Not everyone in America is a health nut, and it seems General Mills had to learn that the hard way.
About two years ago, the Golden Valley-based food giant nixed artificial colors and flavors from its cereals – a move that the company seemed really excited about, and something it claimed consumers wanted.
“We’re simply listening to consumers and these ingredients are not what people are looking for in their cereal today,” Jim Murphy, president of General Mill's cereal division, said at the time.
General Mills said changing its cereals took years of researching flavors and colors. Some were easier to reformulate than others, but the bright, multi-colored Trix went through a major overhaul to replace artificial ingredients with fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts. They even changed the cartoon rabbit on the box to a real one.
But either the people who wanted healthier Trix weren't satisfied with the revamp, or the health-conscious weren't the ones buying Trix in the first place, because the complaints started rolling in.
Now the company is backpedaling. General Mills told GoMN "Classic Trix" is coming back due to "consumer demand."
"Our Trix fans have been calling us, emailing us, and reaching out to us on social media asking if we would consider bringing back the original formulation of Trix cereal with its vibrant colors," the company said in a statement on Friday.
It's a bit ironic, because Trix are for kids. But it sounds like General Mills is aiming to please millennials and other adults who grew up with the cereal.
"Consumers have differing food preferences, and we heard from many Trix fans that they missed the bright vibrant colors and the nostalgic taste of the classic Trix cereal," the statement says.
General Mills boasts that 90 percent of its cereals have no artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources, and that the company has "a cereal to meet nearly every consumer preference."
"Not everyone likes the same thing – and that’s perfectly ok. Our job is to make cereal people love and we are happy we can bring back Classic Trix for its fans," the company said.
Both types of consumers will have an option now, because the artificial-free version of Trix, which General Mills says "has its own fan base," will remain on store shelves.
That means when Classic Trix hits shelves in October, consumers will have to make the choice between the original or the "healthier" version.
(You know, kind of like when you go to Chipotle and force yourself to choose brown rice even though you want the more delicious white rice.)
And that's not all. General Mills is also addressing this elephant in the room:
"Another request from our ‘retro’ Trix fan base is to bring back the old fruit shapes – something we hope to be able to add in the future," the company said.
If that really happens, we'll probably have to side with #TeamClassicTrix.