Cereal-makers have been fighting sluggish sales, as shoppers gravitate towards grab-and-go alternatives, but one company is looking to breath life back into the category.
Stephanie Jackson is the co-owner of Mixit—a Montreal-based mail-order online breakfast cereal and soon-to-be snack packager that delivers eye-catching tubes of hot and cold cereals.
The breakfast cereal category has been declining because manufacturers and retailers have not been quick enough to respond to changes in consumers’ eating habits and their appetite for convenience, according to Jackson.
Jackson first discovered Mixit in Prague, where she noticed people were eating Mixit at their desks. She says it is also popular in Poland. When the family moved back to Canada, they approached the Czech owners and decided to launch Mixit in Canada. Her business is Canadian-owned and independent, though her European partners have some shares.
Consumers can purchase a Mixit-designed combo of granola, nuts and dried or freeze-dried fruit, or, with a few clicks of a mouse, design their own breakfast combinations.
The service, which launched one year ago in Quebec, has recently expanded its delivery service to the rest of Canada.
A new addition to the product line is a protein powder called Hungry Like A Wolf, made of chick peas. They also have a new hot cereal mix, with oat flakes, freeze dried fruit, flax or hemp seeds.
“It’s low in sugar,” says Jackson. “You can order premade mixes or make your own.”
Orders are sent free of charge for six or more tubes, and retail between $7 and $9 per package.
If consumers want less than six tubes and don’t want to pay postage fees, there are now two pickup spots at Montreal-area cafés where their order is waiting for them, or they can choose a few prepackaged Mixit combos off the shelf.
Jackson says the challenge online is “to find your customers, and keep after them. We keep talking to them online, through Facebook, Instagram or online email strategy. We have different ideas, different concepts. You can’t sleep.”
Mixit kicked off about a year ago and hopes to start selling snack-sized packages of freeze dried fruit or fruit and granola combinations in about a month.
Shoppers looking for mixture of protein, fruit and grain, Jackson says, would often have to drop into a couple of stores or more and invent their own combinations. Mixit combos are palate tested.
She won’t reveal her subscriber base but says she has between 1,000 and 5,000 customers.