Arming consumers to take control of breakfast

Today, American consumers are more focused on the foods they eat. They read labels. They understand the importance of fiber and whole grains. They know the difference between good and bad fats.

Better research, education and marketing have raised consumers’ nutrition awareness, yet many still fail to follow one of the most basic rules of good nutrition: Eat a healthy breakfast.
Studies have proven that eating breakfast is closely linked to healthy body weights, improved mental alertness and physical performance. Cereal is a typically low-fat, nutrient-dense food that contains no cholesterol and is a quick and easy way to start the day.

In fact, ready-to-eat cereal and milk is the leading source of 10 nutrients in children’s diets. And with more than 80 cereal choices, Kellogg meets consumers’ taste preferences and nutrition needs, including great-tasting choices for digestive health, weight management and heart health.

“Ready-to-eat cereal is one of the largest center-store categories and continues to respond well to brand-building and innovation. It’s proven that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for kids and adults alike,” explained Doug VanDeVelde, SVP marketing and innovation of ready-to-eat cereal at Kellogg Company. “Consumers — especially moms — appreciate the convenience and nutrition of ready-to-eat cereal. New flavor options and innovations/renovations continue to meet family’s needs.”

For example, the importance of fiber to overall health is well-documented, yet nine out of 10 adults and children don’t get enough fiber in their diets. To help address this need, Kellogg recently added fiber to some of its most popular kids’ cereals — including Kellogg’s Foot Loops, Apple Jacks and Corn Pops — and to most varieties of Kellogg’s Special K.
Multiple studies support the benefits of breakfast. In particular:

  • Eating breakfast can help children do better in school by improving memory, test grades, school attendance and mood;
  • People who skip breakfast don’t make up for the missed nutrients later in the day;
  • Researchers revealed that people who do not eat cereal are more likely to have inadequate nutrition intakes; and
  • Research also suggests that eating breakfast may help lower overall daily caloric intake.

Consumers clearly need more information about how critical a healthy breakfast can be to their health and the health of their children. Thankfully, supermarkets and drug stores have already taken the lead.

More supermarkets employ registered dieticians to act as “personal shoppers” and provide consumers with information on how they can maintain a healthy diet.

Hy-Vee, for example, offers one-on-one nutritional counseling that includes supermarket tours to teach customers how to read food labels. The supermarket chain has also instituted a labeling system that helps customers identify better-for-you foods.

Dee Sandquist, a dietitian for the Hy-Vee supermarket chain and representative for the American Diabetes Association, said that consumers are “hungry for nutritional information” and that supermarket chains have been proactive in providing it.

For example, cereal provides important nutrition for people at all life stages. It helps children get valuable nutrients they might otherwise miss. For women of childbearing age, cereal provides necessary iron, calcium, fiber and folic acid, while the nutrient density of cereal helps elderly people get necessary nutrients for relatively few calories, which is important as calorie needs decline but nutrients needs do not.

So as retailers try to help consumers make the connection between eating breakfast and achieving better overall health, ready-to-eat cereals like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Special K and All-Bran are a great place to start.

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