Maximilian Kaiser, designer and marketer for Sex Cereal, a new product that is made in St. Catharines. March 5 2013.
Credits: BOB TYMCZYSZYN/QMI AGENCY
It's a new product getting lots of attention and it's made in St. Catharines, ON, but we can't tell you where.
Welcome to the somewhat uncomfortable world of selling Sex Cereal.
The brainchild of a Toronto businessman, Sex Cereal is quickly rising to fame after making an appearance on CBC's Dragon's Den just before Valentine's Day.
Peter Ehrlich came up with the concept while walking through a vegan food fair.
The lightbulb went off and the idea of a cereal with different recipes for men and women was born.
"Sexual health is so important," Ehrlich said from his office in Toronto. "I wanted to create something sexy and fun in the health food industry because nothing is. Everything is very serious."
Ehrlich used nutritionists to formulate two separate recipes that are supposed to improve the sexual health of men and women in different ways.
The person behind the image and packaging of Sex Cereal is St. Catharines designer Maximilian Kaiser - the son of Inniskillin winery co-founder Karl Kaiser - who has been designing labels for wine bottles and packaging for other industries for 20 years.
The packaging Kaiser came up with has a blonde pin-up girl on the cereal for women and a fit guy on the cereal for men.
"Initially we had some pin-up girl positions that were a little more racy, but we dialed it back a bit because of the legitimacy of the product," Kaiser said. "We didn't want it to look like a gag gift. It's about trying to get the attention without being like a novelty."
That continues to be one of the big challenges of selling the cereal - even though it's available in hundreds of nutrition and grocery stores across Canada.
"We've put a lot of effort into making people realize it's a whole food and high-quality stuff," said Kaiser.
Ehrlich said after launching the cereal last June, it wasn't until the beginning of this year that distributors and stores finally started agreeing to carry it. But interest is picking up - especially since the Dragon's Den appearance. It's now available in 700 stores across Canada including a handful in St. Catharines.
Tina Lee, the owner of Well! Well! Well! Nutrition Centre said she didn't mind carrying it after the popularity of another natural cereal with a unique name.
"When a company came out with Holy Crap we thought ‘you've gotta be kidding.' But it sold like crazy," Lee said about the BC-produced cereal. "After that, Sex Cereal came out and it was the same idea."
As for Sex Cereal, it's produced and packaged at a factory in St. Catharines. But the people who run that factory said they don't want to be known as the company that makes the product. They asked that their name and location not be published.
"We have come across that a couple of times," Kaiser said. "But I think people see the big picture. This is an honest product and people are being honest about sexuality a lot more now, too."
At about $12 a bag, Sex Cereal isn't cheap, but Ehrlich said there's a reason for that.
"The ingredients are quite rare," he said. "I wasn't creating a cereal for the sake of shock value. I know scientifically it had to be the real thing, but the real thing is expensive."
Rolled oats, wheat germ, water, chia seeds, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, blueberries (sweetened with apple juice), cacao nibs, goji berries, bee pollen, maca powder, camu camu, coconut sugar
Rolled oats, oat bran, sunflower seeds, water, flax seeds, chia seeds, soy protein, cranberries (sweetened with apple juice), goji berries, cacao nibs, almonds, ginger ground, maca powder, coconut sugar
By the numbers
45 ... serving size in grams
190 ... calories in cereal for men
200 ... calories in cereal for women
300 ... grams in each bag
12 ... MSRP in dollars