Trix: Healthy Cereal Or Not?

27 Sep

McDonald’s and Coke know many consumers want healthy food and beverages. As a result, they added to their healthy offerings. Our posts on healthy foods include these. Want to Attract the Health-Conscious Consumer? Tricking Kids into Eating Healthy Veggies. How Healthy Are We? Perceptions Vs. Reality. Likewise, firms make healthy cereal due to presumed interest. An example of this is General Mills with Trix healthy cereal.

Healthy Cereal? Trix Is for Kids

In 1954, General Mills introduced Trix as a sugar-coated version of Kix. The “Trix is for kids” slogan dates to 1957!! Trix is popular enough for Family Guy to spoof it an episode.


In 2016, General Mills decided to remove the original Trix. The firm replaced it with a natural version. General Mills thought was a great idea. To the contrary, it it did not work. Why? Kids loved Trix as it was, not the new version.

In sum, as Wall Street Journal‘s Annie Gasparro reports:


General Mills is going to reintroduce the original Trix, artificial flavorings and all. It will go on sale alongside the more wholesome version in October. This reverses the firm’s’ pledge  remove artificial colors and flavors from all cereals. It said its 7 all-natural cereals boosted sales by 6% in early 2016. At the same time, natural-ingredient haters made calls, E-mails, and social-media posts. It turns out consumers ‘don’t all want one thing.”


This image shows the look of natural Trix (left) and original Trix (right).

Healthy cereal. Naturally colored and flavored Trix on the left, compared with the artificial version on the right.

Photo: Ackerman + Gruber for Wall Street Journal


This image shows the packaging of natural Trix (left) and original Trix (right).

Healthy cereal. The Trix version with no artificial colors and flavors, left, was introduced two years ago. The new-old version, which will use some artificial colors and flavors, is being called Classic Trix. Text size comment19 share tweet email Print more It turns out some Trix eaters prefer artificial colors and flavors.

Image by Star Tribune


24 Responses to “Trix: Healthy Cereal Or Not?”

  1. Lauren Burke September 27, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    This article is very interesting considering that we live in a new age where people are concerned about their health and eating better. You would think that General Mills new all-natural Trix cereal would have been a success, but the people still want the Trix they know and love. Trix should have identified their target market before making this switch or did a better job of doing research on their market.

  2. Moises Philippsborn September 27, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    The health trend has been going strong over the past few years, especially when it comes to foods that parents are buying their kids. However, I think some products are so well established and loved, that changing them is always a bad idea. Trix was a great example of that, because no one eats trix for the health benefits. If I wanted a healthy cereal I would buy cheerios, however, when I want to eat Trix it is because I want the sugar and taste. I think it is a good idea to re introduce the original version in October, and sales will definitely go up, because people like things that they haven’t been able to buy in a while.

  3. Arbaaz Khan September 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    Eating healthy is something we all try to do and want to do, especially in today’s age. However, changing a well known cereal brand into a healthier version is probably not the best route to go due to consumers already being happy with the original Trix. They did not take their consumers into account in coming up with this decision and they faced the consequences for that.

    • Evans on Marketing September 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

      ALL of us? 🙂

  4. Meghan Reim September 27, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    It is interesting to see how some marketing ideas may seem like a good idea, but actually fail when implemented. I do not understand why Trix would try to make their cereal healthier because kids also don’t want healthy–they want sugar. The bright color of the cereal is also what makes it so appealing to kids. It makes perfect sense why this marketing idea failed. It is mainly adults who are conscious of what they are eating and try to eat healthier. But adults are not the target audience for Trix. It is a good idea for Trix to bring back their original cereal; their sales will most likely increase again.

  5. Alexa Dokic September 27, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    I didn’t even know that there was an all natural version of Trix!! I agree with Moises that some things just should never be changed, including the original Trix. I grew up on the sugary and tasty Trix and I would definitely not purchase the Trix made with carrots and radishes. I’m glad that they are bringing back the original version and sales will certainly skyrocket!!

