October 10, 2016

PLAIN CHEERIOS DO GOT OLD AFTER A WHILE THOUGH...:

The Agenda: Why Americans are eating less cold cereal for breakfast (James F. Peltz, 10/10/16, LA Times)

The changes are coming on two main fronts: Many consumers increasingly want healthier choices for breakfast and they want foods they can carry out the door instead of taking the time to pour cereal into a bowl at the breakfast table, analysts said.

On the health side, there's nothing new about cereal being attacked as less than nutritious and too high in calories. Critics for years have complained about some cereals being laced with too much sugar, with the likes of Kellogg's Honey Smacks and Post's Golden Crisp being favorite targets.

But consumers' push for healthier cereals now goes much further.

Shoppers are looking for "high protein and fiber content and natural ingredients," the research firm Mintel Group Ltd. said in a report. "Consumers today believe cereal is overly processed and doesn't contain enough nutrients."

That means cereal faces steeper competition from fresh fruit, yogurt, breakfast bars, protein-rich bars and drinks, sandwiches and even all-day breakfast options at McDonald's Corp. and other fast-food chains.

"Consumers are increasingly seeking products that match their personal definition of real food, and that can mean foods that are less processed and have simple labels with recognizable ingredients," Powell told the investors.

"These consumers are looking for transparency from manufacturers, so they can know how their food was sourced, produced and delivered to them," he said.

The cereal makers have responded by reformulating many of their brands, boosting the protein and whole-grain content while lowering or eliminating sugar, gluten, sodium, carbohydrates and artificial flavors.

Jim Murphy, president of General Mills' cereal division, said those steps are starting to pay off. One example: Sales of gluten-free Cheerios were up 2% in the company's fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 28, he said.

Kellogg recently rolled out two new versions of its mainstay Raisin Bran that include clusters of granola. General Mills introduced Tiny Toast that's flavored with real strawberries and blueberries and contains no artificial colors or sweeteners.

Tiny Toast, in fact, was General Mills' first new cereal in 15 years, and Murphy acknowledged that one factor behind the industry's sales downturn was "not enough innovation from the branded manufacturers."

But Murphy contended that new products and stronger marketing have led to "improvement in the cereal category" this year and General Mills expects "this will continue."

This one is pretty good Nature's Path Heritage Flakes.

Posted by at October 10, 2016 8:48 AM

  

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