Friday, November 27, 2015

Did you have Froot Loops for breakfast this morning?

Maybe you just went for the leftover turkey.   But according to Kellogg's their core cereal brands, especially Froot Loops, are experiencing an upward trend in 2015, and in the past 4 weeks in particular. (Lukovitz, 2015)

Why?  You guessed it.  Millennials love cereal.  In fact, they purchase more cereal than any other generation.  But they aren't necessarily eating it at breakfast.  30 - 36% of cereal consumption takes place at other times of the day.  Convenient snacking is part of the appeal, but apparently cereal for dinner is making a comeback.  (I had lots of Boomer friends who did that in the 80's.)

I'm having a little trouble reconciling this trend with what I thought was a trend toward a more natural approach to eating.  Clearly anything that comes in a bag, box, or can is processed. 

So what gives?  Are Millennials not as interested in health as they claim to be?  Or do they see eating Froot Loops as a better alternative than potato chips?  And is it?

What about you?  Are you a cereal eater?  When?

Lukovitz, K. (2015, November 25)  Kellogg Reports Its US Cereal Sales Uptrending.  Retrieved November 27, 2015, from


  1. I do think that Millennials care very much about health, but sometimes we want to “reward” ourselves for eating healthy. I am a cereal eater, and I used to have it for breakfast. I love both potato chips and cereal, but cereal can never replace potato chips. I would still prefer potato chips for snack, but I will choose the healthier chips, such as vegetable chips.


  2. I think milennials like vintage foods, so why not satisfy their vintage needs with some old-fashioned cereal

    Potato chips are unhealthy, even the organical ones. I`m a cereal lover, since I was a child I remember those sweet tastes but I never tried the healthy ones. I still likeCaptain crunch, cheerios, trix and more, I eat them at breakfast with milk or even with yogurt, also I eat them instead of popcorn or chips when watching Netflix

  3. Cereal is historically easy, cheap and branded as a healthier snack alternative. Particularly because they're often targeted towards children (with their cartoon mascots and back-of-the-box games), it makes sense to assume that they are "healthier and more nutritious" than potato chips, which make no attempt to hide their nutritional content. It is the association of cereal with our young people that most likely influences Millennials to think it's ok to eat as a snack. If our kids can, it must be good for you, too!

    -Gabi Wuhl

  4. I am not a cereal eater. That being said, I did grow up in Thailand where cereal isn't a thing. So that is more of a cultural phenomenon. However, I was surprised to see many of my American friends in New York gobble down cereal when we hang out. They treat it like a snack that satisfies their sporadic sugar cravings throughout the day. Or even when bored they will reach for an easy to eat, non-greasy snack like cereal. In the non-greasy case where you don't have to wash your hands after grabbing a handful, cereal is a better alternative than potato chips. That's my take on the cereal boom.

  5. The Millennials that I know are pretty much interested in their health so I was a bit surprised when I read this. So, I did a little reading and found one article stating Millennials overall want healthy lifestyles, but their definition of healthy is being good for you and tasty. Actually, taste is the number one driver and they want products tailor-made for their diets. For example, in the article “What Better-For-You Millennial Consumers Want From Healthy Lifestyle Brands,” Millennials are taking a pass on the bland oatmeal or a no-chocolate-ever diet and turning to products like Cheerios Protein that has a higher protein content than regular Cheerios.

    Regarding the surge in cereal sales, I’m wondering if it’s due to nostalgia and time constraint. If a lot of Millennials are considered “healthy,” I don’t think they think it’s a better alternative to potato chips or other snacks.

    I used to be a HUGE cereal eater when I was a child because I was enthralled after discovering it when I came to this country. I was used to eating a full meal when it came to breakfast so pouring milk over some crunchy sweet stuff blew my mind. I was eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months! Anyhow, I’m no longer a cereal eater because it’s either too sweet, has too much carbs, full of GMO, and it doesn’t sustain me as much as a breakfast that has some form of protein (e.g., eggs).

  6. Being a Millennial, I think it is safe to say that eating cereal gives us a sense of nostalgia. We remember eating cereal during the mornings especially when Sunday morning cartoons were on TV. Also, being a Millennial college student means that during stressful times, like midterms or finals, means that we tend to reach for whatever is quick, easy, and convenient at any time of the day be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack (that is if we are not ordering out). But I don't think eating cereal takes away from Millennials trying to be healthy - I mean, we are allowed "fun" meals!

