After a massive revolt, the old Rice Krispies are back – but pricier and imported from the UK
After more than a year of consumer revolt, Kellogg’s has caved and will sell the original Rice Krispies again in South Africa.
But it has to import the product from the UK, because it “no longer has the manufacturing capability” to produce the old favourite in South Africa.
In 2018, the company launched new versions of Rice Krispies, Coco Pops, and Strawberry Pops in South Africa. They did not go down well.
The move from single grain to whole-grain in both Coco Pops and Strawberry Pops was unenthusiastically received, but the changes to Rice Krispies – which was replaced by Rice Krispies Vanilla - sparked the bigger outrage.
Rice Krispies, which first went on sale in 1928, are traditionally made from a paste of rice and sugar, which is then toasted. (The kernels are hollow, and when milk is added, the rice walls collapse, causing it to “snap, crackle and pop”.)
Rice represents only 48% of the Rice Krispies Vanilla - from 89.8% in the original. Corn flour (13%) (which may be genetically modified, according to the company) as well as whole wheat flour (10%) are some of the new ingredients.
In addition, the company added much more sugar to “enhance the crispiness”. The new formula has a thin coating of sugar – which is equivalent to 1.5 teaspoon per serving. The new Rice Krispies Vanilla contains 21.7g sugar for every 100g – from only 9g previously.
The move to the new multi-grain formula in Rice Krispies Vanilla presumably saved Kellogg’s money; it could use local grains instead of more expensive imported rice. South Africa is the ninth biggest importer of rice in the world, due to a shortage of local rice crops.
But the backlash against the new Rice Krispies Vanilla will also have hurt its bottom line.
“We have listened to our consumers and understand that many consumers enjoyed the original Rice Krispies,” Zandi Mposelwa, head of external relations at Kellogg Sub Saharan Africa told Business Insider SA. “We have therefore decided to relaunch it in the market, whilst keeping the Rice Krispies Vanilla variant to ensure that we meet different consumer needs for variety.”
Imports of the original Rice Krispies from the UK started last month. “We are importing the product from the UK because we no longer have manufacturing capability to manufacture the product in South Africa,” she said.
According to a Times Live report, a 510g box of imported original Rice Krispies will cost around R70. A 600g box of Vanilla Rice Krispies currently costs R47.99 at Game.