Can Kellogg Save Cereal by Selling It as a Snack Food?

Craig Giammona wrote . . . . .

Millennials are GRRREAT!

That, anyway, is what Kellogg Co. is banking on to help revive soggy cereal demand. Tony the Tiger and its other ageless characters have been losing the breakfast battle for years, so Kellogg is repositioning some of its brands as a snack for the nation’s largest demographic: people born from the early 1980s to about 2000.

While total U.S. cereal sales have fallen 8.8 percent since 2012, the share eaten in the afternoon and evening has risen steadily in recent years, hitting about 35 percent in 2015, according to the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company. That’s partly because millennials have embraced Froot Loops and Smorz as indulgent snacks, says Craig Bahner, president of Kellogg’s U.S. Morning Foods division. To ride the trend, Kellogg is repackaging products including Frosted Flakes and Special K in grab-and-go containers and emphasizing the nostalgic pull of cereal as a late-night treat.

“It’s an alternative to a salty or savory snack in the evening when you’re looking for a little TV time,” said Bahner, describing one of the strategies Kellogg hopes will boost revenue.

Breakfast 24/7

The shift to 24/7 breakfast foods has helped other companies, including McDonald’s Corp. Its U.S. revenue and profits have surged since last fall, when it started offering some of its popular morning items, including hash browns and Egg McMuffins, all day.

Saving cereal won’t be easy, however. Sales in the U.S. have declined in each of the last three years, and the slump is projected to continue through at least 2020, according to data-tracker Euromonitor International. Kellogg and its main rival, General Mills Inc., have argued that negative trends are flattening out, with Kellogg saying growth could resume this year. But total U.S. sales fell 3.5 percent from a year ago in the four weeks that ended March 23, according to data from Chicago-based market researcher IRI. Chris Growe, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., called that performance a “real setback.”

The days of steady annual increases probably are gone for good, lost to fundamental shifts in U.S. consumer behavior, according to Jared Koerten, a Euromonitor senior food analyst. The collapse has come partly because the longtime breakfast staple has found itself on the wrong side of recent preferences: It’s too sugary, too processed and inconvenient. A recent report from Mintel Group Ltd., a market-research company, found that 56 percent of millennials think cereal should be more portable, while 39 percent said cleaning the dishes after eating is a hassle.

Wishful Thinking

Counting on snacking millennials to save cereal may be wishful thinking, said Kurt Jetta, chief executive officer and founder of Tabs Analytics, a retail and consumer analytics company.

“It’s doesn’t strike me as a new or viable way to break out of the slump,” he said. “It will be a very marginal impact.”

Offering cereal in portable packages and pitching it as a snack also puts it in a very competitive category, said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, a food consulting company. Alternatives such as Greek yogurt, trail mix and snack bars boast high protein and are perceived as less processed.

Cereal has “a little bit of baggage,” she said. “If there’s an umbrella trend going on, it’s a desire to have things that are more fresh.”

Kellogg has a lot riding on a cereal revival, with its brands accounting for about 43 percent of the company’s $13.5 billion in revenue last year. (Snacks, including Pringles potato chips, represented almost 50 percent, and the remainder was frozen foods.) Special K, its most popular offering, has been mired in a prolonged slide, with sales dropping 22 percent since 2011, according to Euromonitor. Traditionally targeted at women trying to lose weight, it has been out of step as many dieters moved beyond calorie-counting to a more holistic focus on health and wellness.

So Kellogg is refocusing on contents and taste, according to Paul Norman, president of the North American division. Adding more red berries to Special K Red Berries has helped boost sales, he said, and the company introduced Special K Nourish this year, made with quinoa multigrain flakes.

Kellogg and its U.S. competitors are removing artificial colors and flavors to meet demand for so-called clean labels and more natural ingredients. General Mills announced in January that 75 percent of its cereals now are made without these ingredients, and sales of these brands, including Reese’s Puffs and Golden Grahams, were up 6 percent in the first two months of 2016, after falling 6 percent in the same period a year earlier.

Roughly Flat

For the fiscal year that began Aug. 1, the Minneapolis-based company’s cereal business is roughly flat.

“That’s very good progress,” CEO Ken Powell said in an interview.

