In 2014, breakfast cereal sales dropped $300 million in the U.S., according to New Nutrition Business' new report–"The snackification of breakfast: How changing consumer habits are creating new opportunities."
But this money didn't disappear. Instead, $70 million of it was diverted to increase the sales of one of the biggest disruptive innovations in the breakfast category, Belvita breakfast biscuits. The rest went to a host of high-growth challenger brands.
"Breakfast has become one of the most fought-over battlegrounds in food and health, a battle fueled by consumers' need for easy and quick meals in the morning–and by two massively successful disruptive innovations, Belvita's breakfast biscuit and Up & Go's liquid breakfast," said Julian Mellentin, author of the report.
The report shows how, around the world from Asia to America, breakfast is being "snackified" as time-pressed consumers are turning away from the breakfast table and towards an on-the-go breakfast–or even skipping the first meal of the day altogether. In Asia, for example, 66% of professional workers surveyed by New Nutrition Business ate breakfast away from home three or more times in a two-week period, and 20% consumed breakfast away from home every single day. A study of 500 young Americans found that 27% skipped breakfast, and of those who did not, 25% ate breakfast away from home. These changing habits mean a wealth of new opportunities for companies in every food category.
"Every type of food or beverage company, in every category, either is looking at what they can do to get their own slice of the breakfast market or is in the process of launching or building up products," said Mellentin. "And what the successes so far—including Belvita, Up & Go, and Quaker's single-serve oat pot Oat So Simple–have in common is a focus on the five factors that add up to success in the changing breakfast category."
The big successes so far, illustrated by the five case studies in the report, show that any company with ambitions in breakfast should not rule out any new product idea because it is too unfamiliar to consumers or too innovative.