillment of personalized cereal cartons.

With more than 100 million Americans having some form of heart disease, Cheerios understands how important heart health is. When people see Grandma, Abuelo, Bestie, Dad, and the names of other loved ones on the cover of their box, they will be reminded to take care of their heart not only for themselves, but for those people who mean the most to them. The name boxes are a great way to remind people that apart from the convenience and great taste, Cheerios are made with whole grain oats, which can help lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet1.

Special-edition boxes will be available at retailers nationwide in five delicious flavors: Original yellow-box Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Chocolate, Strawberry Banana, and Apple Cinnamon. Visit the website to learn more here PW

New ebook focused on cartoning equipment
Read about the various types of cartoning equipment, how to select the right one, and common pitfalls to avoid. Plus, read equipment advice from CPGs for ultimate cartoning success.
Read More
New ebook focused on cartoning equipment
Discover Our Content Hub
Access Packaging World's free educational content library!
Read More
Discover Our Content Hub