Soggy sales are putting a damper on the cereal market, sinking business for some major brands. The popularity of this once-perennial staple has been declining for years as consumer preferences have shifted to better-for-you and grab-and-go breakfast options.
Millennial mania is typically associated with the trend-setting youth market, but now millennial moms, all grown-up and responsible, are taking a star turn on the snacking scene. Having given birth to a feast of foodservice trends, from the better-for-you, clean label and farm-to-table movements to the grab-and-go craze and eclectic flavor fusions, millennials are now having kids and shaping the next generation of snackers.
America is the land of the free and the home of the snackers, where snacking has undergone such explosive growth that nearly half the country consumes two to three snacks daily.1 According to research from NPD Group, millennials and baby boomers snacked a combined total of 173.5 billion times in 2015 alone.1
With such a spectacular, ooh-and-ahh-worthy display of consumption, it makes sense for foodservice operators to explore the consumer segments that have made snacking so prevalent it has started to replace traditional meals, as shown by the steady rise of on-the-go breakfast bars.1 SmartBrief reports that snack bar sales skyrocketed nearly 50% between 2014 and 2016, helping to give rise to the trend of high-protein meat- or seed-based snack sticks—part of the larger trend of portable foods with better-for-you appeal.2
As the millennial obsession with shifting snacks from guilty pleasures to healthy treats causes food operators to reassess and reinvent old favorites, chocolate sales have been bittersweet. Still a hugely popular snacking staple, chocolate generated $18 billion in 20151 and sales are projected to reach $25 billion in 2019.2 But an array of healthy snack options, including nutritional bars, nuts and chips, is eating into the chocolate market.
UBS analyst Steven Strycula told CNBC that there is “a lot more snacking alternatives or substitutable occasions that is taking people away from traditional sugar confection and also that everyday kind of chocolate purchase."1