Chris’s Cereal Column (CCC): Why Cereal?

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Chris Shields, Head Editor

At a point in time where new, fun breakfast cereals are regularly hitting store shelves, classic cereals continue to induce nostalgia, and new twists on old cereals are shaking things up, it’s no wonder cereal remains a breakfast staple all around the world. According to data collected by NHCS and the U.S. Census, a whopping 284.89 million U.S. citizens reached for that colorful box of cereal to start their morning on a regular basis in 2019. 

Of all the convenient breakfast options like fast food, microwave meals, and grocery store pastries, cereal never ceases to pull people in by their taste buds and sense of and nostalgia. With hundreds of different options and varieties enticing consumers on shelves, it’s no wonder this is a popular breakfast of choice. Cereal can cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences while providing them a delicious and satisfying breakfast without fail.  

If you’re like me, you also find yourself grabbing a box, spoon, bowl, and jug of milk first thing in the morning to start your day, and why wouldn’t you? Despite the often-high levels of sugar and carbohydrates in every bowl you consume, cereal is fantastic. However, with all the other alternatives for breakfast, why do people consistently find themselves reverting to cereal? 

As previously mentioned, there is undoubtedly a breakfast cereal that can appeal to anyone. Whether you’re looking for healthy, nutrient dense fuel for your day, or you find yourself craving something a little sweeter, you’ll find it in that wonderful cereal aisle. As we all know, the cereals that are most popular are full of sugar among other unhealthier ingredients, but even these options often pack a vitamin-dense punch. Examples of this can be found in Raisin Bran and Honey Bunches of Oats. 

Popular cereal companies such as Kellogg’s, Post, General Mills, and Quaker, among many more, are more intelligent than we give them credit for. They play to the consumer’s sense of nostalgia on a regular basis by using a variety of marketing tactics. These companies re-release old cereals that people haven’t seen since they were kids, like when Post re-released Honey-Comb after cancelling it. They’ll re-introduce classic shapes, colors, characters, boxes, and many other memories that will keep adults interested. 

They also brilliantly market their product to young childrenBrightly colored displays, fun and goofy mascots and characters, and the promise of a prize within each box always draws kids in. Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Honey Nut Cheerios are great examples of cereals that utilize this tactic. 

Coming in a convenient, easy-to-serve box, cereal provides a quick and delicious morning treat with no preparation required. It doesn’t get much easier than popping open a box, pouring some cereal, and adding some milk. Of course, we all would love to have that hot and steamy, deliciously savory plate of eggs, bacon, and toast in the morning, but we don’t all have the time to prepare one. And we certainly don’t all have the money to shell out to go buy it from a restaurant consistently. This is where cereal comes in to save the day.  

Selecting the right amount of the right cereal can kickstart your morning, keep you full and satisfied until lunch, and provide a delicious, enjoyable treat to start your day off right. Because of this I’ve always been a big fan of cereal, and as the studies have shown, I’m not alone.  

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