Today once again we’re back with another serving of Made in North Korea. Following our coverage of locally produced toothpaste, we thought it would fit to stick to the theme of morning necessities and what better way is there to do so but to explore North Korean cereal? Once again, after some prudent shopping at the Kwangbok Department Store we scooped up this unique product translated to “Fried Wheat” cereal with of course, a chocolate flavour to it! Again as with many products including Winnie the Pooh Chips and our the coffee biscuit snack, the cereal was produced by the Gyeongheung foods company, clearly a leading player in this sector in the DPRK. But what else is there to learn about what for us is just breakfast cereal? Let’s find out!
First of all, what is remarkable about this cereal, as we have mentioned with other products produced by Gyeongheung, is its remarkable ability to appeal to its target audience in line with international marketing standards. The product looks just like any form of cereal directed at children that you would find in stores throughout the world. It is colourful, descriptive and also bares the imagery of a cartoon of two young children in traditional dress with smiling faces of approval. In addition, it bares an idealized graphic of the cereal itself falling into the bowl of milk, a cliche trait in cereal marketing.
But of course, the presence of cereal itself is telling. What people have for breakfast in North Korea is evolving and being influenced by the outside wold. Given the hectic pace of North Korean work like which crosses both genders, cereal is something convenient and easy for breakfast than outright cooking ,there is a clear role for it to play. For those with children, a product like this is highly useful especially if you are a parent with work looming and the pressing need to get the kids to school. Thus, there is no doubt that the creators of this product knew they could make a successful outreach to young people by inventing a cereal based around chocolate, something which also indicates changing tastes.
The side of the box goes into considerable detail offering instructions on how to have the cereal properly. It also contains a list of ingredients as well as nutritional information, with emphasis on vitamins. This reflects not only international patterns again, but a growing consciousness of health and nutrition within some circles in North Korea. Despite stereotypes, food at least Pyongyang is clearly not in short supply, but there is a consciousness of choice and consideration in what people eat now. Moving up the chain of human needs, it’s not a question of survival anymore and broader questions such as health exist in people’s minds.
What about inside? Inside the North Korean cereal box the contents, like anywhere else in the world is also sealed within a transparent plastic bag for convenience, again carefully paying attention to what other brands do. The contents is accurately similar to what is displayed on the box, which is small curved chocolate pieces. Besides this smaller edition, bigger boxes of it were also for sale in the supermarket and although we didn’t purchase them, other brands were available too. All in all, this indicates a competitive and targeted cereal market with a clear emphasis on quality. As every post on our site has pointed out, it embodies changing lifestyles and tastes in North Korea.