Blog: Dean BestGeneral Mills serves up spoonful of nostalgia for breakfast

Dean Best | 14 February 2012

As a child of the Eighties, General Mills' decision to sell Cheerio cereals in "retro" packaging caught my eye - not least because the packs feature titles from video games made by Atari.

The US food giant has launched limited-edition packs for a range of Big G cereals, including Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms, to celebrate Atari's 40th birthday. The packs feature "classic" Atari games like Asteroids, Centipede and Missile Command (actually, I should remove the quotation marks from the word 'classic' when referring to Centipede, as that game was genius).

It's the fifth time General Mills has used retro packaging for some of its cereals in the US and each time the products have been on sale through US retailer Target.

"We're seeing strong interest in the programme and Target see it driving a lot of traffic to its grocery aisles," a spokesperson said. "Consumers tell us that they love the nostalgia of the programme and look forward to sharing those fond memories with their kids at the breakfast table."

Consumers can also visit to play Centipede, although remember kids (and adults) to get some regular exercise and not sit hooked to video games (from the 80s or otherwise).

Campaigns like this, while fun, do have a business strategy behind them. Nostalgia can lead to emotion-driven consumption and, with consumers watching every penny they spend, campaigns like this also have the aim of grabbing shoppers' attention in a competitive and crowded category.


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