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:
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.
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:
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.