Euromonitor predicts sales of cereal, which have been declining slowly in the U.S. for years, will reach only $9.7 billion in 2014 compared to $10 billion in 2013 and $13.9 billion in 2000. The decline is due in part to more consumer skipping breakfast because they are short on time, or choosing high-protein foods, such as yogurt, which they perceive as providing longer-lasting, more sustained energy.
Mondelez International hopes to help fill the void created by reduced cereal consumption and meet consumers’ demand for a quick breakfast option that provides long-lasting energy with the Jan. 5 launch of belVita Bites in the U.S. in chocolate and mixed berry.
The mini-breakfast biscuits “are a smaller, more poppable version of our original belVita Breakfast Biscuits,” and, like the original, “provide four hours of steady energy, 4 grams of fiber and 20 grams of whole grain in each servicing,” said senior brand manager for belVita Mikhail Chapnik.
“We hear from consumers all the time about the time-crunch they face, especially in the morning. They are looking for convenient and nutritious, on-the-go options that will keep them feeling fueled to do the things they do in the morning,” he added.
Mondelez will support the mini-biscuits, which will be distributed at major retailers nationwide in the cookie and cracker aisle, with a fully integrated marketing campaign that also will launch Jan. 5, Chapnik said.
Television, radio, digital and social media advertising will “celebrate small victories that are provided by the four hours of steady energy from belVita,” Chapnik said, adding the campaign will encourage consumers to share their stories via social media.
The marketing will be part of the larger “Morning Win” campaign that Mondelez launched in January 2014, which rewarded social media participants with personalized badges, certificates and 3D painted trophies, Chopnik said.
“To continue momentum behind the campaign, re-engage fans and further grown the community, belVita launched the Morning Win Swag Shop, a virtual online store that takes Morning Wins and uses them on morning related swag,” he said.
Changing the breakfast category
The original belVita Breakfast Biscuits, which launched in the U.S. in 2012, “revolutionized the breakfast category for millions of consumers by launching the breakfast biscuit category in the U.S.,” according to Chopnik.
Within the first year, belVita took 1.8% share of the U.S. cookie market with $66 million in sales, which continued to grow to just under $100 million in 2013. (Read more about belVita’s marketing success HERE and HERE).
Likewise, belVita has played a major role in the decline of the U.S. cereal category, along with other quick breakfasts like yogurt, smoothies and nutrition bars, according to market analysts. (Read more HERE).
Hope for cereal
All hope is not lost for the U.S. cereal market, though, according to research from Packaged Facts.
The market analyst firm predicted in April that the U.S. breakfast cereal market will see a 10% increase from 2014 to 2018 to once again reach $13 billion in sales. Most of this growth will come from young Latinos, with Hispanic households with children being nearly twice as likely than non-Hispanic households to buy cereal. (Read more HERE.)
Cereal makers also are aggressively defending their market share by re-positioning cereals to tie into trends that are driving food sales. For example, General Mills began marketing Chex as gluten-free in 2010 and has seen a 10% compound growth rate, an executive said during the firm’s second quarter earnings call. He also noted sales of granola, which is perceived as minimally processed, also is up 10% over the past four years. (Read more HERE.)