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Why is Stephen Colbert Talking About Breakfast Cereal?

June  9, 2016

What was the big food industry news that had Stephen Colbert, Chance the Rapper, and Skrillex talking about the decline in breakfast cereal sales over the past decade?

On Monday, General Mills launched its first new cereal brand in fifteen years—and it plays on a trend most of us don't find trendy anymore: toast. (But now, it's miniature!)

This month, you'll be able to find Tiny Toasts in blueberry and strawberry flavors in your local cereal aisle. As the Tiny Toast website declares: "Humans Can’t Resist Tiny Toast." (I won't even try.)

It's safe to say that by the time huge companies catch wind of a trend, develop their own marketable, profitable variation, and test the prototypes by placing pieces in a giant maze and recording how fast it takes mice to find them... that trend is probably old news.

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Many of us were first alerted of "a potentially annoying San Francisco food trend: artisanal toast" back in 2014, when the This American Life broadcast came out—then were reminded of it every single day on Instagram, at long-lined brunch places, on our own site for the past two years. According to General Mills, work on the cereal began a year ago—at which point, consumers were already used to seeing $5 toasts on breakfast menus.

Now, General Mills has taken that trend and immortalized it. If Cinnamon Toast Crunch was Wonder Bread and butter, Tiny Toasts is whole-grain sourdough topped with homemade almond butter and some hemp seeds. Why not?

So there you have it: Now you can eat toast without even turning on your toaster. And if you don't like toast, you'll be reassured: “We heard from several consumers that the Blueberry Tiny Toast tastes like a blueberry muffin, which is just awesome praise. That’s exactly what we were going for," said Mike Evenson, product developer in General Mills' Innovation, Technology, and Quality division.

Happy Memorial Day! 🇺🇸 @talinegabriel captured our kinda reds, whites and blues (🌟 too!).

A photo posted by Food52 (@food52) on

And if you're a fan of homemade toast and you're not going to budge, there are options for you, too:

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • bruce Murray
    bruce Murray
  • Nancy Mck
    Nancy Mck
  • 702551
  • Niknud
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


bruce M. June 10, 2016
People will still eat a cereal with nine grams of sugar per serving? That's awful! It's nine times as much sugar as Cheerios. Don't do that to your children - or yourselves.
Nancy M. June 6, 2016
I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I would probably love the strawberry variety too. I'm not proud.
Niknud June 9, 2016
Own it - there's no shame in loving the Cinnamon Toast Crunch! And the delicious cinnamon sugar milk that's left in the bottom of the bowl....
702551 June 6, 2016
Definitely not a first from this company:

Been there, done that.
Sarah J. June 6, 2016
Yep! And Cinnamon Toast Crunch, too. But I'd argue that French toast is (probably) not a part of the artisanal toast trend.
702551 June 9, 2016
Curious, this post is dated today June 9th whereas my comment above is from the 6th. I posted it to a June 6th article with a different headline that had no mention of Stephen Colbert.

I had no idea this site is recycling three-day old content with trivial edits.
Sarah J. June 9, 2016
Hi cv,

Yes, the post went up Monday morning, and I updated it after Colbert's Tuesday show to include the video.