Malt-O-Meal's 'Bag The Box' campaign that eliminates box, packages more than 90% of cereal in bag credited with new way of talking to consumers, recognized as one of 'America's Hottest Brands' by Advertising Age magazine

MINNEAPOLIS , December 1, 2011 (press release) – Malt-O-Meal brand cereal has been named one of America's Hottest Brands for 2011 by Advertising Age magazine. The annual issue recognizes the 25 most innovative and successful brands of the year and is a prestigious honor that places Malt-O-Meal in the company of such megabrands as Dove, DC Comics, and Jeep Wrangler.

One of just three food brands to make this year's list, the Malt-O-Meal ready-to-eat line was selected for its success in the cereal category. Malt-O-Meal produces 22 varieties of ready-to-eat cereal, each bearing the Malt-O-Meal brand name. The brand has tripled its market share in the past ten years, which it was able to do without traditional CPG marketing tactics such as television advertising and Sunday circular coupons, while much larger competitors and the overall cereal category have seen a decline. In fact, Malt-O-Meal's sales were up 5.1% in 2011, outperforming big-spending competitors such as Kellogg's, General Mills, Post, and Quaker.

"To be successful, we know we have to do things very differently than big corporate cereal marketers like General Mills, Kellogg's, and Post. We're proving that our non-traditional approach can work just as well as the accepted 'norm' of high prices, lots of expensive television advertising, FSI coupons, and constant in-store price promotions," said Paul Reppenhagen, director of consumer marketing and strategy. "What Malt-O-Meal doesn't spend on advertising, we pass onto the consumer, resulting in everyday prices that are substantially lower than other advertised brands. Our non-traditional marketing approach has saved American families more than $1 billion on breakfast cereal over the last six years, and that is something we are extremely proud of."

But the share growth is not the only thing that makes Malt-O-Meal a hot brand. It is also credited with finding new ways to talk to consumers and is encouraging them to think differently about the cereal aisle. By eliminating the box and packaging more than 90 percent of their cereal only in a bag, the company uses 75 percent less consumer packaging than the traditional box with a bag inside. Through the launch of the its "Bag The Box" campaign earlier this year, Malt-O-Meal has prompted consumers to change the way they think about cereal and to consider smarter ways to reduce the amount of packaging in the products they buy every day. All this innovation has helped the brand shake up the cereal category and has drawn a whole new demographic of consumers to Malt-O-Meal products.

"You can quickly see what makes our cereals unique," said Reppenhagen. "We come in a bag. Cereal in a bag was, and still is, a new concept for most people. But, U.S. cereal manufacturers produce 2.3 billion cereal boxes every year, and every box has a bag inside. We think that's a lot of unnecessary and wasteful packaging. By eliminating the box and reducing the amount of packaging that's produced each year, we're doing something better for the environment. And that's a win-win situation for everyone."

Malt-O-Meal's strategy is paying off. Currently, the company has 10 top-50 brands, including its Frosted Mini Spooners(R), the company's best seller. Last month, this variety was named Grand Prize Winner in the frosted shredded wheat cereal category in Cooking Light magazine's annual Taste Test Awards.

For more information or to see the full Ad Age article, visit: http://adage.com/special-reports/americashottestbrands/179 .

About Malt-O-Meal Malt-O-Meal is the largest family owned cereal company in the U.S. The company has produced quality cereal products since 1919 and manufactures many varieties of oatmeal, family-favorite ready-to-eat and all-natural cereals as well as its original, farina-based hot cereal. Today, one in 10 servings of cereal breakfast eaten every day is a Malt-O-Meal brand cereal. Dedicated to providing families access to better breakfasts at better prices, Malt-O-Meal is continually innovating to produce, package and transport its cereals in ways that reduce environmental impact. For more information about Malt-O-Meal and its cereal products please visit www.Malt-O-Meal.com or www.BagTheBox.com .

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