IHOP, General Mills make 'pancake cereal' two years after TikTok trend – Business Insider

Two years after pancake cereal swept TikTok, you can buy boxes of cereal inspired by the trend.
Restaurant chain IHOP and General Mills, which makes Cheerios and Lucky Charms, is releasing a blueberry-and-syrup-flavored mini pancake cereal. The product will appear at some retailers later this month, with a national rollout scheduled for January, IHOP and General Mills said in a statement announcing the cereal.
Pancake cereal took off in early 2020 when TikTok users posted videos of themselves making tiny pancakes – sometimes smaller than a dime. Videos featuring the trend quickly accumulated a billion views, according to Thrillist.
Some users topped their mini pancakes with milk. Others opted for butter and syrup. But almost all ate their mini pancakes with a bowl and spoon, highlighting the parallel with cereal.

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“After the viral moment in 2020, we knew guests had an appetite for an IHOP cereal,” IHOP Chief Marketing Officer Kieran Donahue said in the statement. “We helped create this iconic cereal in hopes that our guests would look forward to it any time of day.”
General Mills and rivals such as Kellogg’s have been trying to stoke interest in cereal for years. Sales have declined as consumers look for less-sugary options.
The companies got a break during the pandemic, when sales rose as consumers ate more of their meals at home. But as society has reopened, they have had to come up with new products and marketing strategies to keep customers buying.
The pancake cereal is also the latest example of big food companies trying to respond to social media trends — or make their own. 
In a campaign featuring “Mean Girls” star Lindsay Lohan, Pepsi is trying to get soda drinkers to mix its eponymous soft drink with milk. The campaign is the company’s take on the “dirty soda” trend on TikTok, which involves mixing soda with cream and syrup. 
Food giant Kraft Heinz has also rolled out a series of social media campaigns for its brands, including one asking Heinz ketchup customers to leave a “tip for Heinz” if restaurants they frequent don’t have the ketchup brand on hand. Another asked consumers to tweet at McDonalds and ask the fast food chain to add Kraft’s Mac & Cheese to its Big Mac.
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