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Cereals suffer in the morning rush

The traditional bowl of cereal is being ditched in the morning rush to work or school.

It has been replaced by snacks on the go, such as takeaway bars from cafés and coffee shops. Sales of cereals usually eaten with milk, such as cornflakes, muesli and wheat biscuits, are down by £78 million this year. About 3,700 fewer tons of cereal were consumed this year than last.

Quaker Oats Company has taken the biggest hit with sales down nearly 11 per cent, followed by Special K down by 9.5 per cent, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes down by almost 6 per cent and Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes down nearly 5 per cent.

Other cereal brands hit by changing eating habits include Kellogg’s Coco Pops, Shredded Wheat, Cheerios and All Bran, according to research by The Grocer, the food industry magazine.

The drop in the cereal market mirrors a fall in milk sales, which are down £235 million over the past two years. The Grocer said that although fewer people were skipping their breakfasts, most of them preferred to eat on the move rather than sit down. “Unfortunately cereal brands have been slow to respond,” it added.

Weetabix is the only brand among the top 15 cereals to see a rise in sales — less than one per cent — after it launched a protein variety. Other brands are fighting back by introducing breakfast drinks that people can have on their morning commute.

Toby Baker, of Nestlé Cereals, said: “Decline is slowing because manufacturers are beginning to innovate.”

Tom Mercer, of muesli brand Moma, said: “Almost half the UK adult population eats at their desk or on the go.”

Source: www.thetimes.co.uk - 29 December 2016