May 3, 2012

Many years ago, a new packet of breakfast cereal would bring delight to children across the country. The opening of a new pack meant that somewhere amongst the Cornflakes or Sugar Puffs there would be a little plastic toy or a collectors card. Children would be in trouble for sticking their grubby paws into the brand new cereal packet to fish out their latest prize. But that was long before breakfast TV and games consoles became a staple part of British breakfast-time. But what if your cereal contained a fortune cookie message?

Today, one of the last bastions of British breakfast has sold a majority 60% share to China‘s Bright Food.

Weetabix, the company that makes ‘oval breakfast bricks that melt in milk’ now has it’s home in the Northamptonshire countryside but it’s ownership in the Far East.

Along with it go the cereal brands of Ready Brek and Alpen. The staple morning diets that made British school children ‘glow’ on their early morning walk and brought the fruit and nuts of Alpine mountains to the healthy breakfast bowl of the original Yummy Mummy.

Weetabix remained family-owned until 2004, when it was sold to the private equity company Lion Capital LLP for £640m. The sale to Bright Food now values the business at £1.2bn so it must be true that breakfast is good for you.

So will we, in future, crack open a Weetabix at the breakfast table and unravel a fortune cookie message to help us through our day ahead? Probably not but…

Last updated: May 5, 2012 at 11:43 am