A canister arrived for me early this morning. Too large to contain Pringles or tennis balls, it could have been home to a bottle of whiskey. I opened the lid, peeled back the top, peered inside and found... cereal. Customized, hand mixed, organic, all natural, artisinal cereal – a mix of organic corn flakes, flaxed and flaked (consisting of organic corn, amaranth, flax and sesame), blueberry, choco goji and pecans. All chosen by me for me and delivered straight to my desk, ready to be munched on, courtesy of an ambitious new startup [me] & goji.
Based out of New England, and founded by three recent college grads who are still haunted by the taste of greasy dorm breakfasts, [me] & goji's aim is simple: it allows you to customize your cereal the healthy and sustainable way.There are a few similar services out there, such as UK based MyMuesli and Florida based MixMyGranola, but it's still a sparsely populated market.
It works like this: you go online, pick from a variety of organic and all natural ingredients — ranging from samurai wheat and artisinal cereal to choco goji and goldenberry – and have it all hand mixed and shipped to your door within a week. As you add ingredients to your virtual bowl, nutritional information and the price both update, so you know exactly what you're putting in, and how much you're shelling out.
Customized organic cereal is a novel idea, but one has to wonder whether it will take off. For one thing, there's the cost – my customized 600 gram canister cost $11.50 minus the shipping and the optional green tag that allows me to offset my carbon footprint. Throw in shipping and the optional green tag and before you know it you're up to about $15, a price tag most would balk at, particularly in this economy.
Then there's the fact that, unless you're a cereal connoisseur, you may have to prepare to be surprised. My inspired combination was not all I expected – the pecans didn't add the crunch I was hoping for, instead leaving my mix with a generous smattering of chewy softness. If you aren't an experimental personality, a visit to your neighborhood grocery store for some Cheerios might be your best bet.
There are definitely pros: the service is extremely convenient — the website is well designed and easy to use – and with minimal effort you get the cereal of your choice within a week. You also know the ingredients are good, you're eating healthy and doing your part for the environment. Finally, depending on the ingredients you pick, the cost may not be all that much compared to what you end up with after spending your lunch hour trawling Whole Foods looking for a similar mix. As with so much else nowadays, you can choose.