    As for me, yes, I am a cereal eater. I tend to reach for "healthier" cereal options nowadays but as a kid I loved cereals like Frosted Flakes and Golden Grahams. However, I don't eat it everyday. I probably reach for cereal once or twice a week (on other days I'll reach for the healthier options like an avocado toast or yogurt or even Indian food). It also depends on when I crave cereal so I don't think that cereal is an alternative to potato chips. (Wow, didn't know I would feel so passionate about a discussion on cereal!)

    -Sweta P

  7. I think Millennials are still very much into healthy choices, but cereal at times is just easier, faster, and cheaper. In comparison to chips or cookies it is a healthier alternative.
    Growing up I was a cereal eater. It's a fast option to feed a kid for breakfast. As an adult, if I eat cereal it is usually in the evening if I get hungry. It is an easy and fast option for me as I am single, have no kids and don't really know how to cook. The difference in my cereal habits is when younger I would eat cereal every morning and it usually was a sugary cereal whereas now If I eat cereal it is usually in the evening and it's most likely Rasin Bran, for the bran.

  8. I always thought cereal was healthy. Whole grains and milk, so I get fibers and protein. It is definitely better than potato chips or soda. I always liked cereal for breakfast. I have a box in my office. It is convenient and cheap. I also snack on it whenever I an hungry. I do think Millennials are more health conscious, so maybe companies can come up with healthier versions of cereals to make it more appealing.

    Nabila Mehjabeen

  9. It is my belief that millenials are simply about convenience, and of course because of typical lack of income, need cheap snack alternatives. Cereal provides a solution to both of these needs. While I do believe that this generation is certainly more health conscious when it pertains to how they consume their meals, I think snacking is still seen as a well deserved "cheat" to their healthy eating habits.

    I have never necessarily been a cereal eater for breakfast, however like the millenial generation, I do at times find myself pouring a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios for a night time snack. I'm guessing because like most of those that are part of the millenial generation causing this upward trend, I'd rather grab the box of cereal than the box of cookies.

  10. I don't think millennials are leaning away from health or natural trends but more towards hip or nostalgic trends. About a year ago I read about a resurgence of cereal due to cereal restaurants opening and using gourmet milks. Most notably, I remember a twin brother duo that opened a trendy cereal bar/cafe in a hipster area in London (probably Shoreditch).

    As a kid my mother force fed me and my brother healthy breakfasts, but of course when she was not around it was all about Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Captain Crunch. As I grew older and leaned on athletics more, I turned to eggs and yogurts. I think the health trend is still very prevalent, but the occasional splurge on a sugary bowl of milk and carbohydrates is a nice diversion from the monotony. It could also be that alot of Millenials are now parents and possibly eating cereals because they keep it in house for their kids.

    Link to cereal cafe in London:

  11. I’ve never been a cereal eater, even as a child. My Mom always gave me fruits and bagels or croissants for breakfast if she couldn't make me bacon and eggs.
    The only cereal I would eat is rice crispies, otherwise the others don’t appeal to me. As an adult I still don’t eat cereals, I either buy bagels, croissants, or breakfast sandwich and fruits on the go for breakfast.

    I think Millennials are not as interested in health as they claimed to be. It goes back to being trendy and wanting social proof. I see Millennials eating bad food all the time and posting it on Instagram – as posting food on Instagram is big amongst Millennials. So this whole research about eating healthy has always been a head scratcher for me. Maybe for older Millennials especially with kids, the trend of eating healthier is true. I find that Gen X and older Millennial are more into eating healthier. At least they are the ones I see when I go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or any restaurants that serve “healthier” food.

    Girlie E. Gaviola

  12. This data is surprising. I believe that millenials are concerned with health, however convenience overpowers health concerns. Today’s environment is all about being on the go and quickly moving from task to task. Healthier foods take time to put together, and are often more difficult to consume while on the go. Additionally cereal seems to be a more affordable option.

    Perhaps the convenience in conjunction with the nostalgia for a childhood delight is what continues to drive Millenials to consume cereal.