It was originally supposed to have come out last year, but like a lot of plans that were laid waste by Covid-19, the MacKinnon Krunch cereal debut was one of them.
But since appearing on the shelves of Colorado King Soopers and City Market stores last week, boxes of MacKinnon Krunch have been “difficult to keep in stock” one King Soopers store employee in Thornton told me. That’s music to the ears of Jen Entin, the head of marketing and client management at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Hockey, the group led by agent Pat Brisson that represents the Avalanche star center.
“We thought Nathan would be a great fit and that the Denver market would be popular. So, we kind of started the conversation there, and it took off,” Entin said.
Originally, MacKinnon was slated to do a couple of appearances at different stores to promote the cereal, which are frosted flakes but with a solid “krunch” to them, but then the pandemic hit and things were delayed all the way until early this month. That delay doesn’t seem to have dimmed sales of the cereal. Though exact numbers aren’t yet available, MacKinnon Krunch has sold briskly.
MacKinnon was presented with the choice of several different kinds of cereal, including honey-nut cheerios and cinnamon squares-types, but ultimately went with the tried and true frosted flake variety. A picture of a smiling MacKinnon (in non-descript hockey gear because the deal was done without licensing with the NHL, who owns the Avalanche logo) was taken just before training camp of last season.
The cereal is manufactured and distributed by Public Label Brands out of Pittsburgh, and PLB executive Doug Ritchart said MacKinnon Krunch is a “limited time only” cereal and available exclusively only in Colorado at King Soopers and City Market. Even though the pandemic has put the kibosh on store appearances by MacKinnon, Ritchart said MacKinnon will be signing some boxes that will be used as part of in-store promotions soon.
“I actually just shipped out a bunch of boxes today for him to sign,” said Ritchart.
MacKinnon, who currently is sidelined with an injury – and the Avs as a whole remain on pause because of Covid protocol – wasn’t available for comment.
Said Entin, however: “I think he’s definitely happy about it. I think it’s something fun for an athlete to have. Not every player gets their face on a cereal box. It’s a cool honor and he’s definitely excited. He’s excited to hear that people are enjoying it and buying it.”
Already, the cereal has become a hot commodity on eBay. A search on the site today revealed about a dozen unopened boxes for sale, most in the $10-$20 range. The cereal retails for $3.99 at the local stores, though there have been some “two for $6” sales.
Old cereal boxes with athletes on the cover can retain good financial value as collector’s items, even if the cereal has already been eaten. An unopened box of Wheaties with Michael Jordan on the cover, for instance, is currently offered at $1,500 on eBay. A box signed by the athlete him/herself can make it increase in value that much more. MacKinnon, no doubt, will be presented with plenty of boxes to sign anytime autograph seekers find him in the future.
“We usually recommend buying two boxes, one to eat and one to keep unopened as a collector’s item on your memorabilia shelf,” Ritchart said. “We want you to like what’s inside the box, too.”