Mintel’s British Lifestyles 2013 report found that the economic climate has prompted more in-home eating in the UK. But Alex Beckett, food analyst at Mintel, said the complete opposite can be seen for breakfast, where consumers are eating their morning meal on the go or at work.
“Manufacturers have been forced to recognize the importance and opportunities of the ‘al-desko’ trend,” Beckett told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“We’ve seen some really interesting developments where new product development (NPD) has come forward in terms of packaging and portability."
Breakfast cereal pots, for example, tap directly into these needs and have done well in the market, he added.
Consumers demanding pack changes
“There is great consumer demand for changes to breakfast cereal packaging,” Beckett said.
More than three-quarters (78%) of cereal users would buy a product with re-sealable packaging and 64% would like to see packaging that keeps cereal fresher for longer.
“These packaging demands could be linked with the value-for-money trend – with consumers being more concerned about wastage. But it could also suggest that consumers have wider repertoires of cereal, therefore it takes them longer to eat,” the analyst said.
There is also a demand for easier to open packs from 57% of consumers.
Cereal pots v. bars
The UK has seen a flurry of new product launches in pot forms from big brands including Quaker. However, Beckett said the pot category, “hasn’t got that instant, impulse appeal” that cereal bars have.
Cereal bars, while more developed, continue to soar because they combine health and convenience well, he said.
‘Try me’ options could surge
Beckett said the recent shift towards trial packs containing smaller, test-size portions is interesting and something likely to continue.
Kellogg recently launched a trial pack for its Coco Pops, retailed at £1.38 ($2.14) with three mini servings and a ‘try me’ sticker on pack.
These trial packs are to encourage new usage occasions rather than attract new customers, the analyst said, as firms try to spur growth.
“Manufacturers really struggle to drive volume growth because household penetration of breakfast cereals is already extremely high,” he said.
Mintel data shows that 9 in 10 Brits eat breakfast cereals and 6 in 10 do this on a daily basis.