- Consumers are currently focusing on health and comfort when it comes to choosing a breakfast cereal.
- Four breakfast cereal trends that manufacturers should know include: nostalgic, indulgent flavors, high protein, and keto.
At-home breakfast consumption surged during the pandemic lockdown, boosting breakfast cereal sales along the way. Now as the COVID pandemic winds down, many consumers are continuing to work from home, at least part of the time, keeping at-home breakfast consumption at high levels.
Consumers seem to be focusing on two things right now when it comes to choosing a breakfast cereal: health and comfort. For many consumers, the COVID pandemic was a wakeup call that heightened their awareness of lifestyle habits related to health such as diet, exercise, and sleep. They want to make healthier food choices—especially at breakfast, which supports focus and energy for the day ahead.
At the same time, there is still a lot of stress and uncertainty that’s motivating people to choose foods they find comforting. These include familiar, nostalgic products, as well as flavors that are especially indulgent. Breakfast cereals positioned as healthy or comforting are also more likely to be used as snacking cereals throughout the day.
Here’s a look at four breakfast cereal trends that manufacturers should know:
Retro cereals are back in a big way. This includes a relaunch of the original 1980’s recipes of Trix, Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams, and Cocoa Puffs. We’ve also seen Kellogg’s Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies and Oatmeal Crème Pies cereals, plus the release of Sesame Street and Pokémon cereals by General Mills. Brands are finding a variety of ways to connect with consumers by tapping into happy childhood memories.
Some brands are taking indulgent cereal to the next level. For example, Frosted Mini-Wheats is now available in Cinnamon Roll flavor, while Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a Chocolate Churros option. Even the Cheerios brand is reshaping its image with the launch of Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios. Consumers who are missing their decadent morning coffeeshop treat can try the new Dunkin’ Cereal in Mocha Latte or Caramel Macchiato.
The rise of protein cereal underscores the mainstreaming of high protein products. Not only does protein have a health halo, but its satiety benefits also make it perfect for breakfast time. The new HighKey Plant-Based Protein Cereal provides 16 grams of protein and no added sugars, using ingredients such as soy protein, erythritol, and stevia. Post’s recently launched Premier Protein Cereal relies on milk, wheat, and pea protein to achieve its 20 grams of protein.
Keto is also expanding into the cereal aisle, with major brands getting in on this trending diet. We saw General Mills lead the way with its Wonderworks Keto Friendly Cereal, a product formulated with milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and a blend of palm and canola oils. Now Kashi GO Keto Friendly Cereal provides a plant-based option, with lentil and pea proteins and sunflower oil. Low net carb, high protein, keto formulas have broad appeal beyond keto dieters.
To address today’s breakfast cereal trends, focusing on health and comfort by choosing the right ingredients is key. Help your consumers start their day off right with our dairy and plant-based functional proteins, including semi-finished solutions like our Crunchie™ Milk Protein Bites.. We also offer delicious flavors and custom premixes to fortify your cereals with all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Contact Glanbia Nutritionals to learn more.