The new product folks at Quaker are really outdoing themselves. Mr. Tidbit has had to spread the news out over several weeks to avoid looking like he was doing all-Quaker all-the-time in exchange for a boost in his oatmeal ration.

Today it’s something he’s surprised Quaker didn’t already make: a competitor for Cheerios. It’s called Whole Hearts; on the package, the O in “whole” is replaced with a heart, and the cereal pieces themselves are little hearts each a tad bigger than the Cheerios little O. (Both cereals promote their use in heart-healthy diets.)

Besides the shape, there’s one very notable difference between Whole Hearts and Cheerios: A (1-ounce) serving of Cheerios has just 1 gram of sugar; the same serving of Whole Hearts has 6 grams of sugar (from brown sugar). Among the now many kinds of Cheerios, there is none that is simply sweetened Cheerios. The closest is Frosted Cheerios, which has sugar, corn syrup and brown sugar syrup, to total 9 grams of sugar per serving, plus corn meal.

Mr. Tidbit likes to avoid mentioning new products that are merely new flavors of existing products, but he makes the occasional exception when there’s something otherwise notable. Today’s example is Kellogg’s Special K Pastry Crisps, which one might think of as little nonheatable versions of Pop-Tarts (each is about a quarter the size of a Pop-Tart). New flavors are Chocolatey Delight and brown sugar cinnamon.

What’s worth noticing about that? The existing flavors of Pastry Crisps — blueberry and strawberry — were until now called Fruit Crisps. Hard to sell a chocolatey or brown sugar cinnamon Fruit Crisp.

By Al Sicherman, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)