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Breakfast cereals reflect global trends

GLNC research shows the number of breakfast cereal products on Australian supermarket shelves has doubled in the past eight years.
Photo: GLNC

The number of breakfast cereals on Australian supermarket shelves has doubled since 2013, and it continues to increase. New research by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) has highlighted some key areas of innovation in this rapidly growing market.

Several global trends were represented in the expanding sector, with the granola and cluster category leading the expansion. The number of granola and cluster products has increased three-fold since 2013. Changes in product on-pack claims reflected one of the biggest current trends: plant-based foods. The past eight years saw a nine-fold increase in plant-based claims appearing on breakfast cereals.

Highlighting another key trend, data analysis showed the majority of breakfast cereals on Australian supermarket shelves were a source of dietary fibre that can promote gut health. Research findings suggest a healthy gut microbiome may assist in supporting our immune system and maintaining overall health.

GLNC research also showed a shift in the nutrient contents of the breakfast cereal category. For example, since 2013 there have been improvements in the amount of protein, dietary fibre, carbohydrates, sugar and sodium contained in most products, reflecting industry efforts to lift the nutrient profile of Australian breakfast cereals.

The data indicated wholegrain breakfast cereals contained substantially more protein and less carbohydrates, sugar and salt than non-wholegrain alternatives. Wholegrain breakfast cereals are a nutritious option when combined with other healthy foods such as milk, yoghurt and fruit.

Choosing a breakfast cereal can be a daunting task with more than 500 products now available on supermarket shelves. Research suggests consumers tend to focus on the type and quality of breakfast cereals.

When it comes to choosing a breakfast cereal, healthy options are high in wholegrain and dietary fibre and low in salt and added sugars. GLNC research shows that breakfast cereals can be a convenient and important source of wholegrains, plant protein and dietary fibre.

More information: Back in Time for Breakfast: An Analysis of the Changing Breakfast Cereal Aisle.

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