KANSAS CITY — A multinational company, a socially active company and a brother and sister who appeared on the TV show “Shark Tank” have launched new products in the hot cereal/oats category in 2021.
General Mills, Minneapolis, has seen market share gains in US cereals for four consecutive years, and new hot cereal launches could provide additional momentum. In late May, General Mills introduced Big G instant oat varieties in Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix and Cocoa Puffs flavors. Each oat comes with a topping: marshmallows for Lucky Charms, “cinnadust” topping for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a crunchy multicolored topping for Trix, and a chocolate-flavored crunchy topping for Cocoa Puffs.
General Mills had the top two selling ready-to-eat cereal brands (Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch) in the 52-week period ended Dec. Mills brands even reached the top 15 brands by US retail sales, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.
This Saves Lives, Los Angeles, was founded in 2013 with a mission statement to end severe acute malnutrition worldwide. The company in 2021 launched Kids Oatmeal, which provides a full serving of fruits and vegetables from a blend of apples, onions, broccoli, kale, blackberries and raspberries. The gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free oatmeal is made with whole-grain oats, brown sugar, sea salt, and monk fruit. The oats come in five flavors: Rainbow Granules, Chocolate, Cinnamon Apple, Blueberry, and Strawberry. Every purchase of any This Saves Lives product sends food aid to a child suffering from severe acute malnutrition somewhere in the world.
Siblings Christopher and Jennifer Jane promoted their company Proper Good on the TV show “Shark Tank” last October. In 2021, the company launched Proper Good Ready Oatmeal, a precooked, shelf-stable, dairy-free, gluten-free and plant-based oatmeal. It is available in four varieties: oatmeal, oatmeal with apple and cinnamon, oatmeal with blueberry and coconut and oatmeal with chocolate, CP and banana. To prepare the oatmeal, consumers remove the lid from the cardboard, tear off the top of the sachet and heat the oats in the microwave for one minute.
“We decided to introduce oatmeal specifically because breakfast is a particularly difficult time of day for most people,” said Christopher Jane, co-founder and CEO. “Things are chaotic when you’re just starting out, but you still want to eat a healthy and tasty breakfast to fuel your day the right way. Our solution is steel-cut oats blended with chia, flaxseed, hemp seed and coconut oil for a filling, fiber-rich breakfast.”
In December, the company added two more varieties: a butterscotch and date nut variety and a spiced and maple pumpkin pie variety.
Better-known hot cereal brands have found it difficult in 2021 to double 2020 sales, which were boosted by at-home eating during COVID-19.
Cream of Wheat generated net sales of $15.2 million for the third quarter ended October 2, 2021. That number was down $1.2 million, or 7.4%, from the third quarter of 2020, but up by 8. 5% compared with the third quarter of 2019, said Bruce C. Wacha, chief financial officer of B&G Foods, Parsippany, NJ, on a Nov. 4 earnings call. In the 52-week period ended Dec. 26, B&G Foods had US retail sales of $98 million for hot cereal/oatmeal, down 7% from the previous 52-week period, according to IRI. .
Among the brands of Post Consumer Brands, a Post Holdings, Inc., St. Louis, Fruity Dyno-Bites from its Malt-O-Meal, Inc. line. it was among the company’s top five most popular cereals in 2021. Post described the cereal as “a fun, fruity flavor that kids and adults alike love”, but Malt-O-Meal didn’t have its best year in 2021.
“We have pockets of weaker demand in our value cereal segments, particularly MOM brands and private labels,” said Robert V. Vitale, president and CEO of Post Holdings, on a Nov. 19 earnings call to discuss financial results. for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30.
Malt-O-Meal brand sales for the 52-week period ended Dec. 26 were $14 million, down 10%, according to IRI.
The hot cereal/general oats category posted sales of $1.42 billion in the 52-week period ended Dec. 26, down 3.3% year-over-year. Private label sales fell 15% to $253 million.
Quaker Oats North America, a PepsiCo, Inc. company, Purchase, NY, led the hot cereal/oats category with sales of $836 million for the 52-week period ended December 26, 2021, which was down 2, 6% over the previous 52 week period. Quaker led all brands with sales of $710 million, down 2.6%. Sales jumped 17% for Quaker Select Starts to $32 million.