We've outgrown the cereal marketers, in knowledge and in taste. What once appealed no longer satisfies us for a number of reasons.
There was a time when Millennials loved breakfast cereal, and that was when we were small. It was the perfect combination of sugar, crunch, and cold milk, and it was easy for little hands to prepare while parents slept in on weekend mornings – our first fond memories of culinary independence. The arrangement of boxes on the dining table made a cozy, private fort in which to eat one’s cereal in peace while examining the pictures and indecipherable ingredient lists.
Cereal, however, has lost its appeal in recent years. Millennials are no longer racing to the cereal aisle, despite now being free to buy whatever garishly colorful box they wish. According to Mintel, a global market research company, sales declined from $13.9 billion in 2000 to $10 billion in 2015 (via New York Times).
So what’s going on?
On one hand, we’ve got people up in arms over the fact that Mintel’s report also revealed that 40 percent of Millennials surveyed claimed cereal was “an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it” – as in, they’d rather throw something in the garbage than wash a bowl and spoon. Yes, that’s pathetically lazy and embarrassing, but surely there’s more wrong with cereal than just that.
On the other hand, we’ve got a product that just doesn’t cut it anymore as people become more aware of the importance of good nutrition. I don’t buy cereal (other than the occasional box of Cheerios for my infant to practice picking up), nor do I feed it to my kids, and it’s not because I’m too lazy to wash dishes. No, there are other reasons why cereal has fallen off my radar while grocery shopping, some of which are listed in Kaitlin Flannery’s article, “This Is Why Millennials Actually Don’t Eat Cereal,” and to which I can relate: