Friday, August 30, 2013

Has cereal gone soggy?

Earlier this month a story in Bloomberg Businessweek caused a stir when it pointed out that "On-the-Go Americans Are Ditching Their Cereal Bowls". The story highlighted recent financial results from Kellogg and General Mills revealing a decline in cereal sales. To counter the gradual shift way from breakfast cereal companies are experimenting with other breakfast foods, such as drinks and bars. Long-standing alternatives like Pop-Tarts are still doing very well.

There are likely many reasons for this shift. The most likely culprit, as the article suggests, is that our lifestyle is squeezing out cereal. Quicker options are definitely more appealing to many. But, that is not the whole story. The sales results of the big cereal companies may also be partly due to the move away from the big brands to smaller, niche brands that focus on health and innovation, and to more generic cereals sold in bulk or under store-labels.

Whatever the reason, there are some major changes happening around us in cereal. Even the fact that manufacturers are reformulating recipes and changing marketing approaches is an indication that cereal itself is not only changing, but its role within our culture is shifting as well. That's not all bad, but for cereal companies to strengthen their position they can no longer rely on the same old tired strategies. True innovation is necessary, and will be the difference for those who succeed in the future.

What do you think? Is cereal still an important part of your daily routine and life? What would you like to see?


Wilton Vargas said...

It stopped being an important part of my day when I realized the nutritional cost of it.

Don't get me wrong. I *love* cereal, but until true nutrition value becomes the driving force in cereal, I'll continue to sit on the benches.

Dee's Cereal said...

There are definitely healthy alternatives our there for cereal, you don't have to eat something terrible every morning.

But I definitely understand what you're saying in this post. Eating cereal is like a luxury in the morning for me lately, and I find myself sneaking bowls at night more and more often.