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Breakfast Cereals - UK - August 2017

“Fragmented eating habits have added to the woes of RTE cereals, with many cereal eaters skipping breakfast or snacking instead. Offering branded sweet snacks suited to eating on the go other than the well-established cereal bars would allow companies to better capitalise on consumer snacking tendencies while also appealing to the time-pressed.”
– Alice Baker, Research Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Extension of portable formats needed to respond to fragmented breakfast eating patterns
  • Healthy children’s cereals with appealing packaging could help to win back lapsed users
  • Daily intake labelling would make high-fibre claims more tangible

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Struggles of RTE cereals segment bring down the entire market 2012-17
              • RTE cereals’ weakness to continue to overshadow the category 2017-22
                • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of breakfast cereals, 2012-22
              • ‘Official’ movement against sugar poses challenges and opportunities
                • New government health advice looks to boost fibre consumption
                  • Breakfast cereals could benefit from an income squeeze
                    • Ageing population to affect RTE and hot cereals differently
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Kellogg’s brands continue to struggle while own-label rises
                          • Figure 2: Leading manufacturers’ shares in the UK RTE cereals market, by value, 2016/17*
                        • Quaker retains leading position in hot cereals but loses sales
                          • Launch activity falls in 2016
                            • L/N/R sugar claims rise but remain niche
                              • Brands focus on emotions in their 2016/17 advertising
                                • Weetabix and Quaker Oat So Simple enjoy strong reputations
                                  • The consumer
                                    • RTE cereals have high penetration, but only a minority eat them daily
                                      • Figure 3: Usage of breakfast cereals, June 2017
                                    • Little brand loyalty, with price promotions a key influence
                                      • Figure 4: Breakfast cereal buying habits, June 2017
                                    • Fractured breakfast eating patterns erode breakfast occasions
                                      • Figure 5: Breakfast cereal eating and buying behaviours, June 2017
                                    • Ingredients with ‘natural’ image appeal most as sugar substitutes
                                      • Figure 6: Preferred alternatives to sugar, June 2017
                                    • Breakfast cereals can benefit from an income squeeze
                                      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards breakfast cereals, June 2017
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • Extension of portable formats needed to respond to fragmented breakfast eating patterns
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Healthy children’s cereals with appealing packaging could help to win back lapsed users
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • Daily intake labelling would make high-fibre claims more tangible
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Struggles of RTE cereals segment bring down the entire market 2012-16
                                                          • Further volume decline in 2017
                                                            • RTE cereals’ weakness to continue to overshadow the category 2017-22
                                                              • ‘Official’ movement against sugar poses challenges and opportunities
                                                                • New government health advice looks to boost fibre consumption
                                                                  • Breakfast cereals could benefit from an income squeeze
                                                                    • Ageing population to affect RTE and hot cereals differently
                                                                    • Market Size, Segmentation and Forecast

