Cheerios has launched a new chocolate cereal that must compete with hundreds of alternatives in the aisle. In the U.S., Cheerios is a favorite of moms who want a wholesome, feel-good breakfast for kids. Yet General Mills knows that the real consumers — children — love a sweet treat in the morning. So here comes its new product with 9 grams of sweetness per approximately 25.5-gram serving, more than one-third pure sugar. When Sigmund Freud wrote of humanity’s lustful, chaotic “cauldron full of seething excitations,” he could have meant this.
So how can Chocolate Cheerios break through? By appealing to both Freud’s Id (lust) and Ego (restraint) at the same time. Chocolate Cheerios is “made with real cocoa” (natural ingredients), it “may reduce the risk of heart disease” (what mom doesn’t worry about her family’s health?), and of course comes with a “whole grain guarantee” (this is not just real natural food, but General Mills is so certain this is real, it guarantees it). Even the colors of the cereal itself are half white and half cocoa, visually meeting Id and Ego halfway.
Cheerios, you’ve hit our logic-restrained desires perfectly. How sweet it is.