Monday, October 29, 2012

Give Me Cookies For Breakfast Anyday.

Dear Belvita Brand Managers,

I couldn't find your delicious blueberry Belvita breakfast biscuits the other day.  My routine was off and instead of going to Target to load up on household staples, I had to head to Walmart.  No one really wants to be there, but, as you know,  the retailer is a necessary evil.  I was running errands, out of baby formula, and only 1/2 a mile from one of Sam Walton's megastores.  Uggg.

I decided to make the best of a bad situation and grab a few household necessities while there.  In the cereal aisle, planning to grab a box or five or your delicious breakfast morsels, I became quite distressed when I couldn't find you.  I walked up and down the aisle several times, stumped as to where you'd hidden.  Fairly confident you would not let this massive product launch slip through WM's retail clutches, I continued my search.

As I exited the breakfast aisle, I ran into a giant Belvita display that said something about breakfast being different forevermore and directing me to the cookie aisle.

My eyes went wide, my blood turned to ice, and I gasped loudly imagining what a nightmare the negotiations were that created this endcap.

I imagine the conversation was some variation of this:

You:  "Hey, are we good to go on the Belvita launch wtih WM?"

Jody in Customer Marketing:  "Wellll, not quite.  They won't let Belvita in the cereal aisle.  Something about the nutritional requirements.  It has to go with the cookies."

You:  "But it has 18g of whole grain!"

Jody in Customer Marketing:  "I'm sorry.  There's nothing I can do unless you change the formulation.  Have you thought about that?"

You:  "Jody.  Are you serious right now?  The raw materials are sourced and at the plant.  Come on, man, supply chain had to source that grain 8 months ago before it was even planted!  Don't go there with me today."

Jody in Customer Marketing:  Silence.

You:  "What about the whole grain stamp?  We devoted some serious organizational resources to getting that.  Cookies don't get that!"

Jody in Customer Marketing: "True, but it still doesn't meet their cereal requirements."

You grasping at straws and thinking about all the positioning work that went into setting this up as a BREAKFAST product:  "But it does in the UK!"

Jody in Customer Marketing:  "Unfortunately we are not in the UK."

You ignoring this Master of the Obvious, unhelpful comment:  "But the flavors are Blueberry, Golden Oat, and Apple Cinnamon!"

Jody in Customer Marketing: "Yes, but WM is saying it has more in common with a cookie than with cereal."

You: "Who do they think they are?  Uhh, nevermind.  What about Cookie Crisp?!?  "Cookie" is in it name and it gets to stay in the cereal aisle!"

Jody in Customer Marketing: "I don't handle cereal."

You with your head in your hands and/or banging it against your monitor: "K."

Well, at least you're near the Fig Newtons!
I am sure the polite war you waged trying to align your occasion and your product to avoid selling breakfast from the cookie aisle but not burning your WM bridges was glorious.  I have to say, despite not quite winning, you really turned lemons into lemonade by focusing your message on whole grain and sticking an endcap next to the cereal aisle.  Great communication and retail strategies!

I am sure when weekly sales come out the snickers about the breakfast cookies stop.  The Saltine Minis team may have thought they'd be the dark horses this quarter but nope, your launch has lived up to the hype!  

Don't worry Saltime Minis, you're next on my list.  I LOVE your little crackers.  Innovation genius!

Belvita, thank you for your brave, pioneer spirit.  If eating cookies for breakfast is wrong, I never want to be right again.  Like ever.

Yours Forever,
A Devoted Belvita Fan


  1. I love Belvita too! When I'm a bit more hungry than usual, I spread a little peanut butter on them :)

    My favorite is the Golden Oat.

    1. Ooh, that sounds tempting. Will try this week!

  2. I don't even know what these Belvitas are but they sound good... and you crack me up!!! :) Always nice to have a laugh on a Monday!

    1. They are the most perfect breakfast cookie you've ever had!

  3. You are hilarious. I have never heard of these delectable-sounding treats! Do they have them at Target? Cuz I steer clear of Wally World whenever possible...

    1. Yes they do! In Target they are in the cereal aisle hence my complete confusion when in Wally World. I hate it, too.

  4. This post was great, love your sense of humor! My favorite was the cookie crisp part. Hope Belavita notices this.

    1. Well thank you! They probably won't notice, but it was fun to write!

  5. Must put these on the next walmart list since cookies, cereal and everything else ends up in the cart anyway! I think marketing is really missing an opportunity with Puffs- those things could be on every aisle and find a way to fit in! They are not just for the little one around our house!

    1. Ooh, yeah. I "accidentally" bought organic baby cookies and eat more than the baby. At least puffs are healthy! (and delicious)