Sweet cereals are popular with millennials, despite their perceived emphasis on healthy eating. Kellogg brought Smorz back recently after a long hiatus because customers kept requesting it, and sales of General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch jumped 8.7 percent in 2015, one of the biggest gains among top cereal brands, according to Euromonitor.

Kellogg’s push plays on nostalgia, given that millennials are most likely to buy brands they liked as children, according to a recent Mintel report. And the effort has had some success: Sales of Froot Loops rose 2.5 percent last year after the company started running a TV ad showing a young couple snacking on the cereal and playing Super Nintendo after their kids are in bed.

Source: Bloomberg

Video: Coffee Chemistry

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and many of us rely on it to stay awake every day. But not every cup of coffee is created equal. From the bean to the brew, science can help you get the perfect cup. This video goes on a quest for better coffee through chemistry.

Watch video of American Chemical Society at You Tube (4:54 minutes) . . . .

Breakthrough Toothpaste Ingredient Hardens Your Teeth While You Sleep

A new toothpaste ingredient which puts back the lost minerals from tooth enamel and helps prevent decay and treat sensitivity while you sleep is available online and from specialist dental distributors now. It is expected to be available through high street stores by the end of the year.

The new BioMinF toothpaste ingredient provides a new tooth repair technology which will bring relief to the millions of adults and children around the world who are prone to tooth decay and sensitivity.

Dental decay is the most prevalent disease worldwide and the majority of adults will also experience tooth sensitivity at some stage during their lives. Decay is the single biggest reason for children being admitted into hospital with between 60-90 percent of school children being affected.

Tooth decay and sensitivity is estimated to affect 13.5 million people in the UK alone.

Toothpastes containing BioMInF are able to slowly release calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions over an 8-12 hour timeframe to form fluorapatite mineral to rebuild, strengthen and protect tooth structure. The slow release of fluoride has been identified to be particularly beneficial in prevention of tooth decay.

“Using remineralising toothpaste makes teeth far more resistant to attack from acidic soft drinks like fruit juices and sodas. It is also much more effective than conventional toothpastes where the active ingredients, such as soluble fluoride, are washed away and become ineffective less than two hours after brushing,” said Professor Robert Hill, Chair of Dental Physical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, who led the team which developed BioMin and won the 2013 Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize.

“This breakthrough innovation could significantly reduce dental decay and also tooth sensitivity problems which are often experienced by people eating or drinking something cold,” said Professor Hill.

“The technology behind BioMin is not however exclusively designed for toothpastes,” added Professor Hill. “It can also be incorporated in other professionally applied dental products such as cleaning and polishing pastes, varnishes and remineralising filling materials.”

Professor Hill has co-founded, BioMin Technologies, which aims to commercialise the development. The company will be led by chief executive Richard Whatley who has 30 years international management experience within the dental industry working for market leading companies such as Dentsply and KaVo.

“We are very excited by the prospects of developing the patented technology which has been licensed from Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College,” said CEO Richard Whatley.” We are in the process of establishing licencing agreements with toothpaste and dental materials manufacturers around the world.

“A key element of our business model includes business partners also becoming investor stakeholders in the company thus reducing the need for traditional third party financing from venture capitalists. Our aim is for the BioMin brand to become synonymous for the treatment of tooth sensitivity in the eyes of both the dental profession and the general public.”

Dr David Gillam, with expertise in the management of dentine hypersensitivity and a consultant and co-founder of BioMin said,” Tooth sensitivity is caused by open tubules in the teeth allowing access to the nerve receptors which may affect the quality of life of individuals particularly when eating and drinking hot and cold food and drink. BioMin containing toothpastes are effective by sealing the tubules with acid resistant fluorapatite which act as a barrier to hot and cold being transmitted inside the tooth.”

A fluoride free version of BioMin is also being developed for individuals who do not want or need fluoride toothpaste.

Source: EurekAlert!

Spinach Quiche with Brown Rice Crust

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
5 eggs
1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 cup evaporated milk 2% m.f.
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped green onions
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Method

  1. Combine rice, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, 1 egg and curry powder. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch oven-proof pie plate.
  2. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together remaining 4 eggs and milk. Combine with spinach, mushrooms, green onions, garlic powder, pepper and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Pour into pre-baked crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Western Living

In Pictures: Breakfasts Under 400 Calories


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