Innovation in format, packaging and health are all driving sales in the breakfast cereals market, giving retailers greater opportunities for adding value
8 January 2009 | 0
At a glance: breakfast cereals
- With a 64.5% share of the hot oat cereal market, Flahavans is Ireland’s number one porridge maker
- Two dessertspoonfuls of Linwoods Superfoods seeds and berries turns a breakfast into a nutrient packed pick-me-up, with Omega 3, 6 and 9, dietary fibre, amino acids, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals
- Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics lists nuts and seeds, and foods “good for your brain,” in its top 10 trends for 2009
In recent years, occasions for breakfast cereals and cereal bars have increased, as they have become increasingly important in snacking and other meal options. Cereals also play an important part in consumers’ weight management and can be used to replace heavier foods at lunch or supper.
The importance of healthy breakfast foods for children has also been stressed lately, particularly in light of recent alarming child and teen surveys, such as the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) survey on child obesity. In fact, the Irish Independent has reported that approximately 300,000 Irish children are overweight or obese, and this figure is increasing by 10,000 every year. Cereals and cereal bars play an important role in providing the essential meal that is breakfast, which has been proven to have a profound effect on children’s learning abilities during the school day.
Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics lists the top 10 trends for 2009, and reports that nuts and seeds are growing increasingly popular. In recent years, nutritional experts told consumers to avoid nuts on the grounds they were too fatty. Datamonitor now states however, that “the experts have reversed course and nuts are now hailed as nutritional powerhouses which is why they are showing up in more new product launches. Snack bars, in fact, are increasingly going “naked” to showcase nut ingredients.” The analyst believes certain producers are not coating their snack bars with chocolate in order to make claims such as, “you can actually see large chunks of macadamia nuts.” Seeds too are increasingly generating interest on the health front, including flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Another important consumer trend Datamonitor has spotted for 2009 is that mental fitness is increasingly viewed as essential, and in fact, “may well be more important than physical fitness.” Packaged goods makers have picked up on this and a growing number of brain health products are subsequently entering the market. Touting “good for your brain” ingredients like DHA omega 3s are recent entries like Kellogg’s LiveBright Brain Health Bar (USA). In fact, according to Datamonitor, mentions of the word “brain” in new food and beverage products worldwide have nearly tripled in the 2007-2008 period versus the 2005-2006 period.
An Irish staple
Flahavans is constantly developing its product range to meet the ever-changing needs of the Irish consumer for a healthy and convenient breakfast. With 64.5% share of the hot oat cereal market, Flahavans’ product innovation ensures it is Ireland’s number one porridge maker.
As part of its successful Quick Oats range, Flahavans has added two new easy to prepare organic products – Organic Quick Oat Sachets and Organic Portable Porridge Pots. These single serving microwavable options provide a quick, warm and nutritious breakfast, which releases energy in the body throughout the cold winter mornings.
Simple preparation in just three easy steps helps make a breakfast full of taste, warmth and goodness. Flahavans Quick Oat Sachets 8 x 35g box with a reusable liquid measure is ready in just two minutes while Flahavans Organic Pot, available in a 40g serving, can be made by simply microwaving or adding boiling water and is ready in just 90 seconds. The cool-to-the-touch exterior makes the organic pot a truly portable product ideal to enjoy in the office or home.
People are choosing to eat organic porridge as it provides a healthy and nutritious alternative to cold cereals with the added benefit of the natural goodness of 100% organic wholegrain oats. High in fibre with no added salt, sugar or artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives, these new products are completely natural.
Most people want to look good and feel great, but don’t have time to do much about it. Linwoods believes its range can help attract and retain the growing numbers of health conscious consumers however.
Linwoods Superfoods range of seeds and berries is the perfect way to add a healthy and nutritious boost to a busy lifestyle. A daily sprinkle of just two dessertspoonfuls is all it takes to turn breakfast, lunch or dinner into a nutrient packed pick-me-up, bursting with Omega 3, 6 and 9, dietary fibre, amino acids, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.
The Linwoods Superfoods range allows customers to choose from seven delicious and nutritious products. These include:
• Milled Organic Flaxseed
• Whole Sun Dried Goji Berries
• Milled Organic Flax and Goj Berries
• Milled Organic Sunflower and Pumpkin
• Milled Organic Flax, Sunflower and Pumpkin
• Milled Organic Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame & Goji Berries
• Shelled Organic Hemp
Linwoods source only the finest quality organic seeds and berries from around the world to produce their tasty and nutritious superfoods. Cold milling maximises nutrient content and helps ensure quick and easy absorption into the body, allowing the health benefits of these superfoods to get to work without delay.
