Kellogg’s expanded eatery for “reimagining a bowl of cereal” is set to open across from the north end of New York’s Union Square Park tomorrow, and its communications team can raise a latte to itself for the effusive — even enticing — advance coverage.
“If you’ve ever thought that taking a quick coffee break, powering through a work project, or just catching up with a friend would be better over a bowl of cereal, Kellogg’s NYC’s new Union Square location is the casual hangout spot of your breakfast-loving dreams,” writes Adam Campbell-Schmitt for Food&Wine.
“… The airy, second-floor space overlooking Union Square is the sequel to a Times Square location that saw cereal fans dropping by for a quick bowl. But this new space aims to turn that fast-paced concept on its head with a focus on chilling out and playing with your food,” Campbell-Schmitt continues.
In other words — and as is increasingly becoming a retail rallying cry including Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar bookstores and Apple’s “town squares” concept — the company wants you to forget about those Venti Caramel Frappuccinos® you’ve been nursing at another chain and view its space as the third place in your life.
“At the 5,000-square-foot space, customers can enjoy their cereal with toppings that range from candied kumquats to rum-roasted bananas to peanut-butter chips. The seating speaks to a similar break-the-mold approach, with options that include couches, bean-bag chairs and even hammocks. And in case all that isn’t enough to capture a diner’s attention, the cafe will offer Nintendo, board games and free Wi-Fi,” writes Charles Passy for the Wall Street Journal.
“Ultimately, the cafe is about pushing cereal ‘forward to the modern age,’” Aleta Chase, a Kellogg marketing executive, tells him.
Kellogg’s first venture in the Big Apple targeting Millennnials and their Instagram accounts — a 1,000-square-foot café in Times Square — opened in July 2016, as Marketing Daily’s Karlene Lubovitz reported, and closed this summer.
“The cafe is operated by Sandra Di Capua and Anthony Rudolf, two fine-dining veterans who have worked at New York institutions such as Per Se and Eleven Madison Park. They said a flexible lease in Times Square, where the rent was roughly equivalent to a much larger space on East 17th Street, allowed for the relocation,” reports Craig Giammona for Bloomberg.
“And while Kellogg sees the restaurant mainly as a marketing tool, the operators are trying to make money off the concept. The Times Square location was profitable, showing it can be done.
“It has to be a viable business,” Rudolf tells Giammona.
Kellogg is also highlighting a partnership with “famous author, foodie/entertainer, lifestyle expert and designer” Lauren Conrad, who created part of the menu at the new venue.
“Cereal is something we've all grown up with and still enjoy. It's been exciting to explore the unexpected fun it brings to the table — or in this case, the bowl,” she says in the press release promoting the partnership and alerting media to preview opportunities yesterday and today.
“They are bringing back some favorite recipes from the first Café, some new additions, and Kellogg’s fans will also get a chance to experience Lauren Conrad’s inventive, cereal-inspired recipes,” writes Evan Lancaster in a piece for Huffington Post.
“Some of the notable menu items that are already popping up on Instagram include the ‘Bananas Foster’ bowl, made with Special K and Frosted Flakes, rum-roasted bananas, cajeta and candied cashews,” he reports. “Don’t miss out on ‘Kumquat Life’ with Chocolate Frosted Flakes™ and caramelized kumquats, or ‘Christmas Morning’ with Frosted Mini-Wheats®, cinnamon roll bits & toasted marshmallow.”
There are pictures, in the event you’re having trouble visualizing these gustatory delights.
That’s no accident.
“The café was designed with social media in mind. Every corner of the space is Instagram-worthy, with the hopes that cereal bowls will make their way to visitors’ pages, Azalea Pena blogs for PSFK. And it has “Instagram station with props and professional lighting, designed to help customers perfect their social-media posts,” Bloomberg’s Giammona tells us.
On the glum side, The WSJ’s Passy reminds us of the “stark reality” the cereal industry is facing as a whole: folks are turning to what they perceive as healthier options for breakfast.
“In the past year alone, Kellogg has seen quarterly sales in its ‘morning-foods’ segment, which includes popular cereal brands Froot Loops and Rice Krispies, decline by 3% to $710 million,” he writes.