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UK Breakfast Cereals market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Breakfast Cereals market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Richard Caines, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Lack of excitement and busy lifestyles are barriers to people not eating breakfast cereals more often. More on-the-go formats should help cereals to stay on the menu among people who don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, while separate toppings are one way of adding more excitement to the eating of cereals and an extra revenue stream for cereal brands.Richard Caines
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Products covered in this report

This Report examines the UK retail market for breakfast cereals and excludes sales through foodservice channels.

For the purposes of this Report, breakfast cereals are segmented into ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals and hot cereal products. The former comprises any cereals that are served without heating them, such as corn flakes or muesli. The hot cereal segment consists of porridge, oatmeal and instant hot oat products.

Cereal bars and other breakfast products are excluded from the scope of this Report, but reference to them is made where relevant in the light of their role as competing products.

What you need to know

Total sales of breakfast cereals are estimated to increase by 1% in 2018 to reach £1.56 billion, but with even slower growth expected in volume sales. The main reason for the lacklustre performance is flat sales of RTE cereals that account for 80% of volume sales. Concerns about sugar in some cereals, people eating more portable breakfast options out of home or skipping breakfast all together all pose challenges to the category.

Generally positive perceptions of some of the leading types of breakfast cereal is good news though and something for brands in breakfast cereals to build upon. Promoting products being low/no added sugar, high fibre, wholegrain, natural and high in vitamins and minerals will continue to be important, given that these are the attributes shoppers are most likely to look for on packaging.

While breakfast cereals clearly have nutritional benefits that appeal to people, they also need to maintain their relevance to people’s busy lifestyles. They will continue to appeal to the growing population of older people, who are very likely to eat breakfast every day at home. However, more convenient options are needed to increase frequency of eating among the younger generation. This includes marketing breakfast cereal as a snack option.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Small upturn in sales of breakfast cereals
              • Value sales growth forecast but small dip expected in volume sales
                • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of breakfast cereals, 2013-23
              • Decline in RTE cereals halted
                • Strong sales performance for hot cereals
                  • Big focus on sugar reduction
                    • Breakfast eating habits have big influence
                      • Growth of over-55s to benefit in-home breakfasts
                        • Companies and brands
                          • Own-label gaining ground in RTE cereals
                            • Figure 2: Leading manufacturers’ shares in the UK RTE cereals market, by value, 2017/18**
                          • PepsiCo retains top position in hot cereals
                            • Figure 3: Leading manufacturers’ shares in the UK hot cereals market, by value, 2017/18*
                          • Sugar reduction central to NPD
                            • W.K. Kellogg hopes to tap into interest in plant-based foods
                              • Protein launches a continuing theme
                                • The consumer
                                  • Vast majority of people eat breakfast cereals
                                    • Figure 4: Usage of different types of breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                  • Plain cereal is the most popular individual type
                                    • Half of users eat cereal most days
                                      • Figure 5: Frequency of eating breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                    • Consumers are looking for less sugar in cereals
                                      • Figure 6: Attributes looked for on packaging when choosing breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                    • Strong interest in on-the-go and snack packs
                                      • Adding variety to cereal through pots of toppings
                                        • Figure 7: Interest in breakfast cereals products, June 2018
                                      • Cereals are an energy boost or guilt-free treat
                                        • Many people add extra ingredients to breakfast cereal
                                          • Figure 8: Behaviours and preferences related to breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                        • Breakfast cereals enjoy strong overall perceptions
                                          • Figure 9: Correspondence Analysis of qualities associated with different types of breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Room to drive cereals as a snack and for out-of-home occasions
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • People’s love of toppings can help keep breakfast cereal interesting
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Breakfast cereals are in good place to promote nutritional value of products
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Total breakfast cereals sales show small upturn in 2017
                                                              • Value sales growth forecast but small dip expected in volume sales
                                                                • Small increase in value sales of RTE cereals
                                                                  • Sugar-related concerns will hold back volume sales
                                                                    • Hot cereals segment goes from strength to strength
                                                                      • Sugar reduction a big focus in category
                                                                        • Eating breakfast out of home works against breakfast cereals
                                                                          • People skipping breakfast poses a threat to cereals
                                                                            • Growth of over-55s to benefit in-home breakfasts
                                                                              • Catering for on-the-go 25-44-year-olds
                                                                              • Market Size, Segmentation and Forecast

