How Demographics Affect
the Cereal Category
Recent research from Mintel and Packaged Facts o;ers a
glimpse into the demographic breakdown of cereal shoppers.
According to London-based Mintel’s Hot and Cold Cereal—
U.S. September 2017 report, 56% of millennials (ages 23-40) say
they have eaten cereal as a snack at home, compared to just 32%
of baby boomers (ages 53-71).
The report Breakfast: Retail Product Trends and
Opportunities in the U.S., 2nd Edition, from Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts, breaks that down even further.
Among its findings:
• Although the total population is expected to increase from
2018 to 2020, seniors represent the fastest-growing age
group. That means “breakfast players will need to be mindful
of the habits and preferences of the older consumer to ensure
market stability,” Packaged Facts says.
• The U.S. Hispanic population is 60 million strong, representing
18.5% of the total population. According to Packaged Facts,
“This group is set to grow 9.3% through 2020, requiring
appeal to culturally specific values and priorities.”
• Children remain an important audience. “While the child
population will remain fairly static between 2018 and 2020,
children wield significant influence in household food
purchases, particularly in the case of breakfast cereal,”
Packaged Facts reports.
When we make changes to our recipes, we hear immediately from our fans about whether they like it or not.
In the case of Trix, when we made changes to the prod-
uct, consumers were not happy and spoke loudly, so we
relaunched the classic version.”
At Denver-based Love Grown Foods, a focus on healthy
ingredients is key. “We started by making the first ingre-
dients in our ready-to-eat cereals a blend made from
navy, lentil and garbanzo beans that delivers more protein
and fiber than other cereal ingredients,” Palumbo says.
“We keep the sugar low—our original Power O’s has just
2 grams of added sugar—and even our kids cereals are in
the single digits for added sugar. Plus, all of our products
Statistics and manufacturers say the cereal category is one
to stick with. But how can retailers determine the right product mix and message? One way is for retail trading partners
to collaborate and support better-for-you cereal options. “If
cereal makers and retailers can work on making the aisle a
place where people go to get better nutrition, that’s a long-term win for retailers and consumers,” Palumbo says.
A change in approach also is required, Bernstein says.
“The packaged-food landscape is changing rapidly, so
allow yourself to think differently about how to compete
in this highly dynamic time,” she advises. “Running the
same promotions while not taking risks here and there
will likely not yield different, positive results.”
Bernstein also advocates for mixed management and
shelf assortment, “presented in a way that matches the
way consumers think and shop,” which will improve both
the shopping experience and retailers’ bottom line.
Running the same promotions while not
Pantry Staples Center Store
taking risks here and there will likely not
yield different, positive results.”
—Roxanne Bernstein, Post Consumer Brands
lineup includes high-fiber,
low-sugar and gluten-free
cereals, as well as
“family favorites” such
as Cheerios, Cinnamon
Toast Crunch and
Post Consumer Brands.
The company o;ers
natural and organic
products such as
Barbara’s Organic Brown
Rice Crisps; low/no sugar
varietes, including Honey
Bunches of Oats; and
nostalgic alternatives such as Oreo O’s.
Love Grown Foods.
Three new Ancient Grain
granola flavors, all made
with avocado oil and
lower sugar, are among
the latest o;erings. The
company also o;ers
kids cereals made with beans, such as
Chocolate and Strawberry Power O’s.
Banana Berry Chia, a new
grain-free o;ering, includes
toasted coconut, almonds,
pecans, chia seeds,
pumpkin seeds, sesame
seeds, Bing cherries,
freeze-dried berries and
bananas, and real vanilla.