Bag cracks Canadian cereal code

October 1, 2011
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A matte finish on a polybag lends an upscale look to Sally’s cereal, a new brand from Malt-O-Meal and the company’s first product in the Canadian market. Source: Malt-O-Meal Co.

A green package and an everyday low price helped Minneapolis-based Malt-O-Meal Co. unlock the keys to the Walmart kingdom north of the border with its new Sally’s cereal brand, which debuted in Canada in July and is enjoying “overwhelming acceptance,” according to Linda Fisher, corporate communications manager.

A major supplier of private-label cereals, Malt-O-Meal has aggressively promoted polybagged cereal to retailers in recent years as an alternative to conventional bag-in-box packaging. US firms produce 2.3 billion cereal boxes a year, says Fisher, and the polybag is positioned as a sustainable alternative to cardboard waste.

The manufacturer tweaked the bag’s look, adding a matte finish and printing copy sideways on the resealable Sally’s bag. English and French copy convey the messages, “Go boxless, go green” and “Every bite supports renewable wind energy,” a reference to the energy credits Malt-O-Meal purchases to offset electricity used in the cereals’ manufacture.

“It was an opportunity to take our environmentally friendly package claim north of the border,” says Fisher, adding, “We knew that less packaging waste message would resonate in Canada.” It also was consistent with Walmart’s packaging material reduction programs, though the greater appeal is the $3 suggested retail price for up to 29 oz. of the cereal. Absent a trade promotion, comparable national brands retail for $6-$7 in Canada.

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