The Controversy Over Kellogg’s Day of the Dead Cereals
Last month Kellogg's made the decision to introduce a line of cereals inspired by Mexico's annual Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. There are three different varieties; Pan de Muerto, wherein the cereal pieces resemble the traditional Bread of the Dead; Churros, which looks like a bowl of the instantly recognizable Mexican pastry; Rollos de Canela, the cinnamon roll.
Of course much debate has swirled around this product launch. Is making Day of the Dead cereals cultural appropriation, or is it a company branching out to include other culture's holidays. Certainly it's not odd for shelves to be stocked with Limited Edition Christmas boxes of our favorite cereals, so why not have the Dia de los Muertos cereals available until November 2nd? Of course, Christmas is over commercialized in the US, and perhaps other holidays shouldn't be pulled in that direction, especially one so deeply seated in reverence for the departed.
If you're not familiar with Dia de los Muertos, it is a three day long holiday in which the veil between the living and the dead lifts and families gather to pray for deceased loved ones and ask for their spiritual guidance. The costumes and makeup can only be described as hauntingly beautiful, with rich fabrics and flowers a backdrop to the most iconic of Dia de los Muertos art, the skull. The monarch butterfly is also a feature of the celebration as it is at this time that they descend on Mexico by the thousands and are seen as the physical representation of loved ones' departed souls.
Like so many holidays from all over the world, food does play a central part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration, but should you start your day with a brimming bowl of distilled tradition? The debate rolls on...