“S'mores felt like such a natural fit for summer, although some would argue that it's a great wintertime one too. But for us, we thought about what's that thing that made you feel like a kid, and it was camp, and it was s'mores in the summer. So that's kind of the heart we wanted to play into is how do we bring it back to childhood summers.”
Addressing the demand for better-for-you, allergen-free cereals
Available at Sprouts, Wegmans, and DeCiccos, and online at Amazon in a three-pack, Three Wishes S'mores blends the Marshmallow and Cocoa cereal flavors and is 100% plant-based, gluten- and grain-free, and contains eight grams of protein and three grams of sugar per serving.
This isn’t the first time Three Wishes has opted for an LTO, as the brand had previously released a chocolate-covered strawberry flavor (exclusive to Whole Foods) and a gingerbread flavor last year, Wishingrad said.
At the core of its mission, Three Wishes is dedicated to creating products with clean-label ingredients, which had the added benefit of allowing the brand to serve those with specific dietary restrictions, Wishingrad explained. Many consumers are looking to address food sensitives whether that be grain, gluten, or some other food intolerance and have become more educated on what they are eating, she added.
“There were so many studies around whether it's wheat and gluten or just around grains in general and how overly processed grains are in the United States and how they affect just agriculture and then also just the human body and the gut, and so we really wanted to be that brand that was really forward and thought okay, grains are not great for you if we can find a way to sub out grains but keep that same experience tastes and joy that cereal has that for us was such a big win.”
Health-conscious consumers are also coming back to the cereal category due to the expansion of low-sugar options, which is also growing the overall cereal category, Wishingrad noted. The global reduced-sugar food and beverage market was valued at $46.18bn in 2021 and is expected to grow by a 8.9% CAGR between 2022-2030, spurred by innovation in low-sugar products and consumers looking to address health concerns, according to Grand View Research data.
“Three Wishes is a better-for-you cereal brand that’s just trying to reimagine and have a modern take on the cereals we know and love as kids and allow it to become that new-age cereal where you don't have guilt and didn't want [to have] a sugary taboo around breakfast.”
What will consumers trading down do for natural cereal category?
Though demand for lower-sugar products should remain strong in the coming years, several obstacles can provide challenges for the better-for-you and natural markets, namely consumers trading down to private label to save money due to economic concerns.
Per recent McKinsey research, 80% of nearly 4,000 US consumers surveyed said they’re trading down, which was previously at 74% last June.
While acknowledging that natural cereal has a premium price associated with it, Wishingrad said it is a higher-quality product. Three Wishes also hasn’t raised prices to meet inflation like other brands and has worked “to find efficiencies in [its] supply chain and be able to pass them on,” she added.
“There is a premium, but that's because you're working with better ingredients. If we were working with subsidized corn and other commodities like that, then obviously it's a lot cheaper, and that's what we're seeing with other brands like the conventional set. But I think in ours, when you're using things like chickpea or pea tapioca, there's just a price premium to them, and it's nothing that we can avoid.”