Monday, March 28, 2016

Millenials and Cereal

Stepping aside for a moment from the ongoing March Cereal Madness competition, I want to comment on a story that's been getting lots of press the last few weeks.

The New York Times recently reported the results of a study that said: "Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it." In other words, those born in the 80's and 90's are too lazy to eat cereal.

Apart from the fact that survey responses do not always correlate with how people really behave, there is a grain of truth (pun intended) to this. While I doubt that millennials avoid cereal just because of dirty dishes, convenience is a factor that this younger generation definitely gravitates toward, and this is something that cereal companies cannot ignore. We see evidence of this in the increase of convenient breakfast foods like yogurt, bars, and take-out. Some cereal companies have experimented with things like single-serving cereal containers, but so far nothing has really stuck.

This is a challenge waiting for a true innovation, probably in terms of packaging and marketing. Whoever can succeed in this space will set the future for the cereal industry.

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