Cereal cafes in Europe serving Lucky Charms This photo taken July 10, 2016, shows Pop Cereal Cafe in Lisbon, Portugal. Cereal cafes have spread around Europe as young professionals tap into a yearning for nostalgia and novelty with blends of sugary American and foreign cereals. (Pop Cereal Cafe via AP/Albert Stumm via AP)
Cereal cafes in Europe serving Lucky Charms
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Travelers wandering the streets of European capitals in search of old-world charm might just as likely stumble upon from the New World. The might find a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Cafes serving American breakfast cereal have exploded in popularity in Europe. Young entrepreneurs are tapping into both nostalgia and novelty. Customers pay between $3 and $9 a bowl. In U.S. supermarkets, you can buy entire boxes of cereal for less.

In the last two years, cafes have opened in many cities. These cities include London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, Hamburg and Manchester. The trend also has a toehold in the Middle East.

There's no single model for the cafes. But they tend to offer at least 100 brands. The also offer dozens of fruit and candy toppings, sweet syrups, and several kinds of milk. The milk includes nondairy and flavored varieties. Many also serve coffee, cereal-flavored milkshakes or soft-serve sundaes. Many provide inventive takes on Rice Krispies treats. These are like tiered cakes. The cakes are made from marshmallowy layers of Fruity Pebbles, Apple Jacks and other sugary cereals. Rare varieties from foreign countries also bring in homesick expats.

A classic bowl with milk is still the standard. But they're often topped with combinations. These combinations go far beyond what most Americans would recognize as a breakfast banana sliced over Corn Flakes.

At Pop Cereal Cafe in Lisbon, there is a very popular mix. It includes Froot Loops and Rice Krispies with mini marshmallows and dried strawberries. Then it is topped with strawberry syrup, a waffle cookie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is served with a side of milk in a glass bottle.

"Cereal has existed for what, a hundred years?" This was the question posed by one of Pop's three owners, 32-year-old Filipe Vicente. "But for a hundred years it was cereal and milk and that was pretty much it. Now this product has so many varieties. The combinations are endless. We think, what about ice cream or pudding? Why not?"

Brightly colored boxes line the shelves at Pop. This is for both practical and decorative purposes. A bunkbed and padded benches let patrons doze off for a quick nap. Pop also has hosted events. These include a pajama party with a live band called Beliche. That is Portuguese for bunkbed.

Vicente was a mechanical engineer until 2016. He said they got the idea from seeing Cereal Killer Cafe in London. It was the first of its kind in Europe. Identical twins from Belfast had opened it in 2014 after they saw cereal cafes in the United States. It was also after watching the 2007 independent movie "Flakes." Now Cereal Killer has two more stores in England and branches in Jordan, Dubai and Kuwait.

Cafes that had opened in Chicago, Florida and Texas have since mostly closed, but two flashy entries opened recently in New York, a Kellogg's-branded flagship near Times Square and one inside a designer sneaker store in Brooklyn.

Despite making inroads elsewhere, nowhere has the trend caught on quite like it has in Europe, whose grocery stores never stocked the hundreds of varieties that fill entire aisles of American supermarkets.

Nicolas Castan, one of three people behind El Flako in Barcelona, said the lack of experience led to some risky combinations after they opened in the spring of 2017.

"Almost half the people would make their own but they wouldn't finish it because they were making really weird mixes, like Froot Loops with chocolate Krave," said Castan, who previously worked in public relations. "So, we tried to make sure the combinations are balanced with both flavor and texture."

On one recent afternoon, all of El Flako's 20 seats were filled, mostly with Spanish speakers who giggled at the menu's fruity, chocolatey, honey or healthy combinations. Lining the white shelves around them were technicolor boxes of Sugar Smacks, Disney Princess and dozens of others cereals, as well as potted plants labeled with first names of famous rock singers like Patti, Jim and Alice. A soundtrack of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and The Clash pumped out of the speakers.

Castan, 29, said the nod to classic rock points to the origins of the boxed-cereal boom in the 1960s and '70s. "We have a concept of going back to the roots, returning to being a kid, back to the origins."

