Canadean researchers find that a need for healthy convenient breakfast options is driving an interest in instant porridge.

LONDON — Overall, health is not a priority when consumers in Russia look for bakery and cereals. However, when researchers at London-based firm Canadean zeroed in on breakfast cereals, they found that health-related expectations motivate more than 22% of consumption. The breakfast cereal category, although only accounting for 2% of the $15 billion Russian bakery and cereals market in 2013,  is one of the fastest growing, with a predicted Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of nearly 8% up to 2018.

Porridge traditionally is considered a healthy breakfast option due to a range of benefits in the grains: high protein, vitamin B and iron as well as slow energy release and satiety. Following the increasingly busy lifestyles in urban areas, consumers are looking for convenient compromises that help to save time while offering an energy boost. Hot cereals have the potential to offer more than the heat-stable microelements of original grains in the functional benefits of their fillings such as nuts, berries and fruits. Additionally, such products can be enriched with vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

“In addition to health, indulgence is also an important motivator for Russian consumers of hot cereals, which means manufacturers should not only underline health functionalities, but also highlight taste credentials, such as rich fillings and luxurious textures,” said Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean.

With interest brewing in instant porridge, innovation opportunities exist for producers to expand the product’s reach.

“To encourage further instant porridge consumption, producers should explicitly target occasions beyond breakfast, such as the afternoon hunger fix,” Ms. Zhupanova added. “Savory flavors, such as cheese and bacon, can be incorporated with buckwheat or corn hot cereals and marketed as a healthier yet tasty alternative to other snacking options.”