The global breakfast cereal market is anticipated to witness substantial growth in coming years owing to rising demand for healthy food products. Breakfast cereals are available in a wide range and their essential ingredient is grains. Rice, wheat, barley, oats, and corn are some of the commonly used grains. Other variants might include yeast, slats, coloring agents, minerals, sweeteners, and food preservatives. Sugar and food preservatives are added to enhance the shelf-life of the product. Cereals can be consumed as breakfast meal by any age group from children to adults as they are healthy and full of added nutrition.
Changing demographics and breakfast habits in emerging economies are key driving factors in the market. Rising adoption of western dietary habits and shifting consumer preferences towards healthy food can augment market growth in coming years. Traditional breakfast menus are expected to be replaced by healthy food products due to growing health consciousness among consumers. Rising cases of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart attacks, owing to unhealthy food habits can fuel demand for fiber-rich diet. Cereals are enriched with high fiber ingredients, including barley, wheat, rice, and corn. Increasing TV advertisements and increasing awareness among parents regarding health benefits of cereals can augment market expansion in coming years. Moreover, growth of middle class population owing to urbanization in emerging economies can stimulate demand for ready-to-eat meals.
Intense competition is likely to emerge as a major challenge in the market. New entrants are facing tough competition from the established market players, such as Kellogg’s, Bagrry’s and PepsiCo. Other FMCG chains offering ready-to-eat products, including Britannia can also add to competition. Availability of alternative products and issues related to raw material procurement are anticipated to hamper market growth in coming years. In addition, consumption of smoothies, yogurt, puddings, eggs, and other conventional meals in breakfast can pose a threat to demand for cereals.
However, advent of innovative products by manufacturing companies to gain traction among consumers can present lucrative opportunities for the market. Shifting consumer preferences for organic food products owing to growing health awareness can also have a positive impact on market growth. Launch of new products with added ingredients to enhance flavors, such as chocolate, spices, cinnamon, and fruit flavors, can help companies gain traction among consumers. Other innovative ingredients include nuts, dry fruits, and marshmallows.
The market can be segmented on the basis of product type, ingredient type, and distribution channel. Ready-to-eat and hot cereals are the key product types in the market. Based on ingredient type, the market can be categorized into wheat, corn, barley, and rice. In terms of distribution channel, the market can be divided into specialist retailers, hypermarkets and supermarkets, independent retailers, and convenience stores.
Asia Pacific is a leading region in the market owing to shifting consumer preferences for healthy breakfast in developing countries, such as India, China, and Japan. Increasing number of health-conscious consumers and rising demand for convenient food products are likely to boost consumption of cereals in breakfast. Flattened rice flakes is an essential part of breakfast platter in Western and Central India, whereas in Northern India, whole wheat grits are mostly preferred. In addition, growing adoption of western lifestyle and changing consumption patterns are expected to alter preferences for breakfast, thereby positively influencing the growth of the market. Growing awareness regarding health benefits of consuming grains can fuel demand for oats among consumers.
North America is likely to emerge highly lucrative owing to presence of major market players, such as General Mills, PepsiCo, and Kellogg Company. Launch of innovative products by these companies for consumers across the globe is expected to stimulate market growth in coming years. For instance, Kellogg launched new cereal that includes traditional grains. This ready-to-eat product offers 15 grams of protein per serving. In addition, it contains flakes made from a mixture of whole grains, including black rice and sorghum. Moreover, crunchy almonds and honey add a healthy finish to the product.
Some of the leading companies operating in the breakfast cereal market are General Mills, Abbott Nutrition, Kellogg's, Nestle S.A., and Carman's Fine Foods.
Research Support Specialist, USA