The average American spends about 13 minutes a day preparing and eating breakfast, the meal nutritionists consider to be the most important of the day, according to NPD Group. Increasingly, people are eating less cold cereal, which has been part of breakfast for more than 100 years.
Sales of ready-to-eat cereals fell 2.55% in the 52 weeks ending April 17 to $6.41 billion, according to data from Symphony/IRI which covers retail outlets such as supermarkets. Sales of cheap, private label cereals dropped 7.2% to $637.5 million during that same time frame. Sales and units shipped have been lackluster since at least 2007, predating the Global Recession and the recent rise in grain prices. This represents a change in fortunes for Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K - News), General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS - News) Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH - News), parent of Post, and Quaker Oats owner PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP - News).