  6. Jessica Keller September 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

    I believe that on a moral level, it is extremely smart for the brand to start utilizing healthy choices for kids. The obesity level in this country, especially for children, is at an all time high. I believe that in order to still attract children, they should have kept the original bright design on the box, but also advertise on the front of the box the health benefits to the parents that are buying it.

  7. Liz Cuervo September 28, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    I agree with Jessica that obesity in children is a growing problem in America. I can understand General Mills attempt at combating the problem with a new, healthier Trix alternative. It is a shame it did not too to well with the general public, but this is a lesson to be learned. Instead of going overtly natural with its ingredients, General Mills should have made their new Trix gradually healthier. Instead of jumping straight to tumeric and radishes as ingredients for cereal, I think they should just focus on lowering the amount of sodium and high fructose corn syrup.

  8. Katherine O'Neil September 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

    I honestly do not know if General Mills was right to take the old Trix off the marketing and then reintroduce a healthier version. They should have known that it was not going to live up to the hype of the original in taste tests and research. The decision to keep the new original and the natural Trix on grocery shelves in the future is a good one. Giving consumers more options looks better for the company.

  9. Anthony Pellegrino September 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    This was ill-conceived on General Mills’ part. Instead of replacing the original Trix with a natural version, they should have simply added natural Trix as a competitor. This way, those who enjoy original Trix could have kept buying it and those who wanted a healthier alternative could have bought the natural version. This reminds me of when Coca Cola came out with “New Coke” which was poorly received and pulled quickly. Sometimes, companies need to realize that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  10. Brandon Williams September 28, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    This somewhat reminds me of the CocaCola snafu a while back. They had pulled the original flavor and replaced it with “New Coke” that got overwhelmingly negative responses. People typically don’t like a change in something they’ve come accustomed to love. However who is eating this cereal? The younger generation that soon will not know what the original Trix tasted like, just like our generation happily drinks coke without ever tasting the original that many elders argue is better.

  11. Ciera Nickel September 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    While this campaign had good intentions, what they should have done is made the healthy Trix an option, placing it alongside other healthy cereal options such as Honey Bunches of Oats and the like, rather than forcing brand-loyalists to take the healthy option that they don’t want to take. They might have sold more this way, as it is good for their PR to promote health-consciousness. But not say that it’s their healthy way or the high way, being that the majority of their target audience probably were not incredibly health conscious people to begin with.

  12. Zuha Anwar September 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

    Trix decision to make a healthier version of their already popular cereal was not a smart move. Although I understand where they were coming from; in the past few years everything seems to have the word “quinoa” or “kale” in it. Society has been propagating toward healthier foods, but I think this applies more to young adults. When i think of Trix, I think of delicious, sugary cereal but I also think of my childhood. Trix colorfulness and artificial flavors are part of their brand’s identity. When I want to eat healthy, I’ll eat cereal like Kashi but if I want sugary cereal, Trix seems to fit the bill. Trix should have just accepted their identity and marketed their product accordingly instead of trying to change to follow a certain trend.

  13. Harminder Pathania October 1, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Although General Mill’s intentions were to provide a healthier option towards the public, the sales of an “all-natural” Trix may not be the appropriate option for many because it is not what most are used to. Reverting to its original sugary-based flavor could potentially regain sales of past customers and buyers, but there is a solution towards producing a healthier cereal. General Mills could rely on a time-based response with waiting to improve it each time it aims to produce a new altered version of its brand thereby once again increasing sales, but they should seek to appeal towards the demographics of customers who eat Trix rather than a wider group.

  14. Aneel Bapodra October 1, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    While the health kick has been a great success in regards to marketing and helping businesses to expand their profit margins and target audiences, Trix will always be one of those products that should remain the kid friendly junk food for which it is so heavily marketed as.

