For years, the category of breakfast cereals has been registering significant declines. Large manufacturers have responded with a host of different strategies in order to reverse this trend, although positive results have remained elusive.
Following many years of struggles, the performance of breakfast cereals was boosted by growth of hot cereals in 2018. As RTE cereals are becoming less of a breakfast item, consumers are instead looking to fill their breakfast needs with other items that offer three major attributes: health, satiety and convenience.
With the shift in marketing approach over the review period, breakfast cereal manufacturers either pursued health claims or promoted the guilt-free indulgence that breakfast cereals offer consumers. For those manufacturers opting to focus on indulgence, appealing to nostalgia has been an increasingly common and successful strategy.
The leader within breakfast cereals in 2018, General Mills, has dedicated significant resources to maintaining the success of popular brands such as Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. During 2018, the company focused on growing these core breakfast cereal brands, as well as other popular ones such as Trix and Lucky Charms, by increasing innovation with regard to these products to create novel tastes and textures.
Oatmeal proved popular towards the end of the review period, largely as a result of its health alignment and the customisation potential it offers through the addition of fruits and high-protein dairy products. Fulfilling and competitive from a health standpoint, this customisation also offers novelty and convenience that younger consumers are increasingly looking for.
Amidst growing consumer health-consciousness, organic and gluten-free cereals are consistently showing as top performers at the forefront of consumer demand. Towards the end of the review period, both categories showcased strong and consistent growth, led by unique and innovative brands that offer attractive products claiming natural and healthy components.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.