Kellogg Co. is conducting an ambitious test market of its entire ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal line, putting them into squatter boxes that hold the same amount of product but take up less space.

The test market encompasses 40 Wal-Mart and Kroger stores in Detroit. It began Jan. 26 and will run for six months, comprising up to 70 stock-keeping units.

The idea is to make RTE cereal cartons easier to handle and store, for both retailers and consumers. Kellogg designed the new cartons after gauging the problems that conventional cartons posed for consumers, says John Ferro, director of commercialization.

“We’ve seen pictures of cereal boxes…on the tops of fridges and in garages,” Ferro says.

The boxes’ graphics highlight that they hold the same amount of product. The boxes use up to 8% less material and, depending on the retailer, can take up to 5% less shelf space.

“Though not necessarily a driver of purchase behavior, [material reduction] is something consumers like to feel good about,” Ferro says.

In addition to monitoring sales, Kellogg will gauge consumer reaction to the new packaging directly, although company officials declined to discuss specifics.