Cereal and Snack Bars - US - March 2012
Despite minimal growth in 2011, the cereal/snack bar category generated $3.7 billion in total U.S. sales. Of the two segments—granola bars, and breakfast/cereal/snack bars—granola bars accounted for the largest share of the market with $2.1 billion in sales for 2011. Breakfast/cereal/snack bars accounted for the remaining $1.5 billion.
While the market overall grew 4.9% from 2009-11, sales were essentially flat during 2010-11. The lack of growth is of some concern, as it may indicate that consumers are seeking out other breakfast and snacking options. There are certainly a lot of food categories (e.g., fruit, bagels) that target the same on-the-go consumer who may be interested in convenient and portable food solutions. Taking this competitive environment into account, Mintel provides an in-depth look at the factors that have the greatest potential to shape the category’s fortunes for both the near and long–term, and these include:
- In terms of developing the category, what are some of the opportunities that make sense for manufacturers and retailers to consider in order to ensure that they are in sync with the marketplace?
- What are manufacturers doing in terms of product development to ensure that their new and existing products meet the criteria that consumers have when making purchase decisions?
- How are macro level trends (e.g., economy, America’s obesity problem) impacting the cereal/snack bar category?
- How have the different cereal/snack bar segments been performing in recent years, and how are they expected to perform in the near-term? Also, what impact do the segments have on each other’s sales performance?
- Given the country’s ongoing economic struggles, have retailers been able to translate private label’s lower price point into more sales in the cereal and snack bar arena?
- What marketing strategies make the most sense given the various target audiences that manufacturers are trying to connect with to maximize sales opportunities?
- How do various socio-economic, gender, race/ethnicity and other demographic factors impact the cereal/snack bar category?
- What matters most to consumers in terms of product attributes when making buying decisions in this category? What are their primary reasons for buying cereal/snack bars?
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