Revolutionizing the breakfast category

by Dan Malovany
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For years, cookies and breakfast were like vinegar and oil. No matter what bakers developed, they didn’t mix. Consumers just didn’t have a knack for the sweet snack at the start of the day. That all changed in 2011 when belVita Breakfast Biscuits were launched in the U.K., then in North America a year later where the line has become a nearly $200 million business.

“Today belVita is sold in 54 countries and generates $650 million in revenue,” Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelēz International’s chairman and chief executive officer, told analysts recently. “It’s grown about 35% (annually) since 2011.”

Although Europeans call all cookies “biscuits,” the term in the U.S. market applies to less sweet cookie-like items. Additionally, by combining convenience and nutrition, belVita broke through the breakfast barrier. Most recently, Mondelēz rolled out belVita Bites Breakfast Biscuits. Targeted at active adults between 25 and 45, the Bites, which come in chocolate and mixed berry flavors, provide 4 grams of fiber and 20 grams of whole grains per serving. According to the company, whole grains provide slow-release carbs that contribute half a day’s worth of steady energy.

“We revolutionized the breakfast category for millions of consumers by launching the breakfast biscuit category in the U.S.; belVita has experienced phenomenal success since launch,” Mikhail Chapnik, senior brand manager for belVita, told Baking & Snack’s Ryan Atkinson. “We expect to see continued growth because the consumer need for this type of nutritious, convenient breakfast choice will only expand.”
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