The Kix Adventures packs will retail until the end of 2014 across across 1,800 Target stores in the US. General Mills teamed up with a number of authors for the stories, including actress Soleil Moon Frye.
Lauren Pradhan, marketing manager for Kix, said General Mills would evaluate feedback before a national rollout, but reaction had been promising so far.
“The goal of Kix’s new packaging design and creative play platform is to provide families with something fun to experience together,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com
The perforated boxes enabled children to assemble characters and objects to play with alongside nine online stories, she said.
Kix has always edged toward parent-orientated marketing
Matthew Hudak, packaged foods analyst at Euromonitor International, said it was important to try and engage with kids to a degree but also interest parents.
“Of the cereals that are for kids, Kix is one that tries to angle more for parent-orientated advertising,” he said.
This strategy was important, he said, particularly at a time when there was a close eye on manufacturers explicitly targeting kids.
“They’re all moving that way; they can’t go directly to kids anymore…especially if it’s very sugary. It’s considered to be irresponsible nowadays because of issues with diabetes or other health issues facing children today – you don’t want to seem like you’re contributing to those kinds of bad trends,” he said.
However, Ramaa Chipalkatti, consumer insights at Datamonitor Consumer, previously told this site that cereal makers could not ignore children in their marketing. A survey from the research firm indicated that nearly half of parents with children under 13 admitted their kids ‘heavily influenced’ grocery shopping decisions.
“Of course brands should target parents because they are the shoppers and ultimately have the final say on which products to buy for their children. They are the ‘gatekeepers’. That said, they should not underestimate pester power,” she said.
Interactive cut-outs on trend for kids play
Hudak, who researched the kids’ toy market as well as packaged food, said Kix’s cereal packs hit on current play trends.
“On the toy side of things, there’s this creator-build aspect of kids creating their own little worlds that is really popular right now,” he said. “So this cereal pack fits with this play time activity that they enjoy and it keeps them engaged – something parents like.”
General Mills said there were no plans to run the concept across its other kids’ cereal brands for the time being.