Kellogg's has been producing Frosted Flakes for 60 years, but the Michigan cereal manufacturer may lose a few local customers this baseball season.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who last year became the first player since 1992 to win the Cy Young and MVP awards, this week introduced Fastball Flakes. The frosted-flake cereal is manufactured by PLB Sports, the celebrity-endorsed food company best known for Flutie Flakes - which taste exactly like Fastball Flakes.
Although Verlander and Doug Flutie apparently have similar breakfast cereal preferences, PLB Sports president Ty Ballou says not every athlete gravitates toward flakes.
"We do a honey-nut oat, we do a Rice Krispie-type," Ballou says. "We work with the athlete to do what they like. The product is national brand quality."
Currently, the only other frosted flake cereal in the PLB portfolio belongs to Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. PLB's website is now offering a buy one, get one free deal on Fleury Flakes.
"It's always dictated by the consumer," Ballou says of a product's run. "We've had some run 10 years."
Ballou - along with Detroit Tigers fans everywhere - is hoping Verlander will be a viable pitchman for at least a year or two. All proceeds from Fastball Flakes will benefit VA Hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.
While sales figures aren't yet available for Fastball Flakes, Ballou says initial response has been strong. "We have high expectations," he says.
PLB typically issues five or six products a year, and cereal is by far the most popular of the items they offer.
"We do mustards, we do sausage, but cereal's been our most successful," Ballou says, pointing out the collectible nature of boxes printed with favorite players' faces. "Cereal has the biggest upside."