Ohh Cap’n, say it aint so.
If the internet hysteria is correct, it appears that Quaker Oats is putting an end to our beloved mouth-scraping morning delight, Cap’n Crunch.
You can’t find a picture of the blue-capped Cap’n anywhere on Quaker’s official website, and sales are reportedly way down: Cap’n Crunch did $118.6 million in sales in 2010, down 6.8% from a year earlier.
So who’s to blame for this apparent upcoming extinction of breakfast greatness? Sadly, but logically, a lot of the responsibility is falling on the shoulders of the White House’s anti-childhood obesity campaign. With 12 grams of sugar per serving, a bowl of Cap’n Crunch amounts to half the recommended daily intake for kids.
Jennifer Harris, food policy and obesity researcher at Yale University, says, “Our research shows PepsiCo is no longer marketing Cap’n Crunch cereal directly to children. They’ve retired Cap’n Crunch and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, children continue to view hundreds of ads per year for high-sugar cereals from General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post Foods."
Parent company PepsiCo is apparently forcing the good Cap’n, once the #1 breakfast cereal in America, to walk the plank. Last year, PepsiCo vowed to reduce added sugar per serving by 25 percent and saturated fat by 15 percent in its products over the next 10 years.
After the initial thrashing fit in the cereal aisle of the grocery store upon hearing the news, smashing inferior breakfast foods under my feet while screaming for the dearly departing Cap’n, a little bit of reason began to set in. Sure, we’ve rationalized the piercing jabs the sugar-crystallized corners of the squares inflict on our upper mouths for the sake of the delicious wonderment, but children cereals contain 85 percent more sugar, 65 percent less fiber and 60 percent more sodium when compared with adult cereals, according to the Rudd Center research. Those are serious numbers, and if Americans have any hope for reversing the course we’re on to become the people in the Wall-E movie someday, we’ve got to start somewhere.
Still, something tells me this may have something to do with it:
Update: Quaker Oats issued a statement to Ad Age saying that the cereal giant has no plans to end the deliciousness:
"Reports of Cap’n Crunch’s demise are greatly exaggerated. In fact, we just launched an official Facebook page for Cap’n Crunch. Now that our Cap’n Crunch brand is in the social-media space, our adult consumers can stay up to date on all things Cap’n Crunch."
A conspiracy? Smokescreen tactics? We’ll see… but damned if I didn’t stock up on 10 boxes last night, just to be safe.