In mid-January Quaker began shipping two new cereals and four existing cereals that had formerly carried the Quaker-owned Popeye label. All six now fly under the Quaker banner, though puffed rice, puffed wheat and Oat'mmms will continue under the Popeye label. All six items in the bagged line are presweetened. The clear polyethylene bags, festooned as they are with cartoon characters, games, and trivia questions, are decidedly kid-oriented. The target, says Bottrell, is families capable of knocking off a box of cereal a day. Priced at $1.99 for 16 oz and $3.99 for 35 oz, the cereals should help Quaker compete against lower-priced store-brand products. Like Minneapolis-based Malt-O-Meal Co., the leader in the bagged ready-to-eat cereal category, Quaker won't advertise or offer coupons on the bagged products. Combined with the reduced cost of packaging compared to the traditional bag-in-box approach, this permits Quaker to price its bagged cereals 40 to 50% lower than national brands in boxes. At press time, no information was available on film suppliers, material specs, or shelf life of the bagged cereals.
Quaker launches its logo
"This is the way we choose to compete in the value-priced segment." That's how Quaker Oats spokesman Ron Bottrell described the Chicago-based firm's decision to market ready-to-eat breakfast cereals in bags, rather than boxes, bearing the Quaker name and well known logo.