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OSU hopes football cereal has snap

COLUMBUS (AP): Snap, Crackle and Pop have some competition in Columbus. The Ohio State Buckeyes have their own cereal.

Buckeye HerOes, the newest university-licensed food, became available in grocery stores when the No. 1-ranked Ohio State football team opened its season Saturday against Northern Illinois at Ohio Stadium.

The box of honey-nut-flavored toasted oats features three mascots: former Buckeyes linebackers and current NFL rookies Bobby Carpenter, A.J. Hawk and Anthony Schlegel.

``We couldn't make them 'block Os,' so we made them Os,'' said Rick Van Brimmer, director of trademark and licensing services at Ohio State.

The cereal will cost $3.49 for a 14-ounce box at Kroger stores, said Monica Gordon, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based grocery chain’s Great Lakes division.

The cereal joins other Ohio State foods such as pasta, chips, salsa, hot dogs, mustard and hot sauces, as well as candy Buckeyes.

``People get excited when football season rolls around and look for unique items to enhance the parties they have,'' Gordon said.

If the cereal sells, Ohio State will have a box featuring another former Buckeyes star, probably in January, and boxes with other ex-Buckeyes perhaps twice a year after that, Van Brimmer said.

Other universities have had cereal promotions but none on the scale of Ohio State, which is starting with about 75,000 boxes, said Tom Schmieder, marketing vice president of Carrollton, Texas-based TK Legacy, which is making Buckeye HerOes.

``OSU's fandom is just a different breed,'' he said.

Ohio State gets an 8 percent fee from each box sold. The money will be used for scholarships and student activities.

The university's next food licensing deal figures to be single-serving cartons of Brutus Buckeye milk.

``Milk and cereal go together like scarlet and gray,'' Van Brimmer said.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com






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