Can The All Day Breakfast Trend Heat Up Sales of Healthy Breakfast Cereals?

Can The All Day Breakfast Trend Heat Up Sales of Healthy Breakfast Cereals?

July 16, 2014

by Amanda Rubizhevsky

Diners and bagel shops are known for serving breakfast all day, and late into the evening.  Fast-feeders have even flirted with the idea of late night meals.  It’s a challenge for most because of limited cooking space and too much item variety – but that won’t stop them from trying to make it work.  

Depending where nighttime munchers are, some have places to go, while others satisfy their “breakfast tastes” in their cozy home kitchens – which means they source these foods at retail, and potentially can be influenced in a healthier direction.  One of the keystone breakfast categories – cold cereal – fell in dollar sales by 2.94% to $9.22 billion in the 52 weeks ended January 26, 2014 in supermarkets, drug stores, mass market retailers, military commissaries, and select club and dollar retail outlets, reports IRi, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Pin that loss on frozen handhelds, snack bars, hot cereal, nutrition bars, eggs, Greek yogurt and toaster pastries - all categories that grew in this period, according to the IRi data - as well as the rise in on-the-go consumer eating.

“Although the connection between Americans and their breakfast cereals may be strained…it remains unbroken,” says Packaged Facts, highlighting its recent report, Cold and Hot Breakfast Cereals in the U.S.  Their research indicates, “Three in four adults eat cold cereal and more than 60% eat hot cereal.  Three in five cold cereal eaters and two in five hot cereal eaters consume cereal daily or a few times a week.

“Moreover, Americans eat breakfast cereal morning, noon and night,” Packaged Facts continues.  “More than 40% of cereal consumers eat it as an evening or late-night meal or snack.  In fact, cold cereal plays a crucial role in the lives of snackers. Two in five cold cereal eaters consume cold cereal as a snack right out of the box, while 15% mix it with other ingredients to make their own customized snack mix.”

With such findings, cold cereal makers are waking up to round-the-clock opportunities.  This awareness may come just in time for brands and retailers to capitalize on the trend and offset competition from fast-feeders.

There is a clear opportunity here for Retail Dietitians to help capitalize on the round-the-clock breakfast trend while encouraging healthy eating and boosting sales in the cereal aisle.

Putting This Trend Into Action:

  • Help shoppers see outside of traditional meal times, merchandise fiber rich, low sugar, hot and cold cereals for late night snacks, or before bed treats.   I.e. pair cold cereals with Greek yogurt for a high fiber, high protein satisfying late night meal.
  • Shoppers might not want to admit to their late night habits, so share ideas in the store circular, email newsletters, or through social media or the store website.  Encourage healthy collaboration.
  • We live in a snack-all-day culture and shoppers are looking for healthy, satisfy, tasty snacks.  Offer up suggestions for healthy on-the-go snack pairings for cereals, such as nuts, fresh or dried fruit, and yogurt.