The Curation of Tesco Cereal

Fauziya Johnson 04/06/2018


I was walking through Tesco for nothing, but mostly I do it so I can tempt the security guards to follow me (because I’m Black remember). No seriously, I was looking for caramelised onion hummus.

I noticed this lovely chart in front of the cereals, and had no idea what it was?? Why is it there? Is it curation or, just simply a shelf plan? Does this mean this is a hierarchy of cereals?

I’m thinking about this because I always remember being taught about the Summer Exhibition at the RA in London (c.18th something), and how is the artwork is eye level it’s basically the equivalent of winning the Turner Prize, so if you’re on that row, you good. Other artistry such as genre and animal-oriented paintings during the Classicsm movement were usually placed above or below. So what does this say about cereals?

Well, in the eyes of the viewer the most noticed would be Weetabix’s Weetos, Coco Pops, and Rice Krispies. Why? These are the most expensive cereals why?? They look and taste like plastic. Except Coco Pops, they are okay-ish. They go too mushy if you like to eat your food slowly, so you end up turning into a pre-pubescent gurgling mess filled with regret but not wanting to really eat fast as that would cause indigestion. First world problems- which is not a term I’d be very annoyed at however when you realise it’s a signifier of Third World as a term, then I’m bothered. On another tangent here, the implication that Asia, Africa and Latin America are Third in anything, can fuck right off. They are not classed as developing countries in nature’s eyes so please do not refer to them as anything other than positive things, you coloniser. Please do not see the West as the norm and everyone else alternative. It’s annoying and incorrect.

Cereals made my Kellogg’s aren’t even that fab anyway and I know you shouldn’t judge anything based on context (yes you should) BUT THE FACT that the guy who invented Kellogg’s deliberately made Cornflakes a bit gross to prevent masturbation is hilarious, but also part of a larger problem of sex not being talked about within communities as a normal thing. If you are asexual, or not, that’s fab. But please don’t create cereal to try and prevent this!!

Amber has also said that the cheapest cereals are at the bottom, aka the hardest to reach when standing, why! Just like McDonalds having cheaper unhealthy food versus their more expensive salads, this is really, really irritating. I have been laughing at it a lot, purely the accuracy of the height.

You’re working in Tesco, and your manager taps you on the shoulder- you know it’s the manager, as shoppers tend to click, or perhaps whistle (as I have been told by someone who works at Aldi). This tap has passive aggressive amounts of strength to it. “Oh shit” you think- have you left the till open? Is Dana Schutz ever going to be reprimanded for her racist painting? But no. The manager sternly replies to the anxiety induced contortions of my face with “The Kellogg’s Variety Pack is 73cm high, why is there? Do they look like they deserve this hegemonious treatment? Put them at 108cm. You’re fired after this shift.”

This is both a comment of the struggles that working class people have in retail and the fact that there would probably be some lawsuit if Kellogg’s realised they are below Tesco’s own brand cereal. It’s all a load of crap, and I have no idea why it is so detailed, it’s kind of hilarious, and the fact I’m relating this to art curation is a bit odd, but I was amazed and shocked at the same time.


Enjoy looking at cereals different forever.