When the pandemic hit, the majority of us took to panic buying. There were shortages of packaged goods and canned foods, not to mention toilet paper and hand sanitizer. One interesting trend is the boost in cereal sales, a market that had been experiencing a steady drop since 2018.
In 2020, cereals experienced a 9% increase in sales. It makes sense then that when people were stuck at home, they’d pay special attention to products that would be able to survive for long periods of time on their shelves, preferring these over fresh products that could be eaten on the go.
CNN spoke with people who worked in the cereal industry and reported that nostalgia-inducing cereals were a favorite throughout the pandemic. Healthy cereals, which appeared to be struggling before the pandemic, also experienced an unexpected boost.
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“Up until the pandemic hit, the kids brands had been still doing relatively well,” said Tom Dixon, chief growth officer for Post Consumer Brands. “The more adult-focused brands were kind of just hanging on by a thread. And the fact that they dramatically jumped during the pandemic, that was a little bit surprising. We weren’t expecting that.”
Experts believe these sales of healthier kinds of cereals might be due to the fact that millennials are now spending more time at home, and might be trying these brands and types of cereals for the first time. While it’s expected to indulge in you favorite childhood cereals during the first months of the pandemic, after a full year of sameness, it helps to pay some attention to your health.
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Now that there’s a vaccine in circulation, many cereal businesses are wondering how to keep these sales up once the pandemic is over. While cereals are convenient, they’re not the most practical of products to eat on the go. To address this, there have been talks of packaging cereal like bite size snacks that can be eaten straight from the package.