Kellogg Energizes Frosted Flakes

NEW YORK Kellogg, which leaned on Frosted Flakes’ equity for an unsuccessful whole grain cereal called Tiger Power, is tapping Tony the Tiger’s powers again for Frosted Flakes Gold, another whole grain entry.

Frosted Flakes Gold sports additional whole grains and 10 grams of sugar — one less than the flagship. “Moms are looking for ways to incorporate whole grains into their kids’ diet, but they need whole grain options that taste great so kids will actually eat them,” said Roxanne Bernstein, senior brand manager, Frosted Flakes.

But while Tiger Power, which launched in early 2005 and was off shelves by 2006 despite a $20 million ad push, was positioned as a rival to Cheerios and targeted at mothers of toddlers, Gold is aimed at older kids. The key selling point: The complex carbohydrates in whole grains provide longer-lasting energy. Kellogg is associating the brand with sports to underscore the claim. An online campaign includes a partnership with ESPN.

A TV ad breaking this week from Leo Burnett, Chicago, meanwhile, shows a tween-age girl playing basketball and soccer cheered by Tony the Tiger. In each case, the balls in the game are gold, signifying the “power of gold” that the cereal incorporates. A voiceover emphasizes the product’s “long-lasting energy,” a claim that is also made on the box.

While it’s conventional wisdom that complex carbs are absorbed more slowly than simple carbs like sugar, Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, D.C., said Frosted Flakes Gold’s declaration is questionable: “The label may mislead many consumers to think that the cereal is all whole grain; it’s partially whole grain.”

Liebman said the government has never approved a label with longer-lasting energy claims. “There’s just not enough evidence of proof of longer-lasting energy,” she said.

Nevertheless, Eli Portnoy, chief brand strategist, The Portnoy Group, Orlando, Fla., said Kellogg could do better with Gold than Tiger Power because “it is all about timing and attitudes have changed. Two years ago was too soon to target kids with healthy foods.”