                                                                                • Total breakfast cereals sales show small upturn in 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 10: UK retail sales of breakfast cereals, by value and volume, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of breakfast cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                • RTE cereals show small increase in value sales in 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 12: UK retail sales of RTE cereals, by value and volume, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of RTE cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                • Hot cereals segment goes from strength to strength
                                                                                  • Figure 14: UK retail sales of hot cereals, by value and volume, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of hot cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                                  • Breakfast cereals tasked with 20% sugar reduction by 2020
                                                                                    • PHE sugar reduction targets
                                                                                      • Initiatives from leading players
                                                                                        • Push to cut sugar also coming from consumers
                                                                                          • Figure 16: Top five factors deemed important when looking for healthy food, November 2017
                                                                                        • PHE puts new focus on calorie consumption
                                                                                          • Eating breakfast out of home works against breakfast cereals
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Breakfast items typically eaten at home and out of home, May 2018
                                                                                          • People skipping breakfast poses a threat to cereals
                                                                                            • Population trends
                                                                                              • Growth of over-55s to benefit in-home breakfasts
                                                                                                • Catering for on-the-go 25-44-year-olds
                                                                                                  • Room for more healthy cereals for children
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Trends in age structure of the UK population, 2012-22
                                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                  • Own-label gains share in RTE cereals
                                                                                                    • PepsiCo retains top position in hot cereals
                                                                                                      • Sugar reduction central to NPD
                                                                                                        • W.K. Kellogg hopes to tap into interest in plant-based foods
                                                                                                          • Protein launches a continuing theme
                                                                                                            • Expanding choice of flavours
                                                                                                              • 10% increase in 2017 advertising spending
                                                                                                                • Weetabix stands for quality and good value
                                                                                                                  • Quaker Oats has strong association with health and wellbeing
                                                                                                                    • Cheerios and Shreddies seen as fun brands
                                                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                                                      • Own-label gains share in RTE cereals
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the RTE cereals market, by value and volume, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK RTE cereals market, by value and volume. 2016/17-2017/18
                                                                                                                      • PepsiCo retains top position in hot cereals
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK hot cereals market, by value and volume, 2016/17-2017/18
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK hot cereals market, by value and volume, 2016/17-2017/18
                                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                      • Sugar reduction central to NPD
                                                                                                                        • Kellogg’s cuts sugar in 2018
                                                                                                                          • Nestlé Cereal Partners sets targets for end of 2018
                                                                                                                            • L/N/R sugar claims leap ahead
                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Examples of breakfast cereal launches making no added sugar claims, 2018
                                                                                                                            • Low/reduced sugar claims remain rare
                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Examples of breakfast cereal launches making low sugar claims, 2018
                                                                                                                            • W.K. Kellogg range hopes to tap into interest in plant-based foods
                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Products from the new W.K. Kellogg breakfast cereals range, 2018
                                                                                                                            • Protein launches are a continuing theme
                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Examples of breakfast cereal launches making high/added protein claims, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                            • Free-from claims increase again in first half of 2018
                                                                                                                              • Brands continue to dominate free-from launches
                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Examples of breakfast cereal launches making gluten-free claims, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                              • Expanding choice of flavours
                                                                                                                                • Established brands widen their ranges
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Examples of new flavours in breakfast cereal launches, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                • New flavours range from dessert themes to vegetables
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Examples of new flavours and ingredients in breakfast cereal launches, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                • Jordans launches Grin-ola - its first kids’ range
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Examples of children’s breakfast cereal launches, 2017
                                                                                                                                • Kellogg’s doubling vitamin D in its cereals
                                                                                                                                  • Breakfast drinks competing with cereals
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Examples of breakfast drink launches, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                  • 10% increase in 2017 advertising spending
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on breakfast cereals, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                  • Kellogg’s increases advertising
                                                                                                                                    • ‘Perfect bowl’ campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
                                                                                                                                      • Crunchy Nut focuses on unusual eating situations
                                                                                                                                        • Special K spotlights powering women every day
                                                                                                                                          • Marketing support for new W.K. Kellogg range focuses on ‘plant power’
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on breakfast cereals, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                          • Nestlé reduces spending on Shredded Wheat and Shreddies
                                                                                                                                            • Cheerios promotes nutritious breakfasts for kids
                                                                                                                                              • Shreddies strikes a humorous tone
                                                                                                                                                • Quaker Oats puts biggest focus on Oat So Simple
                                                                                                                                                  • Weetabix increases adspend
                                                                                                                                                    • ‘Have you had your Weetabix?’ strapline returns
                                                                                                                                                      • Alpen puts focus on authentic Alpine roots
                                                                                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                        • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Key metrics for selected brands, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Brand attitudes: Weetabix and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes the most trusted brands
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Attitudes, by brand, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Brand personality: Cheerios seen as the most fun brand
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Brand personality – macro image, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Quaker Oats deemed most traditional brands
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Brand personality – micro image, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                                              • Weetabix stands for quality and good value
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: User profile of Weetabix, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Quaker Oats has strongest association with health and wellbeing
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: User profile of Quaker Oats, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes is widely seen as a traditional and accessible brand
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: User profile of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Natural image is a key strength of Jordans
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: User profile of Jordans, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Perceptions of being healthy and natural are key strengths for Alpen
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: User profile of Alpen, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Cheerios seen most widely as a fun brand
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: User profile of Cheerios, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Special K seen widely as caring for health and wellbeing
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: User profile of Special K, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Shreddies’ strengths are being a fun, family brand
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: User profile of Shreddies, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                              • Vast majority of people eat breakfast cereals
                                                                                                                                                                • Plain cereal is most popular individual type
                                                                                                                                                                  • Half of users eat cereal most days
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers are looking for less sugar in cereals
                                                                                                                                                                      • Other nutritional benefits also important
                                                                                                                                                                        • Strong interest in on-the-go and snack packs
                                                                                                                                                                          • Adding variety to cereal through pots of toppings
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cereals as an energy boost or guilt-free treat
                                                                                                                                                                              • Many people add extra ingredients to breakfast cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                • Breakfast cereals enjoy strong overall perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                                • Usage of Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Vast majority of people eat breakfast cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Usage of breakfast cereals, by type, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Women more likely to eat porridge/oats than men
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Plain cereal is the most popular individual type
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Variants of breakfast cereals typically eaten, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Convenient formats are well established in porridge/oats
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Formats of porridge/oats typically eaten, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Eating Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Half of users eat cereals most days
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Frequency of eating breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Porridge/oats eaten less frequently
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attributes Deemed Important for Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers are looking for less sugar in cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                        • NPD leaps ahead, fuelled by no added sugar claims
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Attributes looked for on packaging when choosing breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • High fibre looked for by four in 10 eaters of cereals
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Other nutritional benefits also important
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Interest in Breakfast Cereals Products

