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What's for breakfast?


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I have recently done extensive research on the Beijing market for imported breakfast cereal and can now share these observations:

China imports cereal from USA, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. China just started manufacturing their own cheap domestic brands but so far supermarket sampling promotions appear to be failing to even give it away for free.

The American and British imports are most expensive and include popular brands from Kellogg's, Post, and General Mills. I would like to meet the Chinese genius responsible for bringing Marshmallow Alpha-Bits into the Middle Kingdom. Actually, there are a few imported cereals in China that to my knowledge are not available in America. The chocolate variety of Crispix is an outstanding delicious example.

Speaking of chocolate, my two favorite imported cereals are the Spanish copy of Cocoa Krispies called "Nampa Zampa" and the British cocoa concoction from Weetabix called "Chocoriffic Weetos"

The Spanish cereals compete at a lower price and thus I now have the complete collection of shiny El Dorado cartoon stickers which I plan to give away to some lucky kids on my next remote ancient kiln site expedition.

The Germans may be engineering wizards but they apparently don't know jack about making Fruit Loops. I am of course referring to Hahne's "Hula Hoops" which truly 'pales' in comparison to the American original in part because they refuse to use bright artificial colors and also because it tastes like unsalted pretzels dipped in milk.

The last one I tried was Italian corn flakes just so I 'd have the novelty of eating something from Italy other than gelato and pizza. However since my image of Italian food is gelato and pizza I guess I was disappointed that the Italian corn flakes did not have an extra fruity taste or include sun dried tomato bits on them.

I still don't see a lot of Beijing natives buying breakfast cereals and the majority of customers seem to be foreigners who have long since fulfilled their quota of baozi and mantou and seek something familiar for a change.

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Personally I make my own museli (I haven't found any locally made museli, and if I bought the imported stuff I'd have to give up rent) using the oatflake things easily available and raisins and banana chips.

Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are still the king of breakfast though, and indeed the emperor of midnight snacks and the Prince Regent of somewhat unsubstantial lunches. Available at Carrefour, at a price . . .


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  • 3 months later...
  • 7 months later...

Has anybody else seen Kellogg's Chocolate Crispix in China? I bought it in Beijing but when I visited the USA recently I could not find it anywhere.

I called the Kellogg's company headquarters and they told me it's only available in the Asia market.

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KKKellogg's are liars! We have Chocolate Crispix in Australia!!! As well as honey flavour (which are equally good)... and I think there's a new flavour that just came out, but I'm not sure. I like them better than Coco Pops. Coco pops are pretty good, but crispix have more to them, and I think the chocolate milk you get after eating them is just a bit sweeter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, thank your Lucky Charms; in Chengdu we make do with Nestle "we own almost everything, just give us time" products: Cheerios, Trix, Koko Krunch, and something called "Milk and Egg Stars" featuring Astro Bear or some such mascot. Then there's the German stuff from Hahne: Cornflakes and Hula Hoops (a rip-off of Froot Loops, as if ripping off something so completely artificial was any great accomplishment) and Seitenbacher: Extruded Whole Wheat Tubes?? You'd think the Germans would have gotten a handle on translating their language with a bit of nuance by now. Some healthy stuff from Britain from Mornflake (Fruit Oats) and then there's the Chinese brand "Morning" featuring a slew of cartoon characters to promote their cereals: Sun Wukong for some chocolately discs, Supergirl In Doorman's Epaulets for some rather inocuous-looking puffs 'n raisins, and everyone's favorite cartoon character Karen Mok for what looks like Karen's Love Loops (litttle rings with heart-shaped, frooty centers).

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I believe most of the Kellogg's cereals imported into China come from Australia. US headquarters told me that Australia is responsible for distribution in the Asia market.

Thanks for the Chengdu update. I will be going to Chengdu later this summer. Cheerios and Trix are General Mills cereals, not Nestle. I have seen Trix given away as free samples in Beijing supermarket promotions.

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damn you guys are strange...While in China, i never felt the urge to eat that factory-produced crap made from leftover pig food...no offence :mrgreen:

but I do agree that some european cereals are far superior to their american counterparts.

As for the German fruitloops that taste like pretzels, the solution is rather simple - you just add ink and sugar and they'll be just as nutritous as the American ones :wink:

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Cheerios and Trix are General Mills cereals, not Nestle.

Not in China, they aren't...Nestle jv's with General Mills outside the U.S. (Nestle gets the strong cereal brand name, General Mills gets the international recognition of its partner and its powerhouse distribution network) resulting in "Nestle Trix," "Nestle Cheerios," etc. etc.

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