Sales of breakfast cereals have recorded dramatic growth in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers who once skipped breakfast had time to eat at home due to more time spent working and studying from home. Whilst sales of breakfast cereals increased before the outbreak, growth was mostly driven by muesli and granola and hot cereals, although the latter was from a very low base.
COVID-19 fuelled the popularity of hot cereals amidst the healthy eating trend, with this category therefore seeing by far the strongest retail volume growth in 2020. Whilst ranges of hot cereals were introduced by Lotte Confectionery and Dongsuh Foods in the review period, they had difficulty expanding their consumer base due to several features which do not fit with Korean consumers’ habits, such as an unfamiliar texture and taste.
Dongsuh Foods has maintained its leading position in breakfast cereals in value terms in 2020, with its Post umbrella brand. The company has a wide product range across all RTE cereals, dominating children’s breakfast cereals and accounting for half of sales in muesli and granola.
Providing the spread of COVID-19 is kept under control in South Korea, life is expected to return almost to normal in 2021. This will lead to a return to working in the office and education in schools.
Whilst sales of traditional puffed cereals, which are classified within children’s breakfast cereals and flakes, rebounded in 2020 due to COVID-19, this uptick is likely to be temporary in the absence of a new driving force. These categories are already mature, and they no longer appeal to young consumers, as they are threatened by the growing number of breakfast alternatives in the marketplace.
Despite the expectation of a slowdown in growth after seeing a peak in demand due to COVID-19 in 2020, muesli and granola is set to see a double-digit retail volume CAGR over the forecast period. However, more significant growth is expected for granola than muesli, due to its simple manufacturing process.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Breakfast Cereals industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Breakfast Cereals research and analysis database.
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