Cereal makers look to Latinos to help spur turnaround

by Eric Schroeder
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ROCKVILLE, MD. — Despite some struggles in recent years, the $12 billion ready-to-eat breakfast cereal market is poised for a return to growth, according to a report from Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com. The breakfast cereal market is expected to experience cumulative growth of 10% during the 2014-18 forecast period and will reach $13 billion in 2018, Packaged Facts said.

Latinos may help lead the turnaround. David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, said cereal marketers will benefit from the increasing demographic clout of Latino consumers.

Although the population of children as a whole is expected to decline in the coming years, Packaged Facts noted there will be a “substantial growth” in the population of Latinos under the age of 14.

The report found Hispanic households are more likely than non-Hispanic households to have consumed 21 or more servings of cold breakfast cereal in the last 30 days. Approximately 39% of Hispanic households with children consumed 21 or more servings of cold breakfast cereal, which compared with 33% of non-Hispanic households with children, the report said. Additionally, Hispanic households without children were nearly twice as likely as their non-Hispanic counterparts to have consumed 21 or more servings of cold breakfast cereal in the past 30 days, Packaged Facts said.

Several of the largest cereal companies have picked up on the trend.

In mid-April, Battle Creek, Mich.-based The Kellogg Co. said it is taking a fresh approach to reaching and connecting with Hispanic families through “Días Grandiosos,” a new digital platform featuring recipes, tips, articles and original content designed for Latinas and their families.

“Dias Grandiosos is grounded in the understanding that Latinas are trying to find balance between maintaining their cultural heritage while embracing a more American lifestyle,” said Christopher Rivera, associate director of multicultural brand marketing at Kellogg. “We help her find this balance through deliciously nutritious recipes, compelling articles and relatable stories about real Hispanic women and their families with topics that she cares about and that are relevant to our brands.”

The information on Dias Grandiosos (www.DiasGrandiosos.com) is provided by real Latinas, making this new community “a unique one,” Kellogg said.

On April 29, Post Foods, L.L.C., Parsippany, N.J., said it has added two professional American soccer players to Team Fruity and Team Cocoa as part of a friendly competition between Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles to see which cereal is more popular among fans. Featured in the program is American soccer player Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The son of Mexican parents, Mr. Gonzalez holds a Mexican passport and dual citizenship with both the United States and Mexico.

Post also has been pleased with the company’s efforts to promote the Honey Bunches of Oats brand to Hispanic consumers.

Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc., meanwhile, has ramped up its marketing program geared toward Hispanic consumers. Initiatives include in-store events and product sampling, efforts that the company said have helped its cereal sales outpace category growth among Hispanic consumers.
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