Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bran and Branding

In the beginning there was Porridge, and very good it was too. You could eat it with salt or with sugar (or with Golden Syrup if you were feeling decadent). These porridgey breakfasts went on for millions of years and nobody seemed to either notice or care that they weren’t very stylish and didn’t make any amazing claims for health-giving properties. Porridge. Stops you feeling hungry and keeps you alive was all it said on the box that Robert the Bruce tucked into.

Then, hundreds of years later, in fact thousands in some cases, Dr John Harvey Kellogg invented Kelloggs Corn Flakes and the world of cereals was turned upside-down.

By the time I discovered Cereal World, in the Sixties, there were all sorts of delights available – Shredded Wheat (hoorah!) Weetabix (yes!) Shreddies (yippee!) Ready Brek (Scrummy! - - yes, I know, apologies, I still like it) Rice Krispies (Quite Pleasant, though there are those in our family, who shall remain nameless, who never eat more than the top two-thirds of a box because they don’t like the bits at the bottom. Hence there are about fourteen boxes in the cupboard at any one time, all with two inches of squashed bits at the bottom of them).

Then there were Frosties, which no person of good taste would eat - - and then Coco Pops, which are the small brown droppings of Satan. On no account put them anywhere near your mouth, for they are vile. The only reason they have kept going for so long is that everyone on the planet has tried them once, though I have never met anyone who has bought a second packet.

Then things changed subtly with the arrival of Alpen, which was supposed to have vague connections with Switzerland and pass on its health-giving properties of alps, and mountain air. Those in the know could call it “muesli” and pretend they’d been to far-off lands where such things were normal.

And now we have this.

A whole section called Adult Cereals. I searched the packets in vain for pictures of post-coital couples enjoying a bowl of it, or for special offers of erotic underwear, or for free naked plastic figures inside the box, or for a condom in every pack.

No, Adult, in this context, seems to mean Bran. How very disappointing. They have called it Adult because no sensible child will touch the stuff, and the adults who buy it do so for one reason only – It Keeps You Regular, as they say euphemistically. Probably they think that Bowel-Opening Bran, For Big Brown Healthy Turds! wouldn’t sell quite so well.


Blogger Ailbhe said...

I like porridge.

And healthy turds should never be underestimated.

10:14 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

Glad to see that all those weeks of refurbishment have paid off. Can't wait to get to my new improved store in a couple of weeks and see all these innovations !
I'm glad you included a photo or I'd have thought it was the DVD section with titles like 'Sex In The City' and 'Desperate Housewives' or even a steamy episode of 'Corrie' !!

3:01 pm  

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