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twists01.jpg (12,869 bytes) 05032003

This is a scan of a photograph of an ordinary, half-empty bag of cereal manufactured by Malt-O-Meal.  It is not interesting, nor do I mean it to be.

Do note, however, that the individual pieces of cereal are, as advertised, in the shape of O's.  The name is Toasty O's, and the pieces are indeed O's.

Also, elsewhere on the package it is made clear that this is intended as a cheaper but otherwise indistinguishable substitute for Honey Nut Cheerios, a General Mills product.  And those Cheerios are, of course, also shaped like O's, which is why these Toasty O's are so shaped.

(And I just have to mention a line found on the Cheerios Web SITE, which reads as follows: "Cheerios has been an important part of all our lives for 60 years."  It seems to me this is a bit of an overstatement, a similar example of which can be seen here.)

So far so good but, as I say, not at all interesting



twists03.jpg (5,814 bytes) 05032003

Malt-O-Meal also sells a cereal whose advertised purpose is to replace another General Mill's product, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Just as they copied the simple yet well-defined Cheerio's shape in their Toasty O's product, Malt-O-Meal also copied the shape of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

As you can see from the enlargement at left, the individual pieces of this cereal are flat squares, a distinctive shape compared to, say, corn flakes or raisin bran.

So, the question is, what did Malt-O-Meal decide to call this product, this Cinnamon Toast Crunch knock-off that is undeniably a flat square?












twists02.jpg (11,262 bytes) 05032003

MOM Toasters

For some reason Malt-O-Meal called these flat squares twists.  You can already see that they are not obviously twisted, but let me tell you that even upon close, in-person inspection they still are not shaped in any way that admits of a fair definition of the word twist.  Toasted Cinnamon Twists are, as I say, flat squares.

I'd really like to know how the decision was made at MOM HQ to call these twists when there was no need to get it wrong.



Also, note the unusual capitalization of the two cereals' names.  They read HonEY NuT ToasTY O's and ToasTEd Cinnamon TwisTs.  Despite what I regard as an obvious mistake in calling flat squares twists, I imagine the odd capitalization is not a mistake.  I imagine studies were done, focus groups were assembled, and it was determined scientifically -- probably at considerable expense -- that these exact renderings of the names would sell the most cereal.

Lest you think this website is never looked at (you're here, aren't you?), apparently someone at Malt-O-Meal read the ding above and decided to change the name from Twists to Toasters.  Hey, I'm famous now.


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