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At the end of 2006, Post changed the formula for this popular cereal to improve its health content. This change, although tested by Post beforehand to positive reviews, received mainly negative reviews from consumers.
Following this public response, in March 2007, Kraft Foods (then-owner of Post Cereals) introduced a new "Improved Taste" version of the cereal that, the company claimed, would improve "the cereal's taste, texture and appearance while incorporating key nutritional benefits to the product." This was set forth in a letter that was sent to many consumers who complained to Kraft in the early months of 2007. The letter accompanied, in many instances, a complimentary box of the reworked Honeycomb. The new "Improved Taste" cereal was not as tasteful as the original version to most people who grew up with it.
Three variations have been marketed, Strawberry Blasted Honeycomb, which added strawberry flavoring, and Chocolate Honeycomb, with chocolate flavoring in the pieces. A new variety called Cinna-Graham Honeycomb, adds cinnamon flavor to the cereal.
As per the product's ingredient list, it is made of:
- corn flour and bran blend (corn flour, whole grain corn flour, corn bran), sugar, whole grain oat flour, honey, salt, yellow 5, BHT added to packaging material to preserve product freshness.
- Vitamins & minerals: niacinamide (B vitamin), reduced iron, zinc oxide (source of zinc), vitamin B6, vitamin a palmitate, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), thiamin mononitrate (Vitamin B1), folic acid (B vitamin), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D
Recently, Bran Blend, defined as whole grain corn flour and corn bran, was added to the ingredient list. This tripled the fiber content (from originally 1g to 3g per serving) and put the cereal in Kraft's Sensible Solution program. Aficionados of Honeycomb cereal[who?]readily tasted the difference. Post registered calls of complaints from Honeycomb fans after the change.
This cereal contains trisodium phosphate.
Advertising and marketing
During the 1970s and 1980s, television commercials featured visitors to a children's clubhouse called the Honeycomb Hideout. The visitor would arrive, initially hostile, and exclaim a need for a "big" taste. The kids would introduce the visitor to the cereal, winning over the visitor, examining the size of the cereal bits with a tape measure and singing the jingle:
- Honeycomb's big...yeah yeah yeah!
- It's not small...no no no!
- Honeycomb's got...a big big bite!
- Big big (taste/crunch) in a big big bite!
During the 1980s, the cereal offered the Honeycomb Hideout Club for children, distributing badges, membership cards and clubhouse toy incentives on specially marked box tops.
In 1995, a mascot, Crazy Craving, was introduced as a wild-haired, tumbleweed-merkin like cartoon character who rabidly craves Honeycomb cereal and whom children in the commercials transform into. Its catch-phrase was "Me Want Honeycomb". The name Crazy Craving means that the character is the personification of hunger.
Bernard, the bee boy
A more recent commercial introduces Bernard, a boy raised by bees. He is found and attempted to be socialized. Although he had clearly been a feral child, he apparently cannot argue the fact that he is a 'bee' not a 'boy,' and he enjoys honeycombs. In a later commercial, a man gives a safari-like tour for the bee boy, luring him with honeycombs. In a commercial released in 2010, a second bee boy was introduced played by Canadian actor Joel Cox.
- "Ralcorp Announces Completion of Post Cereals Merger". Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- Honeycomb US Official website
- Honeycomb Canada Official website
- History and description of Honeycomb cereal and its marketing identity - includes photos and a recollection of the Honeycomb Hideout