With millions of families at home during the pandemic, breakfast became one of the true winners as parents and kids alike reacquainted themselves with their favorite cereals. This long-standing staple of American diets saw declines in recent years as more people reached for easy, on-the-go items for commutes to work, or they just skipped breakfast altogether, opting for frothy lattes and flavored coffee drinks instead. That all changed in 2020.
According to Mike Brown, vice president of wholesale for The Kellogg Company, cereal earned back consumer share as a great food option anytime of the day, not just in the morning.
“We survey consumers every week and during the pandemic we kept seeing how cereal had become a regular lunch item, a great afternoon snack, even popular for dinner,” Brown said. “This was really interesting data as we saw not just what’s being purchased but when it’s being eaten, and cereal was consumed at all hours of the day.”
Save time, save money, save calories
Whether it’s preparing meals quickly, managing a healthy diet, or putting food on the table within a tight budget, Brown says cereal is really one of those products that does it all.
“I think what folks realized during the pandemic is that you can eat a bowl of cereal with milk for about 60 cents a serving, compared to spending $4 on a beverage,” Brown said. “Plus, cereal requires zero preparation and you can have a good, nutritional breakfast in just a couple minutes.”
Additionally, consumer data indicates people who eat a reasonable breakfast, that is a meal consisting of good calories like cereal, will eat 7% less food throughout the day than a person who skips their morning meal. This is a yet another proof point regarding the importance of breakfast and having quick options that are easy, affordable, and tasty.
Retailer tip: check your shelves
Having the right mix of products on your shelves is always key. The Kellogg’s team explains that during the pandemic it was just about getting products on shelves, but today it should be about making sure the “right” products are on the shelves.
“What sold two years ago, might not be the same now,” said Brown. “In fact, with a brand like Frosted Flakes, it might be more important to have various sizes on shelf to promote versus having the 13th best selling cereal in stock. Now’s a good time to review your cereal aisle and make sure you’re capturing what consumers want and what’s selling through at the register.”
Want to hear more facts and data on the return of breakfast? Click here to listen to the entire Nourish podcast featuring the Kellogg’s team.