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September 16, 1998|LAURIE OCHOA

Eating Out of the Box

We all grew up with individual-serving-sized boxes of cereal. But the potential portability of the form has been hindered by the milk: You need someplace cold to keep it.

In other parts of the world, of course, people don't worry about whether milk is cold or warm. Ultra-pasteurized milk has been sold for years in non-refrigerated boxes, similar to what we're seeing for juice. Some of this milk--which keeps "fresh" up to six months because of its extreme high-temperature processing--is being sold in U.S. supermarkets. But it's going to take a while before most of us give up our cold, truly fresh milk. Kellogg's, however, is inching us closer to the inevitable by introducing a use for the milk that some will find irresistible--convenience-food breakfast cereal. A box of milk and a plastic spoon come with the cereal, which is packaged in a plastic "bowl."

Ironically, Kellogg's advertisements for the product focus on kids' being able to make their own cereal at home--with the boxed milk in the refrigerator.

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