Uncategorized. March 15th, 2016

Cereal in a cup – a proposal to cereal industries

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Cereal in a cup

Cereal in a cup - breakfast, lunch and snack solution



A few days ago I read an article in the Toronto Star newspaper about consumer behaviour related to food consumption and I found it very interesting. It actually prompted me to realized why so many cereal boxes are lying in my pantry and I keep procrastinating to eat it in the morning even though I love it. It’s the convenience and portability that lacks in the way cereal is made available to us. So, I thought about writing this proposal to the cereal industry telling them how I want my cereal for breakfast and probably lunch and even snacks, simply anytime.




Cereal in a cup


Cereal in a cup



A perfect solution for today’s busy life and a way to win back lost cereal lovers, who still want to eat it but the way it is available in boxes is not convenient and portable.


Healthy breakfast – lunch – snack solution


Cereal by kellogg's



I used to see these noodle containers and wondered why I can’t have my cereal in a disposable bowl so easy to take anywhere. Therefore, I decided to introduce my idea of “Cereal in a cup” for cereal industries. It doesn’t matter what design and shape the cereal bowl (container or cup) is, all I am introducing is a convenient and portable way of eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack solution that is cereal, anywhere. Super easy to give to kids for school as well. And what’s more interesting is the fact that small packs of cereal are already out there that can serve as fillers for those who want an extra serving. And small cup size milk packages are an easy to pick from store option too.


Convenient and portable for cereal lovers


So, this “cereal in a cup” is the perfect solution for winning back the target market that is declining for more than a decade and glide into the snack market.


Thanks for reading and I hope to see “Cereal in a cup” made available to us soon. The idea is 100% produced by hani shabbir a.k.a umme hani at craftionary.net.


“The following is the detailed analysis from the assignment written by hani shabbir about Cereal in a cup”


Analysis of material and its relation to marketing concept:


The cereal industry overall is production oriented and didn’t take into consideration the change in consumer behaviour when the competition was less severe and suffered the consequences. As Ferdman states, “The industry, the piece explained, is struggling – sales have tumbled by almost 30 per cent over the past 15 years, and the future remains uncertain” (A1). The consumer behaviour which is a result of imbalance between actual and desired state, changes all the time. The trend towards more convenient and portable breakfast has not been considered by cereal industry for the last 15 years (Ferdman A20), which is a big weakness with a threating future for the industry if they do not consider innovating to meet the consumer’s need. Moreover, the lack of marketing strategy evaluation with changes in the market stresses the failure to execute competitive analysis and marketing research correctly. The internal environment didn’t consider the changes in the trend to evaluate marketing strategy with new in demand ideas and implement them on time. Moreover, the industry has direct competitors that are struggling the same ignorant faith, however, indirect competitors are continuously reducing the desire for cereal as breakfast. Moreover, the cereal market has also fails to meet the needs of the target market that still prefers to eat cereal over other choices but desires convenience. “Shifting to portable containers, which nearly half of millennials prefer, according to Mintel” (Ferdman A20). All this leads to lack of competitive analysis, due to which its marketing strategy is outdated. The industry overall is unable to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage due to lack of product development, as the desire for convenience is increasing and cereal is still available in boxes with very little effort for more than a decade. However, there is still hope as, “Ultimately, cereal makers will settle on a strategy to reverse the industry’s downward trend” (Ferdman A20). We are introduced to an excellent understanding of marketing concepts through a comparison of weaknesses of cereal industry with strengths of coffee and restaurant food delivery services. The above analysis strongly justifies the importance of understanding and meeting “customer’s need”.


Solution: convenience for target market interested in eating cereal as breakfast.


Secondly, the industry is also struggling with positioning of their product. “Among the likeliest routes are embracing the fact that many people are eating the food at times other than breakfast, often as a snack” (Ferdman A20). I must admit, I fall into this category. I still like cereal but I like it as snack not as breakfast. However, very little to no attention has been given to an increasing number of consumers who might be interested in preferring cereal over popcorn (or some other snack). Marketing effort such as packaging, promotion, competition are still focused on cereal as breakfast only “cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice” (Ferdman A21). By positioning cereal as a healthy snack option, cereal industry can come back strong for consumer’s who love to eat cereal without milk just popping into their mouth.


Solution: positioning cereal as a healthy snack alternative to target another niche to sustain growth along with the focus on the breakfast cereal market to reduce threat while the main target market is slowing down.


Personal observations/comments:


An insightful article that examines the key concepts of marketing by relating businesses that fail and succeed with changes in internal and external factors surrounding the market. In my opinion the following considerations can likely reverse the downfall of the cereal industry:

• Product packaging

• Secondary positioning



Since, the consumers are well aware of the product (cereals) and a segment of the market is still interested in consuming it, the need of the hour is to address the weakness – the reason that restrains purchase of cereals. Therefore, the change in trend towards more convenient and portable breakfast food is the utmost subject of interest for the cereal industry. Our society is chasing time, therefore, to make cereals appeal to the target market (who still desire cereals) small packages of cereals should be introduced (like the ones we find in the aisles for microwavable 1 minute noodles). Small packages of milk are available in the market and therefore, these cereal containers will work best. Moreover, the choice to warm the cereal before consuming it makes it favourable for the population who like their cereal with warm milk and well as those who don’t mind it cold.



The industry can also concentrate its marketing strategies toward positioning cereal as snack option while keeping up with breakfast solutions too. They can create a secondary perception of their product to sustain growth in current slow market. Little to no effort has been put into positioning cereal as snack to target the snack niche. Small travel packs of cereal in assorted flavours are available for purchase but they are inconvenient. Cereals are a popular snack option for kid in school lunch boxes. However, the majority of the population still thinks of cereal as a breakfast option only. Positioning cereal as a snack option and making it a convenient snack for schools, lunch, traveling and more for kids as well as adults will help thrive the cereal industry. There is also a possibility of consumers interested in an assorted pack of similar cereals packed together for goodness as snacks as well as breakfast. Here again product packaging comes into play to attract consumer’s attention with details about specific health benefits, shape of cereal, calories, taste benefits etc. associated with cereals as a good snack option for everyone.


Efforts can also be put into marketing cereals as a good option for making different kinds of desserts, pies and savouries etc. For example, crushed cereals with marshmallow (and/or butter) to make cheesecake crust (base). Introducing it as an edible craft activity for kids. Focusing on online promotional activities, by holding contests among bloggers and other technology savvy consumers on creatively using cereals into making a recipe. Just like oreo is more used as a recipe ingredient than a snack, which in turn has significantly increased its consumption as a snack too, due to taste development which drastically affects the consumer’s behaviour and hence positioning of the product.


The above portable cup of cereal (cereal in a cup) serves the purpose of meeting the needs of consumers interested in cereal as breakfast as well as snacks.


Work cited:


Ferdman, Roberto A. “Why many are saying cheerio to cereal: Convenience and portability rule.” Toronto Star 26 Feb. 2016: A20. Print.

Images created and photographed by Umme Hani.




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I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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  1. N says:

    This actually already exists. It is often seen in convenience stores. Love all the thought behind this article, though.

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