Breakfast foods eye health, snacking

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Breakfast foods eye health, snacking

By Michael Johnsen - 04/19/2018
Healthcare professionals have long professed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and for good reason. Eating a heathy breakfast has been positively correlated with maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heart disease and preventing Type 2 diabetes — all examples of the kind of chronic diseases those same healthcare professionals are trying to mitigate.

But a good portion of consumers aren’t eating breakfast. According to a recent DSM survey, 34% of American consumers spend less than five minutes each day consuming breakfast. As many as 39% reported that they were skipping their morning meal because they didn’t have the time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast.

According to the survey, when it comes to breakfast, 69% of consumers prefer healthy over cheap, 65% prefer healthy over tasty and 65% prefer healthy over indulgent. In light of this, breakfast food suppliers said that retailers that are looking to serve up breakfast to health-oriented consumers might want to emphasize what’s on the label and on convenience formats, breakfast food suppliers suggested.

“Health is a really important driver in this category,” Tracy DeCarlo, senior manager of category solutions at private brand merchandising firm Daymon, said. “Historically, breakfast foods have suffered from the perception of being high in sugar and highly processed. From a growth perspective, [differentiation] is driven by better nutrition, so products that offer protein for improved satiety and more lasting energy, and simple, clean ingredients, as well.”

As consumers look to breakfast foods to deliver on their health needs, they also are increasingly interested in the category’s mainstay, cereal, as something that doesn’t necessarily need to be consumed at the beginning of their day.

“Another mega-trend today is snacking,” Mike Browne, Kellogg vice president of customer marketing, said. “It often surprises people that, through innovation and acquisition, we now derive more than half of our portfolio from snacks categories. And this doesn’t even include the fact that nearly a third of cereal consumption is now outside of breakfast — and consumed mostly as a snack.”

That opens the door to placing breakfast foods in multiple locations throughout the store. “Retailers are creating bigger baskets by promoting and merchandising ready-to-eat cereals with other categories,” Browne said. Food companies and retailers must work together to address consumer wellness and convenience needs.”

In the drug channel, consumers have health on their mind, and the store can offer an important supplement to a shopper’s weekly grocery trip, according to General Mills senior customer manager Jeff Graves.

The key to capturing the sale, according to Kellogg’s Browne, is shelving items by category rather than brand blocking. And Graves said that breakfast-focused endcaps placed between the front door and the backbench can have a big impact.

“The pharmacy is at the back of the store for a reason … the aisles traveled on the journey to the pharmacy counter offer assets for the retailer to reach consumers,” Graves said. “High impulse, instant consumption, on-the-go food items do well in this space.”