The firm that makes the iconic corn flake cereal brand aims to "empower women to take charge of their heart health" with Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites that contain wholegrain oats, potassium and low sodium.
"Heart health is a journey that requires a person to set their own goals and define success for themselves," said Jennifer Garrett, director of nutrition marketing at Kellogg.
The brand extension marks yet another move by cereal firms, and food makers in general, to penetrate the blossoming market for foods that meet the sensibilities of the health-conscious consumer.
And food products that combat cardiovascular disease, a major killer in the western world which causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy about €169bn ($202bn) per year, are attracting rapid interest from food makers.
On the back of growing evidence that suggests soluble fibre from oats may reduce heart disease risk, Kellogg claims one serving of its Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites provides one gram of soluble fibre sourced from the rolled oats.
A traditional breakfast ingredient, oats, in particular, have been enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to growing evidence that suggests they could be an effective tool to slash levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol’, a rise of which is a contributory factor for heart disease.
According to market researchers Mintel, value sales of oats increased by 26 per cent between 2003 and 2005 and sales grew by 81 per cent from 2000 to 2005 in the UK alone.
Meanwhile, over the same five year period, volume sales also increased by a healthy 43 per cent with the British consuming 50,000 tonnes of oat-based products in 2005.
In addition to advertising its Start Rite brand extension, Kellogg will reach out online, providing tools on the firm’s website that aim “to help women chart their progress toward a more heart-healthy lifestyle.”
Despite today’s increasingly challenging economic times, US food firms will actually increase their advertising spending next year, claims a new report from US research firm Schonfeld & Associates.
According to their 32nd annual ‘Advertising Ratios & Budgets’ report, the biggest ad spending category next year will be the diversified food industry, spending a massive $38.1 billion on advertising, up 11.8 per cent over ad spending in 2008.
The report claims that the food industry has one of the highest advertising-to-sales ratios, with food companies pouring an average of 13.3 per cent of their net sales on advertising.