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Label aside, RMCF chocolate nowhere to be found in cereal

JERRY MCBRIDE/Durango Herald

An agreement between Kellogg’s and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has allowed the small Durango chocolatier to feature a history of the firm on the package of its Chocolatey Almond cereal, but the chocolate in the cereal does not come from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

By Jordyn Dahl Herald staff writer

Kellogg’s, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is offering cereal with the chocolatier’s trademark logo splashed across the front of the box and the story of its rise from a humble shop on the back. But cereal lovers hoping to eat the Durango firm’s chocolate will be sorely disappointed.

RMCF does not contribute any of the ingredients for Kellogg’s limited-edition Chocolatey Almond cereal, not even the ingredients for the chocolate pieces, according to Kris Charles, spokeswoman for Kellogg’s.

“The term ‘chocolatey almond’ in our Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Chocolatey Almond cereal is used to describe the flavor of the food,” Charles said in an email to the Herald. “All of our foods are labeled in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, so consumers can make the choices they determine appropriate for themselves and their families.”

Among the cereal’s listed ingredients are cocoa, cocoa processed with alkali and PGPR – polyglycerol polyricinoleate – a substance typically made from castor beans that is commonly used in chocolates as a substitute for cocoa butter to reduce the cost of production.

“What they’re using is cocoa powder. It’s just a raw form of chocolate,” said Jess Kelley, a nutritionist with Durango Nutrition.

RMCF announced it had entered into a trademark licensing agreement with Kellogg’s during a conference call with investors in May.

“We executed a licensing agreement with Kellogg to feature the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory brand on certain cereal products,” RMCF Chief Operating Officer Bryan Merryman said during the call. “This is a true milestone and demonstrates the strength of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory brand. All indications are it’s off to a very good start.”

The factory did not return requests for comment by Tuesday afternoon.

Nick Spence, owner of The Marketing Department in Durango, says the deal is not something he would recommend for one of his clients.

“My concern, being a local supporter of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory … is that it may actually hurt their reputation if the chocolate flavor of the cereal is not up to the standards that the public expects Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to be,” he said. “People who have not eaten Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate might never want to if they don’t like the chocolate taste in the cereal.”

The cereal is available at Target.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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