  15. maddiemitrano October 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    It’s interesting to see how certain marketing plans, that we think would be beneficial, actually do not work out in the end. While being healthy and eating right is something that most people nowadays are implementing, obviously making trix healthier caused the cereal itself to look less appealing. This made kids, Trix’s largest target market group, not want to eat the cereal anymore. Parents may be pleased, but children aren’t. This is a marketing flaw that Trix should have thought about before going through with it.

  16. Angelo Micciche October 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

    I find this article extremely relevant as I was a huge fan of Trix cereal as a kid. I have not tried the “healthy” version; however, I respect the decision to attempt to veer toward a more healthy cereal although it didn’t work in the end. I wonder if the cereal tasted that much different, or if factors such as color of the cereal itself and marketing factors such as design/color of the box played a role in the lack of positive feedback on the new Trix.

  17. joli goldstein October 4, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    I personally find this article very interesting, considering that so many people today are becoming more health conscious and want to replace foods in their diet with more “natural” or “organic” ones. Before reading this, I wasn’t aware of the new natural version of Trix. I think that taking away the colorful appealing look of Trix, and probably the delicious taste, isn’t the best decision for General Mills with this particular cereal. Trix is mainly targeted toward kids, hence their slogan. Kids usually don’t want to eat something that they think is healthy, and if they see the box and the color of the cereal has changed, they’ll know something’s up. My idea would be to create another type of Trix, without replacing the original.

  18. Rob Kelley October 4, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    I personally have never tried Trix but always thought it was targeted for kids with the “Trix are for kids” slogan all over the place. I believe its important to have healthy alternatives available but i don’t know if i would completely replace the cereal all together. Most children aren’t too worried about the nutritional aspect of eating so i guess this is aimed at the parents buying the cereal for them. From just looking at the picture the “healthier” image on the left looks much less appealing then the normal Trix on the right so i wonder if this will effect children’s decision on choosing Trix for their breakfast.

  19. Milin Huang October 14, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

    It seems like a mistake that instead of selling both versions of the product as competitiors, that they would try to eliminate one version entirely. As an example, consider how in recent years, candy and potato chip makers have entered a frenzy where each cycle they release new flavors, and many in limited editions, which allows consumers to choose. At the same time, each new release attracts many curious people who would not normally buy the product to buy it for the novelty of trying something new. With the healthier Trix product, I feel it would have the potential to attract people who normally would avoid buying Trix in the first place, thereby potentially expanding market share.

  20. Brianna Powell October 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    Trix has such an appeal to kids, when I was little I loved eating a certain color at a time or seeing my milk turn pink. Today, I realize very few things are naturally bright pink. As a country we’re beginning to move away from artificials and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

  21. Samantha Damsky November 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

    Trix cereal is quite iconic among Americans. In fact, when the word Trix comes into my mind, I automatically think of its slogan; “Trix are for kids.” I’ve also always perceived it as a sugary cereal that’s colorful and fun to eat. I believe that many other people have the same perception of Trix as I do. Therefore, changing people’s recognition of such a well-known product is very difficult to do. In general, people don’t like change and that’s why I think the new and healthy version of Trix cereal failed.

  22. kanika singh December 19, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    If it’s not broken, don’t fix it is what I always say! I always loved Trix Cereal and since it’s a cereal for kids, of course companies want to make sure it’s healthy (sarcasm). However, children are drawn to colorful objects. The all natural Trix is not as appetizing as the unnatural one. If a child doesn’t eat it’s cereal because he doesn’t think it looks good, then chances are the parent won’t buy it again. Although GM was trying to do the right thing, they have to understand that they aren’t appealing to just parents – the kid has got to want it too!


  1. Homer Simpson, New Product Guru? - Evans on Marketing - November 2, 2017

    […] do firms research their customers in depth? For many firms, the answer would be no.  For example, consider our recent Trix post. In 2016, General Mills removed the original Trix. The firm replaced it with a natural version. […]

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