I am finding it harder and harder to find a decent natural muesli in the major supermarkets.
Not that long ago, I would estimate that the ratio of natural muesli to toasted/clusters was about 50/50. Now, natural is limited to the homebrand plus one other (in a single flavour) while the “clusters” (fancy name for toasted) crowd all the rest of the bay at exhorbitant prices. The choice of flavour of natural muesli is probably two, whereas all the good ingredients (berries, spices, nuts, dried fruits etc) have gone to the toasted versions. For quite a while, we enjoyed Arnold’s Farm Strawberry Muesli, but that has now disappeared too.
Added to that is the tendency of the companies to just label their product as “Clusters” or “Muesli”, leaving out the word toasted altogether, until you research the nutrition panel. Even then it may not mention “toasted” but say “lightly cooked in the oven”. They seem keen to avoid the negative health image of toasted muesli.
Why has this happened? And short of making our own, how can we get a balanced choice back on the shelves?
Why has there been a changed - don’t know but suspect it could be to meet a general desire of customers to have the clusters added.
When clusters first appeared, it seemed to be confined to more premium type brands/mixes. Since then, and possibly that clusters are cheaper to produce, they have become common in many mueslis (and breakfast cereals), rather than just the premium brands/mixes. This is possibly to make the muesli appear more ‘premium’ and meet consumer expectations/tastes. Consumer expectations being conditioned by muesli with clusters being more ‘premium’.
I’ve been making my own for decades, less expensive, no added sugar or other unnecessary additives, and made to my desired specifications. I keep a supply of the ingredients in stock at home, so once the big jar is empty every week or so, I make up a new batch, which takes all of 5 minutes… vs a hour to drive to the supermarket and back for an inferior product!
So, in essence, nobody should be using the label muesli unless it is raw - not toasted, baked or otherwise cooked? Is not granola just the american term for toasted muesli?
Thanks for the recipe. I was making my own several years ago when I needed a low-fibre version and there weren’t any without nuts. I think it was when I came back to wanting to buy a ready-made product that I was struck by the lack of choice. The Arnold’s Farm filled the gap for a few years. I have checked their website and could not find any untoasted options (they call their only muesli, “toasted muesli”).
Some companies seem to imply that Bircher muesli is the same as natural, but that must be marketing spin too.
I suspect this is not so much about muesli but about ‘enough’ profits. I eat ‘toasted muesli’ maybe once every few weeks and avoid most other cereals just because. My selection is based 100% on what I enjoy from trial and error over time or what is on sale and ‘looks good’ on the day.
Coles especially and to a lesser extent Woolies cull their product offers to minimise the ranges of stock they keep. It is a response to aligning what consumers want based on their buying habits to maximising their profits from shelf space.
Those wanting ‘natural’ (whatever it qualifies as) might be best served by patronising a healthfood store, variously called something like ‘bulk wholefoods’ and so on that cater to those wanting what for volume grocers are products with comparatively low turnover.
Edit: Some groceries continue to have the products you seek in the health food sections but not with the other cereals.
I have been eating Morning Sun ‘natural style muesli’ for many years. The sultanas are actually reasonably fresh, but I remove the rest of the dried fruit. It has been readily available in the two major supermarkets.
Thanks all, I have looked at the links. It is good that people have found products that suit them but the gist of my question was the lack of choice now available for untoasted products, while the toasted varieties have exploded. If a person likes the only flavour (eg the “Morning Sun”) offered, that is good news for them, but not if you would prefer an alternative or you can’t (medically) consume a particular ingredient.
It seems this is one of those grocery categories where the consumer just has to accept what the manufacturer has decided. The old change-the-product-to-what-suits-us-and-then-pretend-the-user-chose-that trick, like the redesign of bank branches.
This applies to any product which has some sort of processing or has been manufactured (two or more ingredients used in the final product)… which is almost all food products in a supermarket with exception of some fresh meat, fruits and vegetables. Even these fresh products may not be preferred variety or cut of the consumer, but that which looks best, stores/transports well or is available in sufficient quantities to meet supply arrangements. Again, decisions made by those in the supply chain.
It is the consumer world we live.
If one wants to consume foods which meets their own personal needs, there may be the option to have a vegetable patch, orchard and have their own livestock/go to a butcher which will prepare meats to one’s own requirements. There is also, like in the case of muesli, to buy raw/individual ingredients and prepare one’s own.
I just make my own. Big batch at the beginning of the week. Raw oats, sunflower seeds, chia, pepitas, coconuts and almonds/walnuts, cinnamon. This way I know exactly how much salt, sugar and that there are no nasties.
Having read this thread now, I want to make my own. I’ve become so bored with the cereal offerings at the supermarket and have often thought about toasted muesli which I used to love, but not since being diagnosed diabetic, and others which always have way too much dried fruit… There are a couple of recipes on the links which will be easily tweakable to suit my dietary needs. Making one’s own seems the most sensible and doable course of action.
Me too. I buy the apricot & almond Morning Sun muesli and that’s my summer cereal, and has been for years. There is another choice in this cereal, but this is my fave…and I slice a small banana on top, though that may not be considered a ‘correct’ thing to do!! Each to his/her own I guess. (Winter I have traditional oats!!) Otherwise, I have never really noted what selection there is on the shelf for muesli, as this is my ‘go to’ summer cereal.