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Not Just for Kids: How Cereal Brands are Charming Millennials

New USA TODAY feature on how cereal marketers plan to connect with Millennial consumers

Millennial consumers are a new focus of cereal advertising efforts according to a recent article from USA TODAY. The article revealed that cereal makers hope to charm Millennials as customers—not just kids under the age of 18. Jason Dorsey, President and Millennials expert at The Center of Generational Kinetics confirms how important it is for cereal companies to get Millennials back on board at breakfast. This is a HUGE deal for the entire cereal industry.

Why should cereal brands market to Millennials?

After its hundred-year reign over breakfast food buyers, the popularity of processed cereals has been declining in recent decades. While Baby Boomers helped make cereals like Frosted Flakes, Cheerios, and Fruit Loops a household name during the second half of the twentieth century, their spending has now peaked and must be replaced by younger generations, particularly the huge generation of consumers known as Millennials.

Here are four ways cereal marketers hope to charm Millennials:

  • Cereals are a nostalgia item. In fact, Millennials were “turned on” to these sugary breakfast products by their Baby Boomer parents. “Millennials are still buying for nostalgia,” said Jason Dorsey. And as they face the real-life realities of adulthood, Dorsey sees Millennials making comments like, I’m “longing for my youth now that I’m oh so old at 28.”
  • “Whatever Froots Your Loop.” Kellogg just announced that it will be using this tagline as it launches its first new consumer campaign for Froot Loops in 50 years. Chris Stolsky, Kellogg’s Associate Director handling Froot Loops states that the tagline’s purpose is to convey the idea that these cereals make a great snack—in addition to a really cool breakfast.
  • “Cereal isn’t just for breakfast anymore.” Besides making this generation think about their childhood, this tagline encourages independent-minded Millennials to indulge in their favorite cereals whenever they want. In fact, according to the research group NDP, 18% of Millennials eat cold cereal at other times of the day, compared to only 15% of overall consumers.
  • Millennials are parents, and many more will be in the near future. When you market to Millennials, you’re marketing to present and future parents. Millennials currently hold the greatest purchasing power of all the generations and that purchasing power is only going to increase over the long term. When Millennials start their families cereal brands hope that these children of Baby Boomers will pass their preferences for cold cereals on to their children — just as their Baby Boomer parents did for them.

In our work studying generations, it is always exciting to see generations evolve, influence other generations, and drive new purchasing trends and norms. When it comes to Millennials and cereal, this is one nostalgic trend that might be here to stay! We’ll know more for sure when we see what Millennials prepare for their own children who will be in the next generation, Gen Z.

At The Center for Generational Kinetics, we turn emerging generational trends into fuel for your organization’s growth.

Contact us today to see how we can help you unlock new sales and cross the generational divide with #Millennial consumers.

And don’t forget to click here to check out our new national Gen Z Study! 

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