Carter sprinting ahead with 'Champs Cornflakes'
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Cornflakes? That's hardly something you would identify with Jamaican speedster Nesta Carter, but the World Championships 100m bronze medallist is coming out of the blocks, taking strides in his preparation for life after track and field.
He isn't quite hanging up his spikes just yet but the 29-year-old recently partnered with established distributor Jerome Alexander, from S.J. Alexander Limited, to create a product - 'Champs Cornflakes', that they hope will not only provide affordable options in that market, but also create a product that will celebrate the island's sporting achievers.
A big part of the plan entails using the product, through revenue earned from its sale, to support struggling student athletes as well as utilising its packaging to highlight top sporting performances and performers, starting with next month's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.
Carter and his partners are planning to offer part proceeds from every box sold, leading up to the championships, to the winning boys' and girls' champion schools, with their images also being placed on the 18oz packaging.
The sprinter explained the concept behind this new product and his hopes of using his own experience in this new venture to encourage other young athletes.
"As you know, Champs is a name that speaks for itself. It's about competition and, when Jerome and I checked, the name was available to use. It's something that is catchy, and this product also gives us an opportunity to give back to the younger ones who cannot afford their basic items for school," Carter told The Sunday Gleaner.
"I'm very excited because we have thousands of Jamaicans worldwide - young athletes and children, generally, looking up to us and they want to see what will happen after track and field. Branching off a bit earlier into the business side of things is pretty exciting for me, plus this will allow us to do a lot more in terms of giving back," said Carter, who explained the decision behind putting his effort behind a cornflakes brand.
"It's about giving back; giving an affordable high-quality product. I have quietly been supporting a charity in Mandeville since about 2009, pretty much from my pockets and in addition to everything else, this can also help us to do more, more often. There are a lot of people who need our help."
"I, personally, have a hectic training schedule that requires me to be awake at 4:30 a.m. The only meal I can grab at times is cornflakes, so I decided to develop a brand of cornflakes that is consistent with my nutritional intake and (one that is) healthy for the general public to consume," Carter added.
With the product now available on shelves all across the island, Dixon, who is also a lawyer by profession, is looking forward to the reaction with confidence given what he termed extensive product testing and research to ensure a cereal of the highest quality.
He shared the plans to donate heavily to inner-city establishments and sponsor sporting events at all levels as being a clear focus. He also highlighted the key features of the product.
"The Champs brand is less sugary - only two grams per single serving. It is gluten free, has zero gram fat, is fluffier with a longer lasting crunch and has less of an after taste compared to other brands on the market," said Dixon. "It's among the most reasonably priced, it has a taste that is comparable, if not better than the others. It has the same nutritional value, so nothing is compromised.
Champs Cornflakes will be available exclusively through SJ Alexander to the Progressive Group of Grocers, all MegaMart locations islandwide, HiLo, Lees, Prosperity, and all major wholesales across the island.