                                                                      • Ongoing decline in RTE cereals brings down the entire market 2012-17
                                                                        • Weakness of RTE cereals to continue to hinder the category 2017-22
                                                                          • Figure 8: UK retail sales of breakfast cereals, by value and volume, 2012-22
                                                                          • Figure 9: UK retail value sales of breakfast cereals, 2012-22
                                                                        • Further decline for RTE cereals in 2016/17
                                                                          • No recovery in volume sales imminent
                                                                            • Diverse factors will affect RTE cereals over 2017-22
                                                                              • Weakness of volume sales and trading down to slow value growth
                                                                                • Figure 10: UK retail sales of RTE cereals, by value and volume, 2012-22
                                                                                • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of RTE cereals, 2012-22
                                                                              • Modest growth in hot cereal volume sales in 2016
                                                                                • Volume sales growth stalls in 2017
                                                                                  • Ageing population to support hot cereals 2017-22
                                                                                    • Figure 12: UK retail sales of hot cereals, by value and volume, 2012-22
                                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of hot cereals, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • ‘Official’ movement against sugar provides challenges and opportunities
                                                                                      • Government sets industry targets to cut sugar
                                                                                        • EFSA rules put low sugar limit at 5g per 100g
                                                                                          • PHE targets parents with breakfast campaign
                                                                                            • Liverpool Council ‘names and shames’ children’s cereals
                                                                                              • New government health advice looks to boost fibre consumption
                                                                                                • Inflation to affect the market
                                                                                                  • Breakfast cereals could benefit from an income squeeze
                                                                                                    • New rules ban online advertising of sugary products to children
                                                                                                      • Ageing population to affect RTE and hot cereals differently
                                                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • Kellogg’s brands continue to struggle while own-label rises
                                                                                                          • Quaker retains leading position in hot cereals but loses sales
                                                                                                            • Launch activity falls in 2016
                                                                                                              • L/N/R sugar claims rise but remain niche
                                                                                                                • Brands focus on emotions in their 2016/17 advertising
                                                                                                                  • Weetabix and Quaker Oat So Simple enjoy strong reputations
                                                                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                                                                    • Kellogg’s brands continue to struggle
                                                                                                                      • Figure 14: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK RTE cereals market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2016/17
                                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK RTE cereals market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2016/17
                                                                                                                    • NPD and aisle redesigns help own-label to grow sales
                                                                                                                      • Supermarkets continue to compete on price
                                                                                                                        • Weetabix Minis outperforms the standard variant
                                                                                                                          • Quaker continues to lead on hot cereals but loses sales
                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK hot cereals market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2016/17
                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK hot cereals market, by value and volume, 2015/16-2016/17
                                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                          • Launch activity declines in 2016
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by private label and brands, 2013-17
                                                                                                                          • High/added fibre remains the primary health claim
                                                                                                                            • Wholegrain made central to high-fibre claims
                                                                                                                              • Multiple health claims used to give additional differentiation
                                                                                                                                • Quaker emphasizes the vitamin content of its Super Goodness range
                                                                                                                                  • Further growth in high fibre and L/N/R sugar cereals
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by top 20 claims (sorted by 2016), 2013-17
                                                                                                                                  • L/N/R sugar claims rise in 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Brands and retailers reformulate
                                                                                                                                      • Growth in gluten-free launches drives rise in L/N/R allergy claims
                                                                                                                                        • Smaller brands and retailers lead the way
                                                                                                                                          • Kellogg’s maintains its lead on NPD in 2016
                                                                                                                                            • Extensions to Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut ranges in 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Quaker ups NPD activity, with a focus on convenience
                                                                                                                                                • Pouched product promoted as good for eating on the go
                                                                                                                                                  • Overnight Oats allows potential for summertime eating
                                                                                                                                                    • Oat So Simple gets high-protein variant
                                                                                                                                                      • Weetabix focuses on provenance with limited-edition packaging
                                                                                                                                                      • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                        • Advertising spend falls to four-year low in 2016
                                                                                                                                                          • Kellogg’s and Nestlé continue to dominate advertising
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on breakfast cereals, by top 5 advertisers (sorted by 2016), 2013-17
                                                                                                                                                          • Brands focus on strength to build aspirational image
                                                                                                                                                            • Special K takes holistic approach to health in female-orientated campaign
                                                                                                                                                              • Shredded Wheat links its wholegrain attributes with courage
