Blog: Flaky cereal

Catherine Sleep | 13 July 2006

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the etiquette surrounding the bottom of a cereal packet is highly contentious. At what point do you abandon the increasingly powdery dregs, and move on to the next packet? This varies from product to product, but more importantly, from one individual to another.

Personally, I’m not a breakfast person. I labour through it as I know it’s the right way to ‘set myself up for the day’, but it’s a chore rather than a pleasure. So my tolerance is really quite feeble of the broken flakes and dust at the lower reaches of each packet of my everyday cereal of choice (which shall remain nameless but is one of the less exciting offerings from a Well Known US-based Cereal Manufacturer). The bottom, say, eighth, of the packet regularly ends up in the rubbish bin.

When this came to the attention of my then-boyfriend, it precipitated a storm of recrimination; such was the degree to which it offended his sense of parsimony. I believe to this day that it set our courtship back several months, and it was only when I promised to try harder that things moved on and rings were exchanged.

My attitude may have improved, but I don’t believe this aspect of the cereal business has. Isn’t there something manufacturers can do to make the flakes more robust? A change of recipe (although only in a nice healthy way with no nasty additives, naturally)? How about better packaging or gentler distribution methods? There must be something!


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