Beer: The Breakfast of Co-Branding Champions

According to corporate legend, iconic American breakfast cereal Wheaties was invented in 1922 when a Minnesota clinician working for the Washburn Crosby Company (later General Mills) accidentally spilled a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove. The concoction was perfected, sold, and Wheaties started using its famous slogan "Breakfast of Champions" in 1927. One imagines that it was soon after that when someone poured a frosty adult beverage before noon and declared, with an arched eyebrow and a wry smile, that they were indeed partaking of the true "Breakfast of Champions."

Now many years later, in a clever twist of co-branding synergy (and perhaps a bit of the "if you can't beat 'em, join em" philosophy), General Mills has partnered with fellow Minneapolis company Fulton craft brewery to bring HefeWheaties, a wheat-based hefe weizen type beer, to market.

Some might balk at an alcohol partnership for the brand, which historically has tailored its marketing to root America's youth on to athletic excellence. But, the campaign will no doubt bring the Wheaties brand exposure and media buzz it would not have enjoyed otherwise. Someone at General Mills obviously did the math, and decided to gamble that the risk was worth the reward.

Interested in rewarding yourself with a liquid Breakfast of Champions? HefeWheaties is only available for shipment or purchase inside Minnesota, and it is a limited time run.

Mikhael Bortz is an intellectual property, media and business attorney based out of Chicago and Miami. Mikhael specializes her legal practice in worldwide intellectual property, fine art issues, licensing, merchandising, branded entertainment, technology, and social media.

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