News highlights, market trends, and original data analysis related to the U.S. retail food & beverage industry … by Jay Nargundkar
The reigning king of cereal in America is, and has been for some time, Cheerios — specifically, Honey Nut Cheerios. Nielsen identifies Buzz Bee’s favorite as the top-selling ready-to-eat (RTE), a.k.a. “cold”, cereal in the U.S. As for the rest of the Top 10…
“Original” Cheerios features at #4. With other brands, the distinction between flavor extension and separate product are less clear in the data — Honey Bunches of Oats, for example, encompasses many flavors, only some (e.g. Honey Bunches of Oats Greek) are treated separately. Kellogg’s Special K just missed the cutoff, but if Special K Red Berries’ $143M in sales were added to regular Special K’s $117M and the new Special K Chocalatey Strawberry’s $28M, it would feature in the Top 10 as well.
The data also revealed the most popular new cereal in America to be General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, which posted sales north of $40M last year.
You can equate popularity with dollars? Is there no significant difference across cereals in price per pound, for example?
Great question. In this case, it’s a fair assumption, since there are no premium cereals of this magnitude whose higher price would belie lower unit sales. For the record, looking at the cereal rankings in terms of units sold leads to the same order as my list ranking by dollar sales.