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Public Health Rep. 1987 Jul-Aug;102(4):398-403.

Effects of a health promotion advertising campaign on sales of ready-to-eat cereals.


The objective of this study was to determine how the sales of various segments of the high fiber and nonhigh fiber, ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal market were influenced by a health message advertising campaign about the possible benefits of a high fiber, low fat diet for preventing some types of cancer. The fiber statements in the media campaign were endorsed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The campaign was undertaken by the Kellogg Company to promote its line of high fiber cereal products, including Kellogg's All-Bran. The data base consisted of computerized purchase data from 209 Giant Food, Inc., supermarkets in the Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas. All the RTE cereal products in the stores were classified according to their fiber content and competitive market positions compared with Kellogg high fiber cereals. Estimates of market share for the various classes of RTE cereal products were obtained weekly for each store during a period of 64 weeks, beginning 16 weeks before the start of the campaign. Shifts in market share between high fiber and nonhigh fiber cereal classifications indicate substantial increases in consumer purchases of Kellogg high fiber cereals, particularly All-Bran, beginning with the start of the Kellogg advertising campaign. Growth in market share of high fiber cereals continued during the entire 48-week evaluation period, with much of the later growth in non-Kellogg high fiber cereals. Growth in sales of high fiber cereals was mainly at the expense of low fiber cereals such as granola-type products. The implications of these results for the competitive and educational effectiveness of commercially sponsored health and diet messages are discussed.

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