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Marketing: Updating Your Case

Starting point for thinking about marketing research assignments and projects and finding helpful secondary (library) resources.

Environmental Scan

Recent lifestyle changes have created intense pressure on the ready-to-eat cereal market. A 23 July 2014 Wall Street Journal article titled "How We Eat: Fast and Furious: Americans at Breakfast... " details many significant ways that cereal consumption has changed:

  • Americans are backing away from cereal in favor of high-protein foods
  • People spend an average of  only 12 minutes per day eating breakfast
  • Working moms value speed in breakfast food
  • Baby boomers in large numbers are still working and want a fast (and sometimes portable)  breakfast option
  • While cereal is still a $10-billion dollar industry, consumption is falling and is predicted to go as much as 4% lower in 2014.
  • General Mills has introduced a new cereal with 7 grams of protein per serving.


The   Mintel  database has another great report on consumer preferences and motivations in the Hot and Cold Cereal - US report dated August 2014  The industry analyst in that source offers the take-away that "Cereal is an anytime food" may be key to growth.

Market Share

The  Market Share Reporter, now available in digital format, is a grab bag of whatever has been published recently about market share for products. Click here to see an excerpt. (Latest hard copy volume 2011) is at the Research and Information Desk

Targeting, Messages, and Promotion Ideas

   Mintel reports give current and fairly comprehensive information useful for fine tuning who your target consumers are, how they think and behave, and what benefits you should stress in advertising messages and other promtions (coupons, contests, sponsorship of athletes or sporting events, and such). 

   EXCERPT from 2014 report:

 This report was retrieved by a keyword search for Kellogg. 
To find specific data, click on View Tables as in this demo. Once you see the right data, click the blue arrow to go straight to that section of the report and read why it matters.   


Ad Spending

A printed volume called Ad $ Summary at REF HF5801 .A18 is the best place to find out how companies allocate advertising dollars for various brands. Check tables for the top 100 companies in terms of ad spending between 2004 and 2008. (In 2008 Kellog was #39 out of the top 100 ad-spenders.) Current edition has 2013 ad spending by media category. Click here to see an excerpt of the 2008 table.

Or check the product class F221 and find the allocation of 2008 ad dollars across media (magazines, newspapers, outdoor, cable, spot TV, spot radio, and three other media types) for Kellog and for its competitors in the cold cereal product class. You'll see figures for individual brands like Special K.