A solution in search of a problem.

Philippe Meert, a product designer from Belgium, apparently has trouble pouring cereal from the box into a bowl. So he created the Cerealtop, a plastic cover that goes on top of a cereal box and channels the cereal through a spout. It sells for over $6 in Belgium, and will sell for about $4 in the U.S.

Mr. Meert is certainly inventive, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you always should. I’ve been pouring cereal for quite some time and I have yet to experience the kind of catastrophe that would drive me to purchase a plastic lid for my disposable cereal box. I am far more likely to put my cereal into Tupperware to keep it fresh longer, which also provides a spout.

The New York Times doesn’t make that observation, but they do bring up a concern about the five second rule:

AMERICANS certainly love their cold cereal, having spent $6.2 billion on it last year. One challenge for Mr. Meert and his distributor, however, will be to persuade consumers to forget about the so-called five-second rule, the shaky premise that spilled food remains edible if it is retrieved within five seconds of being dropped on table or floor. Serving early-morning cereal may be prone to error, but that does not necessarily mean that much of it goes to waste.


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