Breakfast Cereals - US - February 2012
The breakfast cereal market generated an estimated $10.2 billion in total U.S. sales for 2011. While the market is substantial in size, the most pressing concern for marketers is that it has been in decline since 2009. This is due in part to the fact that with a household penetration rate in excess of 90%, it is hard to attract new consumers. This makes it all the more important for manufacturers and retailers alike to retain their core cereal consumer base, of which households with children are a key component.
Given the myriad of breakfast options that consumers can choose from, one challenge that both manufacturers and retailers share is maintaining enthusiasm for a category that faces competition on a variety of fronts. With this in mind, Mintel provides a comprehensive analysis of the following factors that have the greatest potential to impact the category’s performance:
- What are manufacturers doing in terms of innovation to address consumers’ interest in eating better, while at the same time developing products that are appealing from a taste perspective?
- How do the major market drivers influence the cereal category, and what role will they play in the future?
- How have the different cereal segments been performing in recent years, and what are their short-term growth prospects? What, if any, impact has hot cereal’s healthier perception had on the cold cereal segment?
- How do consumers’ perceptions of the various retail formats influence where they shop for cereal? Which channels have been performing best, and which may need to show some improvement?
- How effectively have retailers been able to leverage store brands in light of the relatively high price point of name brand cereals that sometimes cost as much as $5 or more?
- What strategies are manufacturers using to connect with consumers, while addressing advocacy groups’ concerns about marketing to children?
- What impact do various socio-economic, gender, race/ethnicity, and other demographic factors have on the cereal category?
- How have consumers adjusted their buying behavior in light of the country’s recession and prolonged economic slump? What lessons can be learned to navigate future economic slumps more effectively and lay the foundation for greater success once the economy recovers?
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