Americans continue to prioritise quality above affordability, even in tough times

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Post Consumer Brand's Malt-O-Meal bagged cereals have been given a facelift. Pic: Malt-O-Meal
Post Consumer Brand's Malt-O-Meal bagged cereals have been given a facelift. Pic: Malt-O-Meal

Related tags Post Consumer Brands Malt-O-Meal quality Price Inflation coronavirus Breakfast cereals

Shoppers around the globe are feeling the pressure of runaway inflation – to the point where some are even foregoing heat to eat – however, that doesn’t mean they’re prepared to give up quality for a bargain.

According to Post Consumer Brand’s Malt-O-Meal, 71% of Americans are more likely to shop on a budget now than prior to the pandemic, with parents being 21% more likely than non-parents.


There are two factors, however, that have remained unchanged when it comes to shopping for groceries. Price, of course, has always been important – and even more so in today’s economic crisis – but pipping that on the priority stakes is quality. So, it’s not surprising that Malt-O-Meal’s survey found 69% of consumers gravitate toward value brands.


The brand commissioned the survey to coincide with the roll-out of new branding and packaging for its bagged cereals.

It claims the cereals still rock ‘the same great taste’, but now sport a fun, colourful look – all at a price that will lift the hearts of any cash-strapped consumer.

Breakfast cereals are typically considered as a boxed product, but here again the survey responses found people are almost as likely to purchase bagged cereal (68%) as they are to opt for a boxed option (78%).

Now more important than ever

“Our survey found that cold cereal is the number one choice for breakfast during busy mornings,”​ said Mike Porter, brand director for Malt-O-Meal.

“Malt-O-Meal has always been committed to providing top-quality cereal at an affordable price per serving. We know that this is more important than ever right now as shoppers and their families strive to start their mornings with a convenient breakfast while keeping a close eye on the budget.”

The survey found that prior to the pandemic, 23% of Americans spent at least $100 on weekly groceries. This percentage rose to 31% during lockdown, but remains high today with spiking grocery prices. To help save money on their weekly grocery bills, the top tactics employed are purchasing value brands (53%), shopping from a sales flyer (45%) and using a store rewards app (43%).


The Malt-O-Meal brand includes 36 flavours of ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals, with varieties like Frosted Mini Spooners, Cinnamon Toasters and Fruity Dyno-Bites coming in among the 40 top sellers of the category. A majority of its cereals are packed in re-sealable bags, which appeal to eco-conscious consumers as there is less packaging than traditional bag-in-box cereal.

To remain affordable, the brand says it forgoes national ad campaigns in favour of dedicating their resources to producing high-quality products at a low price per ounce. The cereal are available at grocery stores nationwide.

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