Schoolyard Snacks Proves Pivoting Can Grow Your Business

by Matt Weik

Does the name Schoolyard Snacks sound familiar to you? If not, how about The Cereal School? If you follow my content it should. The Cereal School was a brand that produced high protein cereal products. Personally, I loved the product and the idea behind it but other than coming out with new flavors, how are you really supposed to scale a business that is put in a corner with the word “cereal” in its brand name and identity? The only thing people would associate with the brand would be cereal.

Now, I love the idea of healthy alternatives to some of the most commonly consumed foods, but it feels like there’s a ceiling on a brand’s growth potential if all they focus on and produce is cereal. That’s where Schoolyard Snacks was created. The Cereal School decided to pivot and launch new products but also understood the name of their company would need to change so there wouldn’t be any confusion.

Schoolyard Snacks Leverages Heavy Snack Market

The brand formerly known as The Cereal School already has a bunch of amazingly flavored cereals like Fruity, Cocoa, Apple Pie, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter, Berries, and Cinnamon Bun. At this point, I’m not sure if the “Cereal School” name on the packaging will remain or if it will be changing to Schoolyard Snacks. Either way, I don’t see it being a problem, but just be aware that if they do change the name on the cereal packaging, there will be a transition and flow-through of old products that may still have the old branding on it.

That being said, with the “relaunch” and rebranding, Schoolyard Snacks is moving more into the healthy snacking and high protein snack option space. I’m not going to lie, it’s a tough market to be in and there is A LOT of competition out there already who are producing similar products and going after the same customers – IWON Organics comes to mind.

The first product(s) that Schoolyard Snacks decided to bring to market is a Keto Cheddar Cheese Puff as well as a Keto Flaming Hot Puff. The profiles are clean as you’re only getting 100 calories for the entire bag along with 5g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates, 1g of sugar, and 14g of protein. Overall, it’s a clean product that many will find intriguing.

The ingredient list is fairly short, and you can actually pronounce everything listed (which is not really common these days with all the junk being tossed into “healthy” products) and the main source of protein is coming from milk protein isolate.

In addition, the product is made in the USA, can be used by diabetics, is gluten and grain-free, is non-GMO, contains all-natural ingredients, has no artificial sweeteners or colors, and contains no soy or nuts.

If you were to ask what the product looks like, I’d say it looks just like a normal cheese puff from any brand you’d see on the shelf of your local grocer (only those are loaded with a bunch of junk and are nowhere near the nutritional profile of the Schoolyard Snacks version).

How Many Supplement Brands Will Die by Refusing to Change?

There’s nothing wrong with thinking you have the best brand on the market, but when your product portfolio is fairly small (such as only having a single product in multiple flavors), you better have some crazy sales to justify not wanting to pivot and make some changes.

You can look at brands like EAS. One of the major reasons why EAS went out of business is because they refused to change. They were so dead set in their ways that they couldn’t find their way out of a cardboard box. They were comfortable and in business when you are comfortable, you’re in trouble. Growth in business comes from getting uncomfortable.

I hate to name drop but there are two brands who I feel the writing may be on the wall if they don’t strategize their next move and how they can become relevant again. Those two brands are MET-Rx and Labrada. Those names should definitely sound familiar as they are legacy brands but then again, so was EAS – and how did that turn out for them?

Big brands are sitting in their fancy offices looking at sales numbers and wondering why they continue dropping. In the next breath, they sit there scratching their head as to why all of these smaller brands popping up are crushing them. It’s because these smaller brands are quick to pivot and make a change when they see something isn’t working or when they see the customer’s needs (or the market) is changing.

I’m no Nostradamus here, but I’m willing to bet we are going to see a bunch of supplement brands and supplement retailers go out of business in the next five years. The industry is supersaturated and if you don’t innovate, you die.

Schoolyard Snacks, I applaud you for thinking ahead, seeing that there needs to be a bigger play with the brand outside of cereal, and you decided to act swiftly. Too many brands will either not look to pivot or they will sit there thinking about it for too long and eventually their business disappears.

If you haven’t tried the Schoolyard Snacks Cheese Puffs, I highly recommend it. And if you like hot and spicy things, their Flaming Hot will be right up your alley.