Mahomes Magic Crunch Cereal Is Back In Kansas City Stores And Is Likely To Sell Out Before Sunday
Not that he has a thing about his hometown football team and its quarterback, but don’t even think about asking Josh Weinstock to open his box of Mahomes Magic Crunch.
“I intend to keep that sealed ‘til the day I die,” Weinstock said. “If my grandchildren wanna open it one day, may they be cursed.”
A third shipment of the cereal was sent to Kansas City-area stores this week ahead of Super Bowl LIV. The new boxes were scheduled to be placed in stores Tuesday, said Tina Potthoff, Hy-Vee’s senior vice-president of communications.
The first two shipments that landed in the fall quickly sold out. Boxes, which sell in stores for $3.99, have popped up on Amazon and eBay, priced at anywhere between $9 and $19.95.
The Des Moines-based grocery chain signed Mahomes to an exclusive three-year deal last April, and he appears in the company’s TV commercials. It's one of many products Mahomes has attached his name and likeness to during his meteoric rise to the top of the NFL.
A percentage of proceeds from the cereal sales goes to the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children. Hy-Vee won’t release any sales figures, but Potthoff said the company originally expected to sell 50,000 boxes. Since the Chiefs have had such a successful season, making the franchise's first Super Bowl in 50 years, they now expect to sell 300,000.
Likewise, the company initially expected to raise $25,000 for Mahomes’ non-profit, but the grocer now expects its donation to top $100,000.
The cereal is similar to Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which was Mahomes’ favorite cereal growing up, Potthoff said. The cereal is a limited edition, and Hy-Vee expects it will sell out of the cereal before Sunday's Super Bowl.
Since when did athletes start hocking their own cereal instead of aiming for the front of a Wheaties box? Seems it started with something called “Flutie Flakes.” Doug Flutie, then-quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, partnered with a Pittsburgh company in 1998 to raise money for his foundation.
The company, PLB Sports, Inc., now markets a variety of products for many sports and athletes, from Ed McCaffrey’s Spicy Brown Mustard, named after the NFL player and coach, to WWE Superstar Fruit Snacks.
Many athletes use the products to raise their profiles for marketing reasons while raising money for a personal charity, said Stephen Mosher, a professor of sports studies at Ithaca College in New York.
“The success of Flutie Flakes…demonstrated the power of fundraising for a cause through personalizing otherwise boring staples,” Mosher said, adding that the product can still be found occasionally in Buffalo and the suburbs of Boston, where Flutie played college football .
Mosher said it’s possible to get a generic cereal packaged into a special box “just about anywhere now,” and that even lots of high school sports teams do it.
“This is a win-win-win situation,” Mosher said. “Raise money for charity, raise one's own ‘good citizen’ profile, and get some sports memorabilia as well. And maybe even an acceptable breakfast.”
Weinstock, a life-long Kansas City resident, said he and his wife don’t have kids just yet, so he was joking about cursing his grandchildren. But he is keeping the box away from his dog, Goldie Mae.
“The cereal box displays proudly in my man cave,” Weinstock said, “alongside a decent collection of Royals bobbleheads.”
Peggy Lowe is a reporter at KCUR and is on Twitter @peggyllowe.