The snackification of breakfast

Worldwide, breakfast has become a source of new opportunity and a battleground, fuelled by consumers’ need for quick and easy meals in the morning – and by two massively successful disruptive innovations, Belvita’s breakfast biscuit and Up & Go’s liquid breakfast.

From Asia to America, breakfast is being “snackified”. This report explains the wealth of new opportunities for companies in every food category and the five factors of success for new breakfast products.

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Recent Case Studies Key Trend 1: Naturally functional - the strongest foundation for success King of trends: The biggest trend in most western markets – and quite a few markets in Asia. Naturally functional overlaps with – and strongly influences – most other trends. Wherever you look naturally functional is being used to create new brands and new categories. read more Key Trend 2: Snackification – paradise for start-ups, innovation without limits A trend across most categories: Most categories are fighting for a slice of the snacking market as consumers not only snack between meals but even sometimes instead of meals. This is particularly true of breakfast, where old brands are declining and new healthy snack products are flooding in. read more Key Trend 3: Weight Wellness – market shifts mean opportunity for entrepreneurs 2014 was a tipping point for the weight management market. Big, household name brands saw sales plunge. Small entrepreneurial brands, on the other hand, found a proliferation of niches in which they could grow. read more Key Trend 4: Protein - powered by “naturally functional” Protein is hot: One of the main reasons for protein’s appeal is that it is an easy ingredient for people to understand, it’s natural, its benefits are backed by science and it connects to the powerful Weight Wellness trend. read more Key Trend 5: Good carbs, bad carbs – the steady rise of good grains Change in the way people consume carbs is not a fad: A shift in consumer behaviour around carb consumption is taking place, mainly among lifestyle consumers, and it’s here to stay. read more Key Trend 6: Dairy 2.0 – making the most of dairy’s natural advantages New image for dairy: Dairy is enjoying a more positive health image as science pushes back the negatives around dairy fat and uncovers potential benefits to dairy. Opportunities exist for anyone who innovates with healthy dairy. read more Key Trend 7: Free-from – the normalization of avoidance Gluten-free is not a passing fad: Gluten-free has grown from a micro-niche 15 years ago to a key trend that companies have to take notice of, and achieving gluten-free status is fast becoming an important aspect of most new product development. read more Key Trend 8: Sugar – the new dietary demon? Sugar the new demon: Sugar has overtaken fat as the big dietary concern – in some regions of the world at least. read more Key Trend 9: A long, slow death for low fat? The iron orthodoxy of low-fat eating is fracturing: Research is revealing that fat may not be the enemy of health we have long believed it to be. However, consumer change will be slow – the new findings are having an effect on consumer choices among the most informed, and over the next 30 years influence will grow…but for now, most consumers will continue to make choices based on the “old rules”. read more Key Trend 10: Digestive wellness – the secret driver of other trends? Does bloating lie at the root of everything? Is a bloated stomach a bigger driver of consumer decisions than companies realised? We believe this digestive issue is driving free-from and weight wellness trends. read more
Everyday gluten-free eating?

Everyday gluten-free eating?

Celebrity endorsements of gluten-free eating can be found in most countries. Even in France – although French people have a conservative food culture and a long track-record of rejecting eating habits they see as “strange” (try being a vegetarian in France).

French people are willing to be influenced by Novak Djokovic, who attributes much of his success as a tennis ace to eating gluten-free. He has even written a best-selling book about it: Serve to Win: the 14-Day Gluten Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence.

Gluten-free fixtures like this one – for the Gerble brand, owned by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical, are now as common in supermarkets in France as in America. The text on the display reads: For a balanced diet that can change your life.

It’s a sign of how gluten-free eating – once seen as an unusual problem that made gluten-free eaters unwelcome dinner guests – is fast becoming normalised.

Normalisation is an important step in the evolution of any trend. It’s the process which takes foods and eating habits from being unusual (or “weird”) to being everyday and unremarkable.

Brands play their part in normalisation by starting the process of moving gluten-free from a special aisle to the mainstream aisle.

Nestle’s recent launch of gluten-free cornflakes in Europe is a perfect example. A mass-market brand selling a mass-market product in the mainstream aisle, it’s all part of making gluten-free a normal, everyday message.

Read more on the blog

Julian Mellentin

Industry Events

5th Healthy Bars & Grain Snacks 2015 Platform for Industry & Innovation

Date: 5 & 6 February 2015

Location: Cologne (Combine with ISM!)


In-depth analysis of trends and excellent insights. The case studies provide solid market data and I refer to them often and in particular when starting new initiatives. Mary Parsons VP Global Platform Development, The Hershey Company

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