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Strong interest in on-the-go and snack packs
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Interest bodes well for cereals to stay on the menu for out-of-home breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Interest in breakfast cereals products, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Adding variety to cereal through pots of toppings
                                                                                                                                                                                                • More than a fifth are drawn to toppings
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to better leverage in-store positioning
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom-made cereal interests 19%
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Behaviour and Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Breakfast cereals are seen widely as an energy boost and guilt-free treat
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Low perception of cereals as snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cereals enjoy a strong treat image
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Behaviours and preferences related to breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Many people add extras to breakfast cereal
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Need for more excitement for the weekend
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Speed is of the essence for much of the week
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Qualities Associated with Breakfast Cereals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Breakfast cereals enjoy strong overall perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Correspondence analysis of qualities associated with different types of breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Muesli seen most widely as source of vitamins and minerals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Porridge seen as best for keeping you full for longer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Qualities associated with different types of breakfast cereals, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: UK retail volume sales of breakfast cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of breakfast cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of breakfast cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: UK retail volume sales of RTE cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of RTE cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of RTE cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: UK retail volume sales of hot cereals, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail value sales of hot cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Best- and worst-case forecast of total UK retail volume sales of hot cereals, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by claim (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by company (sorted by 2017), 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by branded and private label, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: New product launches in the UK breakfast cereals market, by sub-category, 2014-18