After 18 months, General Mills has axed its "Nibblr" snack service, an unusual attempt by the packaged food giant to sell a new snack offering directly to consumers.

Consumers could subscribe to Nibblr and receive a box of snacks delivered weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to their home or workplace. The snacks came in 59 savory or sweet varieties. They were delivered in a package shaped like a candy box, which could be easily put into office ­workers' mail slots.

The service was the brainchild of 301 Inc., an innovation department within General Mills commissioned with generating ideas outside of the company's traditional business segments such as cereal, yogurt and convenient meals — all of which are sold through supermarkets and other brick-and-mortar food retail channels.

"We recently completed a large scale test with ­Nibblr," Brian Tockman, marketing manager for 301, said in a statement. "The project provided great learning for our organization, and we chose to focus our resources on other projects."

Nibblr's website currently has a message to customers saying: "Thank you for being part of the Nibblr ­community."

When General Mills launched the snack service, the price for a Nibblr snack box ranged from $5.50 to $5.90, including shipping.

Just as General Mills is exiting the business, Kellogg is looking to start a subscription snack service, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing unidentified sources.

There are other competitors in the snack service field, with United Kingdom-based Graze being the most well-known.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003