Years ago preparing oatmeal from scratch using oats, especially from Quaker, was a morning staple. The advent of prepared, cold cereals has obviously changed things for the majority of people. Could it be that in the midst recession or because of a desire for things more natural that porridge in general, and oatmeal in particular, are "hot" commodities?
For a number of years now Quaker has offered convenience through its Instant Oatmeal products. Quaker certainly dominates the market as in most consumers' minds they own the word "oats". But, others are recognizing the opportunity and getting into the action. Some are obvious, like Kashi. But there are newcomers to the market place as well. These include smaller, niche companies that are focusing on being natural, such as Pro Oats and Umpqua Oats. Even cranberry specialist, Ocean Spray, has a new line of instant oatmeal. And, the company that seems to be shaking things up right now is Better Oats, a newcomer that is gaining considerable traction with almost 30 varieties covering a range of preferences and styles. Some of the innovative flavors include dark chocolate and chai spiced.
Could it be that consumers are looking for a change, and that this could continue to be a growing market? What do you think?
UPDATED 11/7/10: Some additional evidence: http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2010/10/oats-driving-breakfast-cereal-launches.aspx
Technorati Tags: cereal, porridge, oats, oatmeal, Quaker, Kashi, Pro+Oats, Umpqua+Oats, Better+Oats, Ocean+Spray, breakfastbowl