Two CPG food brands bite into e-commerce

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Leading CPG companies Kellogg Co. and General Mills are testing the direct-to-consumer e-commerce waters with well-known product lines.

While in the last couple of years, a number of fast-food retailers have opened online stores featuring branded merchandise, it is interesting that two CPG giants are now launching online direct-to-consumer sales and marketing initiatives on the same day. Following are closer looks at each one.

Kellogg: Cheez-It debuts first online store
Kellogg is marking the 100th anniversary of its Cheez-It snack cracker brand by introducing an e-commerce site called Cheez-It HQ. Described by Kellogg as a “one-stop-shop,” Cheez-It HQ offers food products such as limited-time Cheez-It flavors. 

The site also features an assortment of Cheez-It-themed merchandise and apparel, including fanny packs, fleece blankets, hoodies, and aprons, with free shipping on orders of $25 or more. According to Kellogg, the site will feature new food and apparel drops in the future.

"The Cheez-It brand is always looking for new ways to connect with fans, and through this online shopping experience we're offering consumers a new platform to enjoy everything they love about Cheez-It in a fresh, exciting way," said Jordan Narducci, director of global direct to consumer e-commerce at Kellogg. "This direct-to-consumer site gives us the opportunity to bring future food innovations to market faster than ever before, while also collecting feedback from our consumers in real time."

General Mills: Cinnamon Toast Crunch virtual sweepstakes
The General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal brand is launching an online contest aimed at teens. Through Tuesday, Aug. 31, consumers age 13-18 can visit the immersive virtual experience offered at and obtain a chance to win free cereal and themed merchandise via a Cinnamon Toast Crunch package delivered to their door. 

The immersive online experience includes an animated 3-D view of a General Mills distribution center where the brand’s “Cinnamoji” mascots have taken over and are in control of the critical delivery logistics. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch package includes boxes of the cereal, as well as Cinnamoji socks, tees, and bags. Teens will have the opportunity to enter the sweepstakes once per day.

“We are thrilled to give some of our biggest fans more of what they love – Cinnamon Toast Crunch and awesome swag,” said Mindy Murray, senior marketing communications manager, General Mills. “While most contests and sweepstakes are for adults, we made sure this program is just for teens. That’s right, no grown-ups allowed. At the simple click of a button, teens have a chance to try their hand at receiving these goodies delivered right to their doorstep.” 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch will also launch a 2 million box giveaway in September 2021, for entrants 18 or older.