Nestlé Shredded Wheat
Shredded Wheat or 'pillows of toasted wheat', a cereal that, apart from conjuring up the notion of edible forms of bedding, reminds me of those dull looking things my father ate as I merrily tucked into various sugar-coated cereals and fought over plastic freebies. Indeed, growing up my father was a Shredded Wheat fan and, tasting the stuff, I knew it was definitely one of those things I would have to grow into. Needless to say, I did with the plain wheaty flavours now more than agreeable to my taste buds; however, as for this being a sign that I have grown up...hmmm!
The traditionally bright colour scheme of red and yellow remains and communicates a certain vibrancy that fits in with the healthy living image of the cereal. The heart-based graphic which has been doing the rounds in various forms for some time now has been given a greater focus in this particular design with it acting as a 'bowl' for the product graphic. The key word 'original' has been added to the design - probably a smart move given the level of spin-off cereals and discount brands to confuse consumers with these days. Moreover, there is a promotion at the bottom which helps to inject some fun and excitement in to a brand which often gets bogged down in health messages. Overall, I might still not like that green banner at the top of the design - probably a bit better justified here than in other cases - but the general look is a warm and fresh one which is always a good thing for products of this nature.
Shredded Wheat is simply 100% toasted wholegrain wheat and therefore they taste, well, wheaty - go figure. However, I should say that straight out of the box these wheaty pillows are dry, hard and dense with very little of their flavour coming through. Indeed, key to enjoying Shredded Wheat is either hot milk or long soakage time in cold milk as this will soften the cereal considerably whilst developing all that toasted wheat flavour. Beyond that, the 'stringiness' of the product makes for a unique and well-textured eating experience that I certainly consider a major plus point.
Over the years Shredded Wheat has had a good bit of advertising and most of it has been inspired by the cereal's high fibre content. Instead of a direct and unimaginative health message, these old Shredded Wheat ads were a bit more subtle as they challenged the consumer to eat more than 2 Shredded Wheat - the inference being that the cereal was a filling one due to its fibre content. With the likes of Ian Bowthan and Jaws from James Bond making an appearance in the ads, this was a fun approach that made for some decent pieces of television.
Have you considered...?
With Shredded Wheat being made from 100% British wholegrain wheat, it is high in insoluble fibre and thus helps keep you regular. Additionally, wholegrain wheat has been shown to contain far more vitamins and minerals than refined versions.
History (as per the Wikipedia entry):
The original company opened a factory in Welwyn Garden City (UK) in 1926 at which time Welgar was its registered trade mark, which became part of Nabisco in 1928. The tall concrete cereal silos that form part of the factory are a local landmark and are listed structures, built by Peter Lind & Company of London. In 1988, Nabisco sold the UK site to Rank Hovis McDougall (who made own-label cereals for supermarkets), whose breakfast cereals division briefly became The Shredded Wheat Company. In 1990, RHM sold the site to Cereal Partners. Now, all Shredded Wheat is made at Staverton near Bath, as the Welwyn Garden City site was shut down in 2008. Also, "Bitesize", "Fruitful" and "Honey Nut" Shredded Wheat are made in the UK.
Shredded Wheat has a particular place in UK popular culture due to a long-running TV advertising campaign. The Three Shredded Wheat advert suggested that the cereal was so nourishing that it was impossible to eat three. Even a black hole was shown as exploding when the third biscuit was sucked into it. Phrases such as I bet you can't eat three and He must have eaten three were in common use as humorous remarks in the 1970s. A later UK poster advert for Carling Black Label showed a bowl with four Shredded Wheat and the caption "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label".
Bernard Manning, the UK comedian, made this into a joke: Why does Arthur Scargill eat three Shredded Wheat? Answer: He eats two, the other one he puts on his head; (Scargill was known for having a particularly bad comb over).
Related TGBD Articles:
Cereal Partners (Nestlé Cereal website)
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