Coming soon to a cereal aisle near you….Wheaties Fuel. And it’s just for men. According to the NY Times, it turns out that the original Wheaties cereal isn’t doing so well, so they need to do something to beef up the sales. According to the Times, men already account for 60 percent of the people who eat Wheaties, so what will make this new version increase sales? No one knows for sure since the new cereal won’t be out until September – and will be chosen by readers of Men’s Health.
Until now there have been a number of food items sold that are marketed to women – Quaker Nutrition for Women Instant Oatmeal, Luna Bars (the women’s version of Cliff Bars), and Harmony cereal, just to name a few. I’m not sure how well most of these gender-specific products have done, and whether they even exist anymore. What I do know is that they are fortified with nutrients, like calcium, iron, and folic acid – the ones women need more of to stay healthy – and often a lot of junk (just look at the lengthy list of ingredients). For the most part, women can get these nutrients from a balanced diet, but if they are still missing something I wouldn’t recommend fortified foods. I would suggest a multivitamin instead.
However, while I don’t think that women need to buy foods specifically advertised to them, I can at least see the rationale of the marketers behind these products. Men-specific foods, on the other hand, I just don’t get. There aren’t many nutrients that men need more of than women, and they certainly don’t need to get it from their cereal. So is it all just a ploy to get Wheaties back to the “breakfast of champions,” or is there really something special for men inside the box?
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.