Baked granola

Mr. Tidbit couldn't help but notice an unusual new item in the baking-mixes aisle. Even larger than the bright yellow and red "New!" banner across the top, the biggest words on the box were "Bake At HOME!" Mr. Tidbit thought that was pretty well understood as the basic idea of the whole aisle of cake mixes, brownie mixes, cupcake mixes and muffin mixes: You bake them. At home. So what was being offered here, under the Post Honey Bunches of Oats brand?

Make-at-home Granola Snackers (chocolate chip or honey oat). These are items you prepare in your 12-cup muffin tin: Microwave together the honey from the pouch in the box with butter and brown sugar that you supply, stir that into the granola mix from the box, press the mixture into the muffin tin with a small glass and bake.

The 11-ounce box, which contains about 2 ½ ounces of honey and 8 ½ ounces of the chocolate-chip granola and flour mixture, sells at one discount store for $3.99 (plus the butter and brown sugar), which puts it way out of the price range of any of the neighboring cake, cupcake and muffin mixes.

Mr. Tidbit had to wonder why it was displayed there, when it surely would look less pricey in the cereal aisle. In fact, Mr. Tidbit found when he wandered over to the cereals, that although Granola Snackers wouldn't be as far out of the range of other items there, it would be among the very highest-priced. (Not very coincidentally, one of the closest would be bags containing the same 11 ounces of newish Post Honey Bunches of Oats granola, which sell for $3.69 at that store.)

Mr. Tidbit's last marketing thought for Granola Snackers was to put them in the granola-bar aisle, but it turned out that they would look expensive there, too, and they would be competing there with granola bars you don't have to bake — at home or anywhere else.

In view of Mr. Tidbit's stellar record of mispredicting product failures, including having presumed that General Mills' Berry Berry Kix, which became one of General Mills' best sellers, would disappear because it sounded like a nutritional disease, he is pretty sure that Granola Snackers will sweep the nation.

Al Sicherman