American Industry Overview: Cereal Breakfast Foods

Industry Snapshot

The seventh most popular supermarket product behind carbonated beverages, milk, beer/ale/alcoholic cider, fresh bread and rolls, salty snacks, frozen dinners and entrees, and natural cheese, cereal is staple of American kitchens. In fact, the United States is among the leaders in per capita consumption rate of cereal in the world.

As of the mid-2000s, the cereal market was divided into thirds among Kellogg Company, General Mills, and all other industry players, of which there were about 200 establishments at the end of the decade. States with the highest concentration of cereal manufacturers were California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. Consumer awareness of health and nutrition also played a major part in shaping the industry in recent years. Cereal manufacturers began to tout the benefits of eating breakfast cereal right on the package--vitamin-fortified, low in fat, and a good source of fiber.