                                                                                                                                                                • Quaker Oats recruits Buzz Aldrin to push achievement message
                                                                                                                                                                  • Weetabix revives its ‘Have you had your Weetabix?’ slogan
                                                                                                                                                                    • Social aspects of breakfast emphasized to strengthen emotional associations
                                                                                                                                                                      • Kellogg’s links Cornflakes with individuality and family banter
                                                                                                                                                                        • Cheerios emphasizes the importance of family breakfasts
                                                                                                                                                                          • Coco Pops looks to appeal to time-pressed and health-conscious parents
                                                                                                                                                                            • Other Kellogg’s campaigns
                                                                                                                                                                              • Special K emphasizes taste as well as health to widen its appeal…
                                                                                                                                                                                • …and looks to address sugar concerns
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Crunchy Nut launches challenge competition
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Multi-brand YouTube campaign looks to find new occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Alpen advert uses Swiss imagery to emphasise traditional recipe
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nestlé and Quaker offer tasting opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Key metrics for selected brands, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand attitudes: Weetabix and Quaker Oat So Simple have the best reputations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Attitudes, by brand, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand personality: Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut are seen as the most fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Brand personality – Macro image, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weetabix and Quaker Oat So Simple are seen as the most traditional
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Brand personality – Micro image, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Quaker Oat So Simple is seen as the most comforting
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: User profile of Oat So Simple, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Weetabix is the most recommended brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: User profile of Weetabix, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Crunchy Nut scores highest for taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: User profile of Crunchy Nut, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dorset Cereals is seen as the most ethical brand
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: User profile of Dorset Cereals, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Special K is held in high esteem by women
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: User profile of Special K, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Coco Pops is seen as the most fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: User profile of Coco Pops, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Shredded Wheat is favoured by men
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: User profile of Shredded Wheat, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                                • RTE cereals have high penetration, but only a minority eat daily
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Little brand loyalty, with price promotions a key influence
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fractured breakfast eating patterns erode breakfast occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ingredients with ‘natural’ image appeal most as sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Further information on grain sourcing appeals to many
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Usage of Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Overall usage of RTE cereals is unchanged
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Usage of breakfast cereals, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Under-25s are key users of RTE cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …as are families
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Usage frequency for RTE cereals and porridge oats, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Porridge oats are favoured by older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Oats’ healthy image and satiety associations boost popularity among women
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast Cereal Buying Factors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers’ desire for variety and retailer tactics fuel low brand loyalty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Over-55s are the most loyal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Breakfast cereal buying habits, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Free samples are a key enticement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Prompts to try a new brand of cereal, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Link-ups with supermarket loyalty schemes could help to harness the power of discounts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Prices and promotions have a strong influence on brand switching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Factors influencing choice of breakfast cereal, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Older people are particularly likely to value no added sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appeal of no added sugar labels benefits certain varieties
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in high fibre should support wholegrain cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • One third do not check nutritional tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Daily intake labelling could help to make fibre claims more tangible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • New flavours appeal particularly to younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast Cereal Eating and Buying Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fragmented eating patterns reduce breakfast occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Breakfast cereal eating and buying behaviours, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Promoting breakfast’s importance could help to combat breakfast skipping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Expansion in handheld formats should help companies to respond to the ‘snackification’ of breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sweet snacks from cereal brands appeal to many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Harnessing pester power proves a double-edged sword for companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Healthy children’s cereals with appealing packaging could help to win back lapsed users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Media reports on ‘shrinkflation’ influence consumers’ behaviour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Transparency could stave off potential backlash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Preferred Alternatives to Sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Honey’s natural health halo boosts its appeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Preferred alternatives to sugar, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dried fruit’s appeal should boost no added sugar mueslis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer health concerns and unfamiliarity limit appeal of sweeteners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appeal of less sweet-tasting products offers opportunities for manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Breakfast cereals could benefit from an income squeeze
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards breakfast cereals, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Further details on grain origin would be welcomed by many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Smaller brands should be best placed to benefit from consumer interest in provenance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Forecast of UK sales of breakfast cereals, by value, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Forecast of UK sales of breakfast cereals, by volume, best- and worst-case, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Forecast of UK sales of RTE cereals, by value, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Forecast of UK sales of RTE cereals, by volume, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Forecast of UK sales of hot cereals, by value, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Forecast of UK sales of hot cereals, by volume, best- and worst-case, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: UK retail volume sales of breakfast cereals, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: UK retail volume sales for RTE cereals, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: UK retail volume sales of hot cereals, 2012-22
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by top ten companies (sorted by 2016, 2013-16

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Breakfast Cereals - UK - August 2017

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