I'm a Ghost to Magic Spoon: Ideas for Omnichannel Engagement


Magic Spoon was all the rage in the DTC bubble when it launched in 2019, but it took a trip to Costco for me to finally pay attention.

About a month ago, the colorful, illustrated Magic Spoon packaging caught my wife Dana’s eye at Costco. She had been searching for a new cereal option after a salmonella scare with her usual go-to Quaker Oats cinnamon oatmeal squares. Although we both knew about Magic Spoon, we hadn't seen it in person before.

Dana scanned the box with Yuka, an app we use to assess the health impact of products we buy. For cereal, it scored well, so she decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, the next morning, Dana was unimpressed with the fruity flavor—the only one Costco sells.

I don't eat cereal, but with a barely touched box of two bags languishing in our pantry, I decided to give it a shot rather than let it go to waste. I was pretty blown away by the macronutrient breakdown—high protein, no sugar, and around 150 calories per serving—and I actually liked the taste, especially when mixed with some slices of bananas and fresh berries.

Over the next few weeks, I went back for more and quickly became a fan.

Feeling bad that Dana still hadn’t found a new cereal she enjoyed, I was motivated to get her on board with Magic Spoon. They have to have better flavors, I thought.

As an Amazon Prime member, the first place I looked was Amazon.

I learned more about the other flavors available, but all Amazon offered were packs of four. I could either get a pre-made bundle, which included the unwanted fruity flavor or commit entirely to one flavor. Neither option was appealing. I was also confused by the pricing, which listed the unit price for five boxes, although the description and imagery showed four.

Next, I checked the Magic Spoon website and was surprised to find they offered more than just cereal. But I was a man on a mission and went straight to ‘Shop Cereal.'

I was pleased to see more flavors than what was available on Amazon. It took me a while to find the ‘Custom Bundle’ option, buried in the dropdown, but it was a welcome discovery. It wasn't clear if I had to pay for shipping, so I added some flavors to the bundle and went to checkout, sad to find shipping was not free like it would have been on Amazon.

I couldn't easily find a store locator (it's in tiny text in the footer), so I turned to a Google search, whose product listings led me to Target where the price per box was significantly lower than elsewhere.

By the way, I did all of this searching on my phone while lying in bed.

I clicked the Target listing and popped over to their app, which showed a 20% off Target Circle cereal deal. As a Target Circle member and credit card holder, I was thrilled.

I browsed the flavors, cross-checking each with Yuka, and excitedly shared them with Dana as she got ready for bed.

She was excited and told me which ones she preferred. We bought four boxes of different flavors for pickup at my nearby Target.

After checking out, I thought to myself how fascinating it is that I’m becoming a Magic Spoon brand advocate, and yet they have no idea who I am or why I love their product. Chances are, I'll continue to buy from Target (or Costco if they expand their flavor options), and the cycle will continue.

So, what could Magic Spoon do?

For starters, instead of a small line of text on their box to check out their website, they could highlight a cool-looking branded QR code with a callout to learn more about their impressive nutritional profile. Maybe play off the nostalgic essence of the brand and throw in a free zebra bowl set via their loyalty program.

The QR code could drive traffic to a landing page that details what goes into the product and why it’s great, then offer an incentive—perhaps the zebra bowl set or free shipping might be more enticing than the $5 off they offer today.

After someone subscribes to their list, they could ask why they’re interested in Magic Spoon. What drew them in?

They could build a drip campaign via email/SMS that eventually drives customers to shop in retail if they don’t purchase online, even offering a coupon.

The website should highlight the store locator more prominently. Sure, Magic Spoon likely wants to drive DTC sales, but in reality, people like me will explore all available options. Instead of creating friction, they should make it easy to find products where it’s most convenient.

The big differentiator of shopping DTC is the build-a-bundle option, which is currently buried. Make it sing from the homepage! If they want to drive sales of their cereal bars, I'd also integrate them into the build-a-bundle option.

Instead of upselling bars in the DTC mini-cart, they could discount them with a cereal purchase or provide a sample to add to an order. If they believe in their product, people will love it and come back to buy more.

This is just the beginning of what's possible.

As a CPG food and beverage brand in 2024, it's enough to ensure your brand is appealing across all channels, but to understand how customers behave and connect the dots between those touchpoints. Failing to engage with and understand customers is a missed opportunity for growth, learning, and impact.


This post originally appeared in #75 of The E-Commerce Corner. Subscribe here.

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