The launch of the two varieties, Marshmallow and Peanut Butter, furthers the cereal giant’s aim to improve the health halo of its portfolio as the breakfast staple faces waning interest.

General Mills packs protein into Ghost cereal

Courtesy of Ghost

Dive Brief:

  • Protein products maker Ghost announced the launch of Ghost Protein Cereal, created in collaboration with General Mills, the brand’s first foray into the cereal category.
  • The cereals are available in two varieties, Peanut Butter which contains 18 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar per serving and marshmallow which boasts 17 grams of protein per serving. The marshmallow offering also contains fan favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow pieces, according to Ghost.
  • With new product innovations, cereal manufacturers are capitalizing on growing consumer interest in foods that contain protein and a healthier profile, including recent General Mills’ Cheerios products with higher protein.

Dive Insight:

Ghost believes its entrance into cereal is a logical conclusion for the brand, after Cereal Milk became one of its most popular protein powder flavors. For General Mills, the collaboration with a prominent brand in the protein space lends credibility to its aim to boost the presence of the nutrient in its products.

“It’s no secret that consumers are looking for more protein choices these days and the GHOST team has a reputation for disrupting the performance nutrition space with flavors that go beyond the basic chocolate or vanilla,” said Nicole Ayers, the cereal business unit director at General Mills, in a statement.

The cereals follow Ghost protein powder flavors resulting from its collaboration with prominent snacks and sweets brands — including Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Warheads and Welch’s.

The protein supplements market has ballooned in recent years as consumers have taken a greater interest in fitness and wellness. It is projected to be worth $10.8 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8%, according to Grand View Research data.

With cereal facing a period of long-term sales decline because of younger consumers purchasing it less, leading companies are working to remodel the image of the category to fit shifting needs. General Mills is also leaning into cereal being consumed more as a snack food with its launch of Minis varieties of some of its biggest brands, like Honey Nut Cheerios and Reese’s Puffs. The company has also rolled out new varieties of staple brands containing much higher protein content than before, like Cheerios’ Oat Crunch line which debuted last year.

WK Kellogg Co, looking to regain its footing in the cereal category after ceding market share to rival General Mills in recent years, is also using new product launches to boost the health halo of its portfolio since it spun off as a standalone cereal business last year. The company debuted a new cereal line aimed at Gen Z consumers, Eat Your Mouth Off, earlier this year, which contains 22 grams of protein and is sweetened by stevia instead of sugar. Kellogg also extended its reach in the protein space last year through a collaboration with Six Star on whey powders containing the flavor of Foot Loops and Frosted Flakes.

  • General Mills leans into cereal as a snack with new twists on old favorites By Chris Casey • Dec. 5, 2023
  • WK Kellogg Co debuts new cereal brand in better-for-you push By Chris Casey • Jan. 4, 2024
  • How Cheerios works to stay relevant across generations By Chris Casey • Aug. 10, 2023

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