The Linwoods superfoods products retail at an RRP of between €7.50 and €8.49. The packaging is inspired by nature’s earthy, organic colour palette, so the range now looks as good for consumers as it actually is, says Linwoods. If you would like to request a product sample, place an order, or receive a visit from the merchandising team, contact Linwoods on 02837 568477.
A healthy indulgence
The Chocolate & Fudge Alpen Light bar, launched earlier this year, contains fewer than 70 calories per bar yet still offers a luxurious and indulgent treat. Consumers who are keen to eat healthily after an indulgent festive season will be attracted to this nutritious snack.
Alpen Light bars are high in fibre, made with wholegrain wheat flakes and nutritious oats and boast an added prebiotic – which can help to aid digestion. New Chocolate & Fudge flavour is made with fudge and melted chocolate, and is finished with a drizzle of chocolate. A guilt free treat for chocolate lovers watching their waistline.
New Alpen Light Chocolate & Fudge will join the existing Apple & Sultana, Chocolate & Orange and Summer Fruits varieties and will be available from all major retailers in boxes of six bars, at an RRP of €3.16.
Nutrition in a bite
Recently launched Weetabix bitesize is a mini version of popular breakfast cereal Weetabix.
Weetabix bitesize may be smaller than the original but its health credentials are equal in size. Low in fat and sugar, high in fibre and 100% wholegrain, it’s a tasty and healthy breakfast for all the family.
Research demonstrated that mums, in particular, looking for a healthy cereal that appeals to the whole family are currently frustrated by the lack of suitable choice.
New Weetabix bitesize will appeal to mums who are looking for new healthy choices, as it takes care of breakfast for everyone.
Packed with natural wholegrains, Weetabix bitesize is a great start to the day for the whole family. The great thing about Weetabix bitesize is that everyone can help themselves to as much or as little as they want.
Sian Porter, consultant dietitian to Weetabix, says: “Wholegrain cereals like Weetabix bitesize offer the family a nutritious start to the day and provide a host of key nutrients such as: folate – important for mental function; thiamin (Vitamin B1) for energy and vitality; and iron for mental development, function and energy production.” Weetabix bitesize has a RRP of €2.89
Hot cereals are the fastest growing sector in the cereal category, showing a 17.8% value growth (AC Nielsen, Breakfast Cereals, MAT July 2008). With over 160 years milling experience, Odlums remains one of the major players in the market. Continuous investment in innovation has grown the brand’s portfolio away from traditional porridge oats to new dynamic sectors including organic, microwaveable and single serving products.
Odlums has recently launched a new range of fruit porridges. The two varieties, Harvest Fruit and Fruit Porridge Feast, are available in 750g bags and are packed with healthy seeds, grains and juicy fruit pieces.
Within the hot cereal category ‘convenience’ products are growing strongly at 74% by value (Source: AC Nielsen, Breakfast Cereals, MAT July 2008). Odlums Smooth & Creamy offers the consumer 10 pre-measured sachets of delicious oats that microwave in just 90 seconds. As this has proved popular with consumers, Odlums recently increased the sachet size to 45g.
For those looking for a healthy breakfast on the go, Odlums Vita Grain bars contain the nutritional goodness of a bowl of porridge. Vita Grain bars offer the benefit of beta-glucan, part of the soluble fibre in oats, which can contribute to lowering cholesterol levels and help maintain heart health. Vita Grain bars come in two great flavours, Honey and Raspberry, and are now available in a new countline format of 25 bars per case.
New EU law could double crop prices
New EU pest management restrictions, could lead to crop prices rising and production shifting to other countries, warns a new study.
The European Centre for Agricultural, Regional and Environmental Policy Research (EuroCare) says the new legislation, set to replace Directive 91/414/EEC, would remove important pest management tools for farmers and increase end prices by 20 to 100%.
A conservative product-loss scenario would result in price increases of at least 20% for staples such as wheat and potatoes by 2013, said EuroCare. In the worst case scenario, prices for cereals and vegetables could rise by 73 and 104% respectively.
EuroCare predicts that the restrictions could also cause agricultural production to shift outside Europe. For example, wheat production would likely move to the United States, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as well as South Africa, China or Australia. This could transform the EU into a net importer, instead of net exporter of key crops, says EuroCare.
MEP Mairead McGuinness who launched the report, said a comprehensive assessment of the legislation is in the “best interests of EU consumers and food producers”.
Meanwhile, the European Crop Protection Association, following the EuroCare findings, wants the European Parliament and Commission to request an independent impact assessment from the European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) on the proposed pest management restriction criteria.