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Foreign focus.

This month's featured product is an excellent example of local thinking from a major multinational company, says David Jago, editorial director of Mintel.

Product: Black Sesame Seed and Black Soy Bean Cereals

Company: Kellogg

Country: South Korea

The company's Black Sesame Seed and Black Soy Bean Cereals offer consumers in South Korea a Western-style product with a clear Eastern twist. The flaked products contain brown rice and five grains, common ingredients in 'healthy' breakfast cereals in many parts of the world, but it is the 'black foods' featured that set these apart from wholegrain cereals that we see in the West.

Black sesame and black soy bean are ingredients that follow the trend for functional 'black' foods in Asia--there are also many health-oriented beverages that feature black vinegar. Black foods may typically contain more anthocyanin, isoflavones and minerals than their 'regular' counterparts, while black sesame seeds in particular also contain high levels of calcium, protein, iron and magnesium, to benefit the kidney and the liver, and are a good source of essential fatty acids.

Black soy beans are believed to be helpful for improving skin and easing menopause-related conditions, as well as helping to prevent high blood pressure. Studies have shown that black soy beans may prevent fat build-up and lower blood cholesterol levels.

While Kellogg and other major cereals companies in the West have focused on the inherent health benefits of wholegrains, these Kellogg products in Asia harness the natural health benefits of foods that are more familiar to Asian consumers.

In terms of the package design, the premium, adult-oriented approach focuses on imagery of the key ingredients and limited text for a more minimalist look.

This is not Kellogg's first foray into 'locally relevant' cereals. In 1998 Kellogg in Japan introduced a kid's cereal containing dehydrated carrots, pumpkin and spinach, designed to encourage vegetable consumption among children. The company recently also launched Japan's first children's cereal fortified with amino acids and vitamins, under the Frosties brand, picking up on the fact that the health benefits of amino acids are commonly referred to on the front of the pack in Asia, while they remain virtually unknown to consumers in the West.

MINTeL Foreign Focus is a monthly column, written by David Jago from Mintel's Global New Products database
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Title Annotation:product evaluation
Author:Jago, David
Article Type:Product/service evaluation
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jul 22, 2006
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