Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sally's Natural Cereals -- Marshmallow Mini's

Every once in a while I get taken when I try to buy responsibly produced health foods for our family.  Sadly, I may have had that experience again today.

I was walking through Costco and noticed a new cereal (new to Costco) made by Sally's Natural Cereals.  With my wife and two kids in tow I didn't have a lot of time to read the box, but what stood out were the phrases, "no high fructose corn syrup", "no fake colors, flavors, or preservatives", and "every bite supports renewable wind energy".  Sounded good, so I threw it in the cart.  And besides, I was helping Sally grow her business.  Kudos to her for getting noticed by Costco, right?

Then I got home and actually spent more time learning about this new find.  Here is what I discovered:

1.  Sally's Natural Cereals (implying more than one) is not sold on Amazon.com or anywhere online for that matter.  Odd.
2.  Sally's Natural Cereals has no actual business address, just a PO Box number.
3.  Sally's Natural Cereals has no web site.  Nobody has blogged about her (or her cereals) and there are no news articles pertaining to her company.
4.  The bottom of the box doesn't say it was MADE by Sally, but only that it was distributed by her.  (All of a sudden the little story about Sally's busy household on the top of the box is beginning to look just like that -- a story.  I'm becoming more convinced that "Sally" doesn't really exist).

Now I'm nearly convinced that a major corporation is using "Sally's" (or rather hiding behind) to replicate the success of "Annie's" line of products.  Could this be true?

The challenge:  Sally.  If you really exist (and I really hope you do), let us into your world a bit.


UPDATE:  11/30/2011 -- Costco now carries this fulltime.  And, while walking my grocery store isle yesterday I noticed another brand (http://momsbestnaturals.com/) with the exact same cereal enclosed.  It seems they are marketing this under a variety of brand names.

30 comments:

  1. I just came across your blog when doing an internet search on this exact cereal - having had the same experience you did! (Yay, "healthy" version of Lucky Charms). Anyway, further searching reveals it to be the Malt-O-Meal company, also based in Minneapolis (it filed for a trademark for the marshmallow mini's name in December).

    Not sure if that changes your feeling about it.

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  2. I have just happened upon your site by the same search! I bought this cereal on Sunday. I wanted to know more about the company and what other products they might sell. My biggest complaint about this supposed "all natural" cereal is the fact that there almost seems to be more marshmallows than cereal. A LOT more marshmallows than say, Lucky Charms. Of course, my 4 year old loves it, and now we have a huge box of cereal to finish...but I won't be buying it again. I could probably just give my son a bowl of candy for breakfast and be no worse off.

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  3. Thank you for the research! The cereal may be good (we haven't tried it yet). I just hope for transparency from companies.

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  4. Just because it is all natural, no HFCS, doesn't mean it is low sugar. I got this for those listed reasons and think it just happens to be super Delicious! See it as a responsible snack, no a nutritious start to your day.

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  5. Sally's Marshmallow's are incredibly addicting! I wonder why my local Costco doesn't offer it anymore.

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  6. I, too, was fooled by their claim of No High Fructose Corn Syrup - large on the front of the box. Being in a hurry (shame on me), I didn't read the ingredients. Corn syrup is in both the marshmallows as well as the "oat" cereal. What a joke - I'm not buying this again either. And, I really am angry b/c I feel this was deceptive labeling.

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    Replies
    1. "corn syrup" is different than "high fructose corn syrup", isn't it?

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    2. Yes, they are different in that one has more glucose and the other more fructose, but derived from similar methodology using the same source (in the United States that source is corn). See this blog post: http://livingpureandsimple.blogspot.com/2012/03/are-corn-syrup-and-high-fructose-corn.html

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  7. I bought this cereal at Costco last month...It is so delicious! I just searched it online because I was going to order a few boxes online...but I couldn't find it! shucks!

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  8. The "Sally" angle is silly marketing bunk, but I'm a fan of this cereal. Lots of marshmallows - about half the carbs are sugar - make it about as sugary as cap'n crunch or nutrigrain bars. Not as healthy as plain old cheerios, but a better snack than potato chips or pop, imo.

    I like the "natural" emphasis - I'm glad to see a cereal without artificial colors (I'm sensitive to petroleum-based stuff like red #40) and no added vitamins. As for the earlier comment: corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup are not the same thing.

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  9. When I Googled "Marshmallow Mini's" it was for a different reason: the product name is grammatically incorrect. It's one thing for a mom-and-pop shop to get it wrong. It's deflating that a professional marketing entity -- much less one contracted by the likes of Malt-O-Meal -- would make such a colossal error as to use an apostrophe to pluralize. Perhaps corporate shame is why it's no longer available by that name.

