Foodservice sales account for only a small share of breakfast cereals, but the disruption to foodservice has had a positive impact on retail sales of breakfast cereals in 2020. Many consumers across the US have been forced to work from home for a large part of 2020.
Strong retail sales of breakfast cereals have encouraged manufacturers to continue launching new products in 2020. Extensions of existing brands and new brand launches in 2020 have largely been positioned either as health and wellness oriented products or as indulgent treats.
In addition to offering a convenient and quick breakfast option, breakfast cereals has also become a popular snacking option due to home seclusion. As many consumers have had their routines disrupted by new work at home schedules, mealtimes have also become irregular pushing them to reach for easy to prepare snacking options.
One of the key factors behind the success of breakfast cereals in 2020 has been its ability to adapt to the growth of e-commerce. In addition to being shelf stable, the packaging used for breakfast cereals made these products a good fit for consumers looking to stockpile food during home seclusion.
Foodservice sales slumped in 2020 with consumers having fewer opportunities to dine at outlets for breakfast. As foodservice outlets reopen they typically operate first primarily via takeaway prepared meals and as such breakfast cereals are unlikely to benefit from the initial phase of reopening.
Health concerns are expected to be at the forefront of consumer thinking when shopping for items for breakfast and is likely to have significant impact on the future of breakfast cereals. Many products had already started to stagnate towards the end of the review period due to concerns over the high sugar content of some breakfast cereals.
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