The combination of novelty and atmosphere were enough to bring Maria Roca, a 19-year-old student from the University of Barcelona, back a second time with a friend, Nuria Amor, 19.

"It's not cheap, but it's not really expensive," said Roca, who had a 5.60 euro combo of Cookie Krisp, Choco Krispies, Kinder chocolates, M&Ms, bananas and chocolate milk. "And it's something original, so I wanted to show her."

Would they be back?

"Yes, for sure," said Amor, who had Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Jacks with honey, apples and wheat milk. "It was really good, and you wouldn't do that at home."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might eating a cereal in a cafe be appealing to customers?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (62)
  • Navi-bla
    10/19/2017 - 11:37 a.m.

    Eating cereal might be appealing to customers because it is something new and people. In Europe people do not have the same cereal as people in the U.S. do so they want to have a variety to mix. Also, it was a cool thing like having so many varieties like mixing strawberries and corn flakes. The idea of mixing cereal and having toppings is a cool idea and they should have one here.

  • Doreen-bla
    10/19/2017 - 11:43 a.m.

    My article was about cereals severing in restaurant. The first serving cereals in restaurant was in Europe. Serving cereal in a café can be appealing to customers because maybe the restaurant serves a different milk than what you drink at home, and is a great way to experience it. Also maybe combing ceral and ice cream is a great choice to. The café might serve things to go with cereal that you might need to try.

  • Alex-bla1
    10/19/2017 - 03:10 p.m.

    I think eating cereal might be appealing to customers because it is cool, and has not really been done in other cafe's. The first cafe to have cereal was in Europe. People in Europe do not really have the same cereal as the U.S, so it is cool for them to try mixing different varieties of cereals, toppings, and milks. And also, people said in the article that '' it's not cheap, but it's not really expensive.'' and people are giving the cafe good reviews.

  • SarahT-del
    10/19/2017 - 04:24 p.m.

    I think its a ripoff that in Europe you must pay $3-$9 for a cereal while here there's a box of Lucky Charms for less. Yet cool that there's a cafe for just cereal; in America you highly unlikely wont find that.
    My favorite cereal has to be Frosted Flakes. Its crunchy yet its so flavorful with the white powder kind of glued on to the flake. It doesn't make it bare for kids who like sugar.

  • AkshayB-del
    10/19/2017 - 04:59 p.m.

    Overall the story was interesting to read. Three facts or information that i learned was that in Europe you can different combinations of food on your cereal even candy,cafes serving American breakfast cereal have exploded in popularity in Europe,customers pay between $3 and $9 a bowl. In U.S. supermarkets, you can buy entire boxes of cereal for less which means cereal has exploded in Europe. My favorite cereal is frosted flakes and apple jacks because it is sugary so its sweet for me. Mr. Delwey whats your favorite cereal???

  • TiffanyW-del
    10/19/2017 - 05:05 p.m.

    Europe doesn’t have lucky charms, so eating cereal in a cafe might be appealing to customers. I think it is very smart to mix up cereals for them to try, and not just the cereal they are used to eating.

  • KiaraB-del
    10/19/2017 - 05:17 p.m.

    I found the article very interesting. I liked the cafe it sounds like they have a lot of cool decretive cereal with all the toppings on it. I would like to go to that cafe someday.

  • SaraM-del
    10/19/2017 - 05:17 p.m.

    In this article, it describes caes that serve varieties of cereal brands.In these cafes, some of them create different combinations of cereal. These cafes are mostly located in Europe, but very few in the USA. My favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

  • ChloeT-del
    10/19/2017 - 05:23 p.m.

    This article is about cafes around the world that offer different kinds of cereal with different kinds of toppings. It is very popular and people really enjoy it! They are served with a side of coffee, cereal flavored milk shakes, or soft-serve sundaes. They wanted to make cereal options different than what you would normally do at home. I have two favorite cereals. They are Cocoa Pebbles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. They are so good! They give an outstanding flavor and are the best! I eat them with Rice Milk because I can't have dairy, and it tastes really good!

  • EthanG-del1
    10/19/2017 - 05:24 p.m.

    It may be appealing since more people will eat breakfast there.

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