As we learned from staff writer Lillian Stone this afternoon, Kellogg’s has unveiled a new installment in its line of “mashup” cereals, which takes two beloved products and mixes them in a single box. The latest release is Frosted Flakes combined with Apple Jacks, a follow-up to last summer’s Frosted-Flakes-and-Froot-Loops combo. The concept of a “food mashup” is, to be clear, a marketer’s dream: It takes two products the company is already producing (no pesky R&D!), ones that come with built-in brand loyalty (no pesky appeals to the public!), and by shaking them up in the same container, the company gets to label it a brand-new product, one with an eye-catching new box that borrows all the same iconic imagery from its source material (no pesky design work!). Customers, in turn, get to feel like they can have it all. Isn’t capitalism fun?
Not that we’re knocking the idea. If the grocery aisle can serve up something new and exciting but also comforting and familiar, there’s no reason not to do it. And it’s not just the cereal aisle—think Heinz Mayochup or the Arby’s Meat Mountain or Chapaguri. There’s virtually no limit to what foods can be placed into a Unilever supercollider and turned into one hybrid product. How about ranch and Uncrustables? Neapolitan ice cream (the original mashup) and waffle cone pieces? A crab rangoon egg roll? Which mashup are you hoping to see hit store shelves?