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  10. If you already buy the original version of the cereal and then you try the Sally's version, you will be convinced of the new version's quality. At Costco, we recently discovered Cocoa Crackles which is a version of Cocoa Crispies. They don't burn your throat like high fructose versions do. You can really taste a cocoa flavor. I too was searching to see if there were any other varieties but they seem to only be available in Canada according to their website (which now exists). I was also suspicious of the Sally name since I saw they were manufactured in Minneapolis, the headquarters of a few big cereal manufacturers. That being said, I think it is a good product.

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  11. I found this today at Walmart (I am in Oshawa, Ontario). I haven't tried it yet but it looks good. Here is a link to the website: http://sallyscereal.ca

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  12. they sell all the flavours in 722g bags at my walmart for $3

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  13. Looks like "Sally's Natural Cereals" no longer exists. The website linked above is for "Sally's Cereal" and there is no mention of Marshmallow Mini's or Cocoa Crackles.

    This is incredibly unfortunate if this is the case. We just picked up a box of the crackles at Costco and it was great. Much better cocoa flavor than you'd get from any of the rest.

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  14. We bought the Marshmallow Mini's and my 5-yr-old twin daughters LOVE it - and were sad when our Costco no longer had them, as well. We then discovered the Cocoa Crackles, which I had to try, too... (chocaholic here) My daughters are right about this one - what an amazing, REAL cocoa flavor! And while it does contain "corn syrup" - note that corn syrup is NOT the same as HFCS. I would buy the Cocoa Crackles again in a heartbeat.

    If Malt-O-Meal IS the manufacturer, I do not have a problem with that. A former colleague of mine's father is (was?) the CEO of the company and I have no concerns about his morals - his daughter & I are both mental health providers and her ethics match mine... and her father is her hero. :) Also, living in Mpls, I happen to know that Malt-O-Meal is nowhere NEAR the "same" as GM (General Mills) or the other "biggees" that make cereals.

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  15. http://sallyscereal.ca/about-us/
    Found this as mentioned above and found both the marshmallow minis and cocoa crackles along with a whole line of cereals offered. I stumbled upon your blog looking for more info since I have found these at my MI Costco and wondered what their story is. I will be checking them out more as my kids love the cereals and I wanted to see who was really making them.

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  16. http://sallyscereal.ca/about-us/
    $3.00 a bag at Walmart, Canada - very happy :D

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  17. yes wally world has them and the fake sugar crisp is freakin addictive awesome and I'm 48 years old and fit as a horse so bit me you health foody nutjobs !!!

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  18. http://sallyscereal.ca/about-us/

    Here's the website for the brand.. I fell in love with the Chocolate Chip Bundles, they are delicious...and made with whole wheat, one serving has 5 grams of fiber!

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  19. I agree the packaging is misleading. But, the nutrition facts and list of ingredients do not lie, and both are okay with me, whether it's baked by a person named Sally or a big corporation.

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  20. They sell Sally's Coco Crackles at Sprouts Farmers market in Dublin, CA, I looked on the website link a few people gave and no where on the site does it list the coco flavor and when you do a search for stores that sell it, nothing comes up for California. Any other info on the company?

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  21. Looks like they now sell a similar cereal branded as "Three Sisters" at Whole Foods. Tastes pretty much the same as the Sally's Marshmallow Cereal that I bought at Costco last year.

    https://www.facebook.com/3SistersCereal?sk=app_6009294086

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  22. I bought Sally's apple cinnamon oatmeal. The ingredient list is pretty respectable. The only peice I am not happy about is the 'natural flavor'. Turns out the flavoring really tarnishes the natural flavor of the oatmeal. I did not like it... Plus the wolf in sheeps clothing thing is offensive to me. If a company wants to come into the whole food market, they should do it honestly.

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  23. Having recently become hyper-suspicious of foods that may be produced and/or packaged in China, is this proven to not be the case? Is there sufficient data printed on the box to prove that it is either USA or Canada sourced? I won't buy food that I suspect as having been produced, processed, or packaged in China. Call me paranoid, I don't care. :)

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  24. No matter what, this is just another junk cereal marketing to us on a healthy angle, no HCFS - but when it comes down to it, this and most other cereals are manufactured using extruded methods which are toxic and no good for us or our children. We should question why there is no research on the health benefits or detriments in relation to cereals. http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Cereal.html

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  25. hey wix dot com do you like potato salad and half pint of milk what about a cosmos without alcohol partnership for a fitch free cosmos age of transparency Juhly Cook said churches are fitch factories cigarette smoking and olive nut spread

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  26. I just bought the chocolate corn puffs because they were not very expensive and gluten free, plus they advertised that they were all natural, but once I got home and read the ingredients I saw that sugar was the first on the list. Needless to say they are not healthy and they are now my partners to eat, as I will not be consuming them.

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  27. I just bought the chocolate corn puffs because they were not very expensive and gluten free, plus they advertised that they were all natural, but once I got home and read the ingredients I saw that sugar was the first on the list. Needless to say they are not healthy and they are now my partners to eat, as I will not be consuming them.

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