Why cereal sales are getting soggy
Americans apparently have had their fill of the onetime breakfast staple, and Kellogg and other packaged-food companies are feeling the pinch.
Americans aren't going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs these days.
Breakfast cereal sales are declining as U.S. consumers increasingly shun carb-heavy morning meals in favor of breakfast bars and Greek yogurts such as Chobani.
Part of the issue may be how marketers are now positioning breakfast. It's no longer enough to pour some flakes into a bowl and top them with a lashing of milk. Instead, packaged-food companies are telling us that breakfast is "an occasion," Businessweek notes.
That may be backfiring for cereal makers. After all, if you're trying to make your first meal a little more special, a bowl of flakes probably won't compare with grabbing some 7-Eleven Breakfast Empanada Bites.
Cereal makers' woes might extend beyond competing with more exciting breakfast foods, however.
Sugar content is increasingly an issue for parents. Harvard's School of Public Health reports that some cereals are more than 40% sugar. Kellogg's Honey Smacks and Post's (POST) Golden Crisp include as much sugar as a Hostess Twinkie, a 2011 report found.
But healthier cereals are also feeling the impact. Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Special K have been hit by changing habits. Consumers may be balking at paying more, given that some cereals now cost more than $5 per box.
Together, the trends are pushing Americans to find more appetizing breakfasts elsewhere.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
I try to eat healthy cereals...but for the life of me, I can't see why regular, plain corn flakes should cost more as much as they do! Cereal should be half what it costs...no to mention the hyper inflated costs of a gallon of milk anymore.
Sorta sad that the dollar menu at the drive thru is not that much more than a bowl of cereal!
Actually...it's just sad what all the 'good for you' food costs anymore!
"Cereal-makers' woes might extend beyond competing with more exciting breakfast foods, however."
Does food need to be exciting before people will eat it, or is it just too hard for them to sit still for the 10 minutes it takes to eat a bowl of cereal ?
Jesus, Joseph and Mary, this country is getting more brain dead every day. The photo of mom with the little one says it all. You don't let a little kid pick out what kind of sugar laden crap they want to eat. You pick out 3 or 4 healthy brands and give them a choice. On another note, only an idiot takes a child that age to the grocery store.
Before you bitch about the cost of a box of cereal, think about what you are paying for your "sack o crap" breakfast from Mickey D's.
It is not just sugar or gluten content. A lot has to do with the "engineered grains" they use.
It is just not cereal, investigate bread and other wheat and oat products. I was a big cereal fan, was being the optimum word.
It might have something to do with consumers noticing that they aren't eating food anymore but something that is a food alternative. Then you look at the price of the products that are made out of real food then you notice that hey it's cheaper to go to mcdonalds and eat some more fake food on the go. The biggest factor has to be the fact that people can't get up early anymore because we go to bed so late and get up so late that we have a routine of chaos in the morning. Hit the alarm a few times then jump out of bed in a panic as you notice that you have 15 minutes before you have to leave or you'll be late for work, hit the shower, dry off, brush your teeth, shave, apply deodorant, get dressed then fix your hair and out the front door you go. Really who gets up early enough now to actually sit down for less than 30 minutes each morning to just "relax" and wake up fully before getting the day under way while you eat breakfast? We don't program ourselves like that anymore. We are programmed to be on the go now.
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