A shrewd product placement on a popular soap opera in China has propelled a Western breakfast cereal to frenzied popularity in the country, sending prices up almost ten times in the gray market.
Weet-Bix, which is known as Nutri-Brex in China and U.K., is a cereal in the form of a biscuit. The cereal, which is highly popular in Australia and New Zealand, has been on the shelves in China for eight years.
It was only with its appearance on the popular Chinese soap opera "Ode to Joy" earlier this year, however, that millions more discovered the brand, spurring demand that emptied local supermarket shelves.
"We were doing okay then but then along came this opportunity and we just saw this huge spike in sales," Mark Roper, international business manager at Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, which produces Weet-Bix, told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Wednesday.