Surreal’s Breakfast Breakthrough: Nutella-Inspired Cereal Without the Nutella

Category

Branding

Read Time

3 min

Published

12 March, 2024

Popular cereal brand, Surreal, who are known for pushing the creative boundaries have struck again with their latest flavour of cereal.

Let me ask you a question:

When you hear the flavours chocolate and hazelnut being combined what brand do you think of?

I’m gonna take a wild guess, Nutella?

Nutella has dominated the chocolate / nut spread market since 1964 (!) and have pretty much made it nearly impossible for any other brand to replicate.

Unless they want to deal with a lawsuit that is.

But the clever branding and marketing teams at Surreal have put their heads together to create something that is as delightful as Nutella, without the risk of litigation.

That said, it’s only just.

There are certainly plenty of nods to Nutella, but of course, they’ve had to really emphasise the fact that their brand is absolutely, 100% NOT inspired by the aforementioned brand.

Surreal cereal advertising billboard
Credit to The Dieline
They’ve really leaned into it with advertising campaigns such as the one below, showing a billboard with the slogan: “We’re nut allowed to call it Notella…”. This accompanies a piled up bowl of cereal, a jar of gooey chocolate spread, and the branded cereal box.

Another indication of the original chocolate and hazelnut spread is the use of the colour palette. Nutella is well known for its use of red and black, with the ‘n’ always being in black and the rest of the lettering in red.

And would you believe it, that’s exactly the case for Surreal’s new choc hazelnut flavour as the ‘c’ is in black with the rest of the lettering also in red.

Surreal have pushed the boundaries further and taken an even braver approach with the labels of their gooey spread.

Ever so sarcastically, they read: “non-branded specific hazelnut spread”, again sporting the iconic colour palette that has been synonymous with the OG choc spread.

Personally when I look at it, I keep thinking that Surreal and Nutella have partnered up for a brand collaboration.

There’s no getting away from the fact that it is SO similar to the Nutella brand, and whilst Surreal have managed to get around any possible legal discrepancies, it’s by the skin of their teeth.

The colour palette and advertising slogans are what really seal the deal as it creates that instant sense of recognition that Nutella have built up over the years.
box of Surreal cereal on breakfast table
Credit to The Dieline
However, the addition of the man on the gondola is new to the design, which sort of creates a teeny sense of differentiation on the packaging at least.

I feel like only a cereal brand such as Surreal could get away with this though, as they’ve already made a name for themselves and established the brand as being quirky and daring.

Take a look at this story for example where they teamed up with a sexual wellness (condom) company for Valentines Day!

Our founder, Tony Hardy, added:

At this point, I’m honestly nut not sure what to believe or not believe when it comes from Surreal. They’ve taken so many liberties and made so many things, that I can’t tell if this is a real cereal, or if it’s another publicity stunt!

Whichever way you look at it, it’s clever marketing. They must retain the same legal team as Aldi.

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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