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Cereal survey determines fate of dining hall cereal menu

| Friday, March 22, 2019

Students who saw Tony the Tiger, Lucky the Leprechaun and Fred Flintstone in North and South Dining Hall Thursday afternoon were not simply sleep deprived from their first week back after break.

These three beloved advertising cartoon mascots were invited to campus for Notre Dame’s annual Serious Cereal Survey event, where students vote for which cereals will be served in the dining halls next fall.

The survey allowed students to choose the dining hall they normally eat at and then pick their three favorite cereals at that dining hall. Students were also able to sample new cereals including Oreo O’s breakfast cereal, Nutter Butter breakfast cereal and others to vote whether they want the dining hall to add these cereals to the menu.

Currently, the top three most popular cereals at North Dining Hall are Special K with Red Berries, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms. The most popular cereals at South Dining Hall are Cracklin’ Oat Bran, Special K with Red Berries and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reggie Kalili, the assistant director for marketing for campus dining, said in an email.

Kenzie Hengesbach, a sophomore media assistant for campus dining, encouraged students to fill out the cereal survey at North Dining Hall. She said people seemed to be enjoying the new cereals, but people also stood by the typical ones.

“A lot of people today have actually gone for like Cracklin’ Oat Bran and just the classic cereals,” Hengesbach said.

Brian LaVaque, a Kellogg’s area sales manager, attended the event at North Dining Hall to encourage students to fill out the survey and to promote the Kellogg’s cereals.

“The cereal survey is a Notre Dame campus dining tradition, it’s been going on for a number of years, and Kellogg’s has been a part of it for a very long time,” LaVaque said. “It’s a great event to get student’s exposed to some new cereals that everyone has offer and give the students a choice to pick what cereals they want to see in the dining halls next fall.”

LaVaque specifically drew students’ attention to one of Kellogg’s newest breakfast cereals.

“Today we have all of our classic cereals out here, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks and Special K Red Berries, but the new one we want to get students to taste is the Cinnamon Frosted Flakes,” he said.

As freshman Caroline Tracey sampled the cereals, she said her go-to cereal at the dining hall is Lucky Charms, but she hopes the dining hall will consider serving Rice Krispies.

“They have the Cocoa Krispies, but not Rice Krispies which drives me crazy because then I have to buy the normal one at LaFun,” Tracey said.

Reflecting on the cereals she ate as a child, Tracey said her favorite cereal has changed over the course of her life.

“When I was a kid I ate a lot of Honey Bunches of Oats and Rice Krispies,” she said. “My mom wouldn’t buy Lucky Charms, so I would only get it at my friends’ houses, so now I eat it a lot.”

Tracey said she usually eats cereal in the dining hall for breakfast or for a snack, but freshman Helton Rodriguez said he thinks cereal could be either breakfast, a snack or dessert.

“A snack to me would just be the cereal by itself. Breakfast would be with milk, and maybe bananas and strawberries mixed in with it. And then for dessert, I’ve had yogurt and cereal with maybe jam on top,” Rodriguez said. “I think it all depends on how you make it.”

About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a member of the class of 2021 majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and is a former ND News Editor for The Observer.

Contact Serena