Baltimore -- More and more sports figures nowadays are being welcomed to the breakfast table in kitchens across America.
New cereals to be rolled out this month by Famous Fixins, here, include honey-nut toasted oats and frosted flakes with names like Slammin' Sammy's, and Barry's MVP Crunch. These new entries in the Famous Fixins cereal line will honor Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa and San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds. By the end of the year, Miami Heat basketball player Alonzo Mourning will be added to the roster, with Zo's O's.
Other athletes slated to grace a cereal box include Seattle Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez and the Houston Astros' Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Ken Caminiti. The first cereal in the Famous Fixins line, rolled out in April, was Cal Ripkin's Toasted O's.
The cereals are the joint brainchild of manufacturer and distributor Famous Fixins and On Your Mark Packaging & Design Group, Overland Park, Kan. Cal Ripken's cereal, currently available in the Baltimore-Washington area, has been in high demand.
"Demand for the product has grown tremendously since our initial announcement a month ago. Almost every supermarket chain in the Baltimore/Washington area has been presented with the item, and commitments to carry it have been made by most," said Jason Bauer, president of Famous Fixins. "In fact, one supermarket chain's opening order is so large, it represents approximately 20% of the total revenue Famous Fixins did last year."
SN also spoke with Barry Scher, vice president of public affairs for Giant Food, Landover, Md., who said that "This is Cal's country. Since we are headquartered in the area, [the cereal] should continue to do well for us."
A percentage of the proceeds from the cereals will go to the athlete's charity of choice. According to Bauer, suggested retail price will be 20 cents below a national brand cereal. Bauer told SN that a major chain in the Chicago area has put in a very large order for the Sammy Sosa cereal.
Karen Ramos, spokeswoman for Jewel-Osco, Melrose Park, Ill., told SN, "We will be selling the Sammy Sosa cereal as a promotional item that will be available throughout the baseball season. We've made arrangements with Famous Fixins to sell the cereal off special displays in all our stores. It will be a popular item for us."
Other companies are also creating sports-related cereals. For example, Grist Mill, Lakeville, Minn., and Global Sports & Promotion, Cleveland, released the Albert Belle Slugger Cereal in May in the Baltimore/Washington area.