Can we really have too much of a good thing? As in steak, pork chops, bacon, and ham – 3 meals a day, everyday? Apparently the answer is a resounding Yes. March 7 is National Cereal Day. 2.7 billion boxes. That’s the number of boxes of cereal sold in the US every year.
To understand the origin of this multi-billion dollar market, let’s take a time machine and quick glimpse at its early, humble beginnings. Per the National Cereal Day website, 150 years ago, patrons regularly checked themselves into Dr. James Caleb Jackson’s sanitorium in Upstate New York — to rejuvenate and detox from meat-rich diets. Diets said to be so harmful, they led to constipation, sloth and lust – punishment from God, according to the Reformers of the 1860s.
Baked whole wheat, bran flour and sugar. That was the recipe for the world’s first breakfast cereal — so called granula — concocted by Dr. Jackson in 1863. Granula was reputedly so tough, it had to be “made” edible via a thorough soaking in water — overnight.
A patron of Dr. Jackson’s went on to found the Seventh Adventist Church, attracting a famed surgeon named John Kellogg. Dr. Kellogg was so dedicated to nutrition and wellness, he – together with his brother – furthered Dr. Jackson’s work by refining granola, flaking wheat, and finally, creating the world’s first corn flakes in 1894.
Fast forward to today. Moms today face many choices, balancing quality and nutritions with value and taste. What drives Moms across America to crown Honey Nut Cheerios the top-grossing cereal in America? When making her next purchase, is she more likely to be influenced by loyalty, or by recommendations from friends/family?
Is there seasonality in the consumption of cold breakfast cereal? As in when teens are on vacation from school? And do moms of kids 3-12 noticeably differ from moms of teens, in terms of aspirational resolutions — like being healthy, getting fit, and saving money?
To help marketers and R&D teams create and market successful food/beverage products, we surveyed nearly 1500 Moms to understand consumer attitudes, usage and satisfaction around the top cereal brands, and more importantly, the physical and emotional needs that belie the consumer purchase decisions. Read the full report HERE.
On National Cereal Day, we salute the groundbreaking granula. Dr. Jackson: on behalf of moms and fans of Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, and more the world over, thank you.