General Mills, the maker of the iconic cereal brand, Lucky Charms, announced on Monday that it’s adding a new marshmallow to its repertoire for the first time in over a decade in an attempt to keep its sales momentum going strong.
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The food giant announced earlier this month it was retiring the hourglass marshmallow and asked its customers on social media to vote for the next “lucky charm” marshmallow. The winner: a new white and purple magical unicorn. The new marshmallow will be part of a brand new lineup for the cereal that includes hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, blue moons, rainbows and red balloons. The change has already been implemented in select stores across the country with a full nationwide rollout expected in March.
But new marshmallows isn’t the only change the company has made to the 1960s classic. Last month, Lucky Charms introduced a third variety of the cereal, Frosted Flakes Lucky Charms, to join its original formula and Chocolate Lucky Charms.
WHY SO MANY CHANGES?
General Mills’ CEO Jeffrey Harmening told FOX Business last August that the brand’s marshmallows have been drumming up sales for the food giant.
"Lucky Charms, when we were talking about no artificial colors and flavors, you know customers didn't really care that much, but when we started talking about marshmallows again, the business started to grow,” Harmening said at the time.
Retail sales for the classic cereal grew more than 3% in 2017 and the company expects it to grow even more in fiscal 2018—all because of the marshmallows, the company said.
The brand did shift its cereal to whole grains in 2004 but Harmening believes that taste is still the main driving force behind iconic brands.
“What has happened is that people have taken out ingredients that consumers didn’t want and I’ve been asked, so what’s going to happen next?” Harmening said. “Well, what’s going to happen next is that people are going to get back to things that they always wanted—how good does something taste, how convenient is it and value. So, things that taste good with simple ingredients.”