Cerealize, a new subscription website that allows consumers to design custom blended, organic breakfast cereal and have a box of it shipped to their home, took first prize for this year’s Startup Bus competition. Startup Bus is a mobile hackathon, where developers and entrepreneurs spend four days developing minimum viable web apps while traveling by bus to SXSWi in Austin.
Cerealize peaked my interest for a couple of reasons, most significantly for their fun and easy approach to tackling industry consolidation.
According to the Startup Bus website:
“More than a hundred years after its popularization, cereal remains a staple of the American diet, eaten by more than 80MM Americans every day. Yet, the cereal industry is highly consolidated with four large companies — Kellogg, General Mills, Post, and Quaker Oats — claiming the vast majority of market share (87%). Disrupting these incumbents presents a real challenge: barriers to competing successfully at retail include the need for extensive distribution networks and expensive demand-generation campaigns, both of which may be out of reach for most startup companies. But with Cerealize, we are leveraging the power of just-in-time production, direct-to-consumer sales, and a uniquely social business model that practically advertises itself to break into the category with less working capital than it would take to successfully launch a traditional in-store brand.”
Only time will tell if Cerealize will move from prototype to a business with mainstream traction. Still, their focus on customization, convenience and simplicity of design offer interesting lessons for organic food advocates looking for new ways to garner support for organic food.
Watch the video from TechCrunch TV below to learn more about Cerealize.