Sunday, 9 July 2017

Breakfast cereal going home

The news that Post Holdings of the US is to acquire Weetabix (and thus also Alpen and Ready Brek) recalled breakfast tables of childhood. Post Toasties and Force (once well-known for its "Sunny Jim" pack front) tried to break into the market created by Kellogg and Quaker, but without success. One sensed that US companies had invented the processed breakfast cereal and a wikipedia article bears that out. Presumably the pre-twentieth century shot of carbohydrate to start the day would have been provided by porage, which had the disadvantage of having to be prepared by boiling.

It was surprising that no indigenous company attempted to break the US stranglehold, which was no doubt helped by setting up subsidiaries which manufactured in England. It was left to Australians to do that in the form of Weetabix, based on the antipodean Weet-Bix. (The divergent paths of the UK company and its Australian parent have led to a "passing off" dispute in New Zealand.) With the Post acquisition it seems that only Jordans  is the only UK-owned manufacturer in the business.

No comments: