To bolster the category, General Mills is trying out a variety of things, such as leaning on nostalgic, sugary cereals and exploring new food trends. It is also important that demographic data in the US change to boost sales, said Jonathon Nudi, Group President of North American Retail for General Mills, at a recent Investor Day presentation.
These groups have "some of the highest per capita consumption of grain," Nudi said. By catering to these customers, the company can "further improve the categories," he said.
While millennials generally turned away from cereal – instead of snacking during the day or occasionally exchanging it for a dessert – children and older adults who eat cereal still enjoy breakfasting.
] Muesli is popular with parents who are looking for a simple and convenient way to prepare breakfast for children, said Alexander Esposito, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International. Grain is attractive because it offers certa in nutritional benefits, such as fiber. While millennials and younger adults are more interested in "ethical labels," such as organic certifications, and possibly trying to avoid foods that use genetically modified organisms, the health effects on older adults are "a bit more real," Esposito said.
In addition, people who grew up with cereal tend to eat less as they enter the workplace and start having breakfast on the way, notes John Baumgartner, an analyst on food for Wells Fargo. When they reach retirement age, they can return to habit, he added.