Marketing 2000 as the millennium
Edible 2s, joyful Goldfish
December 28, 1999
Web posted at: 6:19 p.m. EST (2319 GMT)
By Sue Hoye
CNN Interactive Writer
(CNN) -- Although the holiday hype usually ends at Christmas, the approach of Year 2000 has created a new marketing madness for everything from travel and entertainment to food.
Yes, don't just toast the new year -- eat it! There's more than fancy sparkling wine. Savor 2000 in your breakfast cereal or your toddler's plate. Here's a supermarket sampler of 2000-themed foodstuffs.
- In honor of the date change, Cheerios has introduced what the company calls "once in a lifetime" Millenios. The box for this limited-edition Year 2000 cereal boasts a gold label declaring it the "official cereal of the millennium."
These golden O's are not the usual Cheerios fare. They're sweetened with brown sugar and include cereal bits in the shape of the numeral 2, so consumers can spell out 2000 in a spoon.
The usefulness of Millenios doesn't stop there. General Mills suggests the purchaser use the box as a time capsule once the cereal is gone.
The back of the box sports proposals on what could be put into such a capsule: newspaper clippings, coins, stamps, collectible toys, family videos, photos and music. There are blanks on the box where you can indicate who created the time capsule, what year it was created and when it's to be opened.
- Not to be outdone, Kellogg's has also released a year 2000 cereal. The "Marshmallow Blasted Froot Loops" include "marshmallow millennium 2's," which, like the Cheerios' Millenios, spell out "2000" for the cereal consumer.
But Froot Loops doesn't recommend the box be used for a time capsule. Instead Kellogg's wants consumers to fill out a form on the box and send $2.99 along with two dated box tops to get the official Kellogg's time capsule.
Truth in advertising
- Pepperidge Farm isn't missing out on the 2000 action, although the company isn't giving in to pressure to call the start of the last year of the 20th century the "millennium."
Goldfish 2000 is a limited-edition cracker that comes in a box suggesting you spice up your celebration with a little party trivia. One proposed question is: "What is the first year of the new millennium?" The answer on the box says, "2001. The year 2000 is the last of the millennium, 2001 starts the new one."
In addition to that lesson on the true advent of the third millennium, the company has given the well-known cracker a new wardrobe. The little fish now are sporting party hats and bow ties. No need to worry, they'll be dressed appropriately for all New Year's Eve parties, no matter how formal.
- If you are an M&M fan, you'd better believe 2000 is the millennium. M&M's have spent a year declaring themselves the "official candy of the new millennium." In celebration, however premature, they've released the "Millennium Party Box with Confetti-Colored 'M&M's.'"
These turquoise, yellow, green, purple, red and white candies are also a limited edition. Each has an "mm" on it, rather than the traditional "M&M's," again a helpful reminder of the date change.
- If you want to collect all these limited-edition foods, don't forget Campbell Soup's "Limited Edition Spaghettios 2000." These Spaghettios have a pasta numeral 2 added to the tomato sauce.
The consumer of this lunch treat has the added chance of winning $2,000 instantly when they peal off that collectors edition label.
Don't worry, this 2000 delicacy is also available with meatballs.
- Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has jumped on the bandwagon with "Mil-Looney-Ums." It's a version of the popular dish with pasta in the shapes of Bugs Bunny and other Warner Bros. Looney Toon characters, as well as the numerals 2 and 0.
Always room for it
- Jell-O, another Kraft brand, is offering a 2000 Jell-0 mold. It's the party centerpiece for those who think a little Jell-O will shake up their New Year celebrations.
- Most Year 2000 foods target a younger audience. But a chocolate company in Fort Wayne, Indiana -- DeBrand Fine Chocolates -- has released a "Y2K Survival Kit." The kit consists of a 1-pound milk chocolate bar that says "Y2K Survival Kit: Bread, water, chocolate (bread and water optional)."
Maybe the chocolate bar can soothe the sting of an untoward Y2K-bug experience.
- If the chocolate isn't enough, there are plenty of sparkling wines and Champagnes stickered with "millennium" and "2000" labels.
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