Jun 06, 2016 • By

How we created a new cereal brand

Tiny Toast, our first new cereal brand in 15 years, arrives this month in Blueberry and Strawberry varieties.

Shaped like small pieces of toast and sprinkled with blueberries and strawberries, Tiny Toast arouses the senses of taste and smell thanks to real fruit, says Mike Evenson, product developer in our Innovation, Technology and Quality division.


“People told us that both varieties tasted real, and not fake like they typically associate with fruit-flavored cereals,” Mike says. “We heard from several consumers that the Blueberry Tiny Toast tastes like a blueberry muffin, which is just awesome praise. That’s exactly what we were going for. When we heard that, we knew we were on to something good.”

Tiny Toast was created to have an all-family appeal similar to Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.


It is is General Mills’ first new cereal brand since 2001, when we introduced the since discontinued Harmony cereal. Basic 4, which debuted in 1991, is the last newly branded cereal that remains part of our cereal portfolio.

During the last 25 years, General Mills has launched dozens of new cereals. However, those cereals arrived via extensions of existing brands or licensing agreements, such as Reese’s Puffs.Tiny-Toast-Blueberry-Logo

Work began on Tiny Toast more than a year ago. Early on, the team considered a layered cereal. Mike says people were receptive to this idea in which the cereal pieces would sandwich either a cherry filling or a spread.

But this concept proved too expensive and too dense to pursue.

“The R&D team said, ‘Well, if fruit on the inside is good, maybe it’s just as good on the outside.’ This led to the coating of real fruit,” says Alan Cunningham, senior marketing manager for Cereal Innovation.

The team marched forward with the new idea, considering a number of flavors before settling on blueberry and strawberry.

“Consumers told us that they wanted the fruit to have a uniform coverage on the cereal,” says Mike. “They didn’t want us to put in whole slices of fruit.”

The fruity flavors come from blueberry and strawberry powders.


It’s actually a coarse powder more closely resembling a flake that provides the great taste and appearance for Tiny Toast, Mike says.

“Tiny Toast gives you this really large pop of aroma that’s missing from those other fruit cereals,” he adds. “We watched how consumers responded when they first opened a box, and they were stunned at how good it smelled.”

For additional information on Tiny Toast cereal, visit TinyToastCereal.com or follow the brand on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

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  • UCBAlum

    I used to be amused in these situations but now I understand that people’s jobs and careers are at stake so I find it depressing. This product looks ridiculous. I can’t imagine the situation where this looks like a good idea. Sorry.

    • NJ_citizen

      Are you not aware that cold cereal has a devoted following, bordering sometimes on the cultish? That it’s practically entrenched in our pop culture? Indeed, ever watch Seinfeld?

  • jwl

    Well, I LOVE the introduction of Tiny Toast! I’m a graphic designer and a child of 60’s and 70’s cereals. The graphics were always fun and attention-getting. But, over the last two decades, as new products were introduced and became more “serious”, so too the packaging. But, as-soon-as I saw the image of the Tiny Toast boxes, I was won over. At least for me, regardless of the nutritional value, I’ll be buying both flavors. I hope the TV spots are just as fun and clever as the Tiny Toast logo. Thank you, General Mills!

  • mahoraner niall

    mmm! Now that looks good!! When will this be available in most stores? It REALLY looks good

  • Tim

    This cereal rules! It’s similar to the original Boo-Berry & Franken Berry because it’s made of oat and corn instead of just corn like current Monster cereals. I really hope General Mills can take this new creation and somehow work the ingredients into the Monster cereals.

  • NJ_citizen

    Tiny Toast is GREAT!

  • Mark Knapp

    I love the new Tiny Toast cereal! It taste so good and I like how soft it is. It doesn’t cut my gums like some cereals do. Usually when I stat liking a cereal it is discontinued shortly after please do not do this.

  • Tim

    Should’ve called it Tiny Toast Crunch or Strawberry/Blueberry Toast Crunch. And please add oat flour back to the Monster Cereals, they are weak in their current all corn formulation.

  • Jennifer

    I’m really intrigued by this cereal – have they considered doing one where it’s just a buttery flavor like buttered toast?