According to the research firm’s latest Innovation Tracking report, some manufacturers had already started to evolve the potted cereal category. In July this year, two European firms launched cereal pots containing spoons - Alara Wholefoods in the UK with its Power of Green Superfoods creamy porridge and Rigas Dzirnavnieks in Latvia with its Herkuless-branded oatmeal.
Ghina Romani, food and drink researcher at Datamonitor Consumer, said it was concept developments like this that could drive growth in what was now a competitive segment.
“We’ve seen the pot packaging growing even faster recently – probably faster than food manufacturers expected when they first launched on-the-go breakfasts,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“…But with these two products, it’s really interesting to see how the cereal manufacturers are trying to take the concept a step further and include something that’s more convenient.”
From niche to mainstream?
Romani said spoon inclusions would likely remain a niche within the wider on-the-go breakfast trend, but said there was a need for companies to innovate further around the concept.
“I think we will see other more creative ideas for on-the-go packaging, perhaps added fruit sachets or even milk pouches. The options are open for manufacturers to think about how they can make cereal more convenient and appealing,” she said.
What manufacturers had to consider was improving the pot concept in a way that saved time for consumers; making the eating experience easier and quicker, she said. Manufacturers thinking about launching pot variants had to go beyond the basic concept now, she added.
“Consumers want to have products that help them have their breakfast meal in a shorter time. Breakfast is usually considered a rushed occasion; people aren’t consuming it like as a pleasure like dinner, it’s just because you need it.”
While on-the-go cereal pots held mainstream appeal in the US, Canada, Europe and Russia, Romani said there was less presence in emerging Asian markets like China and India. However, she said potted cereal could hold growth potential if strong consumer research was conducted.
“The key point about targeting consumers in those countries is that the packaging will appeal to consumers but you have to keep in mind that they have different flavor preferences for breakfast. So, if the manufacturer manages to combine those two factors – having the flavors consumers like and the convenient, on-the-go packaging – it would make a difference in the market and would really appeal to consumers,” she said.
Romani told this publication previously that black ingredients would invigorate the cereal category in China.