Kellogg’s may no longer be king of the breakfast table.
BusinessWeek reports that sales for the brand’s morning-foods department have fallen for seven quarters in a row, with cereal receiving an especially bad beating.
It’s not cereal’s fault — Americans are changing the way they eat breakfast.
Here are four of the major shifts:
Cereal isn’t convenience food anymore.
Kellogg’s went bonkers in the 1960s and ’70s, a time when more women were staying at home with the kids, BusinessWeek reports. Bowls of cereal were a handy option for filling hungry mouths.
But today, both members of married couples with kids tend to work. In the US, it’s the case 59% of the time.
As a result, people want something they can run out with, like yogurt or a breakfast bar.
“For a while, breakfast cereal was convenience food,” cultural historian Abigail Carroll tells BusinessWeek.
“But convenience is relative,” she says. “It’s more convenient to grab a breakfast bar, yogurt, a piece of fruit, or a breakfast sandwich at some fast-food place than to eat a bowl of breakfast cereal.”
Advertisers are emphasising that difference, like in the below Yoplait ad where parents, teens, and tweens pluck yogurt from the refrigerator in a joyful race against time:
Trying doing that with a bowl of cereal.
If you’re eating breakfast at home, it will probably be hot.
BusinessWeek reports that people taking the time to eat breakfast at home are doing more than pouring milk into a bowl.
They’re using toasters. According to a 2014 Nielson survey, frozen waffles, pancakes and French toast sales have increased by 4.5% over the last five years.
And they’re at the stove: Oatmeal sales went “3.5% in the first half of 2014,” BusinessWeek reports.
People hate carbohydrates.
“They basically have a carb-heavy portfolio,” packaged-food analyst Robert Dickerson tells BusinessWeek.
It’s not the sort of thing LeBron James would eat.
And they want protein.
A recent poll suggested that over half of Americans want to be eating more protein.
It’s taking their loyalty from cereal.
“At home, [people are] gobbling up Greek yogurt,” Quartz reports. “Away, they’re now finding an array of egg-and-cheese wraps, sandwiches, and scrambles at full- and quick-serve restaurants.”
That’s part of why eggs are coming back: over 2 billion dozens of eggs were sold in the US in 2014, a 1.6% increase from 2013.
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