Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Cereal Year in Review

As we come to the end of the year it is a good time to look back on the major developments in the world of cereal. Like always there are new cereals that hit the market, interesting marketing tactics, and the occasional controversy, but the big story for 2013 is the realization that, in North America at least, the cereal industry is facing some major challenges. In fact, someday we may look back on this year as a critical point in the history of breakfast cereal.

Certainly purchasing and eating trends have been changing for quite some time, but this is the year that the big players were forced to make some big adjustments. This summer there were a number of commentaries on analysis suggesting that cereal has gone soggy. Cereal consumption is not as ubiquitous as it once was as consumers have so many other options available to them. And, despite a proliferation of new brands and varieties, very little innovation has taken hold. The result is that at least two of the big three cereal companies are feeling the pressure. Kellogg recently announced a sales decline and closure of some plants, and Post posted a loss.

The 2013 bright spot was definitely General Mills, indicative of the disproportionate amount of coverage they have received on this blog. They have actually had sales growth, and this is due to taking on the shifting cereal market aggressively. As I've already pointed out Big G leads the industry in use of social media, and gained attention with such things as provocative advertising and their popular monster cereal re-launch. They appear to be the company to beat right now.

In light of the challenges facing the industry 2014 should be an exciting one to watch. The Breakfast Bowl will be there to bring you the latest developments! (And, be sure to follow us on Facebook for even more cereal information and tidbits!)

Final word...

CEREAL PICK OF THE YEAR: There weren't any earth shattering cereal introductions this year, but the new one that stood out to me was Post's Grape Nuts Fit.

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