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Breakfast Cereal Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Ready-to-Eat Cereals and Hot Cereals), By Category (Organic and Conventional), By Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Convenience stores, Online Retail, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100535



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The global breakfast cereal market size was valued at USD 36.38 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 38.12 billion in 2024 to USD 58.35 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.47% during the forecast period. North America dominated the Breakfast Cereals Market with a market share of 45.55% in 2023.

Breakfast cereals are processed food products that are usually composed of grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and others. They are available in ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook formats, which are called hot cereals. The increasing demand for convenience and ready-to-eat food propels the global breakfast cereal market growth.

The demand for the product increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. As people were confined in their homes, instead of consuming breakfast from foodservices, home consumption increased, and the demand for processed cereal breakfast increased. New products that were launched helped consumers reminisce about childhood memories, which increased the product demand. For instance, in 2020, Kellogg’s Company relaunched its Smorz cereal, which was initially launched in 2003. Similarly, General Mills reintroduced its 80s cereal recipes such as Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, Cookie Crisp, and Trix cereals.

Breakfast Cereal Market Trends

Growing Demand for Clean Label Products to Support Innovation

Clean-label products are becoming popular among consumers. Products with labels such as “GMO-free” and “Gluten-free” are perceived as healthy, and thus, cereal manufacturers are launching products with similar claims to cater to such consumer segments. Fortification of the product with vitamins and minerals is also gaining prominence in the global market due to the rising demand for healthy food products. For instance, in July 2023, General Mills increased the amount of vitamins in its cereals, such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios, by 20%.  

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Breakfast Cereal Market Growth Factors

Growing Demand for Convenience Food to Support the Growth of the Market

The growing popularity of the on-the-go lifestyle has increased the demand and popularity of portable cereals such as ready-to-eat products among consumers. The increase in inflation has also amplified the demand for budget-friendly products among consumers. Products in smaller packages with smaller price labels are becoming popular among cost-conscious consumers. Moreover, processed foods such as breakfast cereals are popular among consumers as they are convenient and have a higher shelf life. The products are available in a large number of flavors and shapes, appealing to a wide consumer segment that ranges from kids to adults.

Growing Popularity of Processed Foods in Emerging Economies to Boost Market Expansion

Consumers are increasingly embracing Western diets, exploring processed foods and new products in different flavors. This growing incorporation of a Western culture-influenced diet is the major factor that is leading to the replacement of traditional meals with processed food, such as breakfast cereals, in several emerging economies. The product manufacturers are also retorting to this growing demand with a wave of innovation. Moreover, brands are introducing diverse and exciting products in different colors, shapes, and forms to cater to the evolving palates of consumers in different regions, especially in emerging markets such as Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.


Presence of Artificial Flavors and Processed Sugar in RTE Products May Hamper Market Growth

A significant share of products, specifically ready-to-eat cereals, are loaded with sugars and carbohydrates, which are associated with several diseases and negatively impact human health. As consumer consciousness related to the disadvantages of eating sugar and processed food is increasing, the popularity of such processed sugar-based cereals is waning and is getting replaced with low-calorie, sugar-free versions or home-cooked meals. Hence, manufacturers are slowly expanding their product lines and emphasizing the launch of products that relate to growing health consciousness and market growth.

Breakfast Cereal Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Ready-to-eat Cereals Segment Leads Due to Convenience and Appealing Flavors

Hot cereals and ready-to-eat types are the major categories of cereal available in the market. Among these, the ready-to-eat cereals segment accounts for the largest market share as these products are convenient, can be consumed on the go, and are available in a wide range of flavors and shapes that appeal to a broad consumer segment. However, the high processed sugar content is one of the major disadvantages of such products, and manufacturers are reformulating their offerings and launching healthier variants in the market.

Hot cereal is another type of product that accounts for a smaller share of the global market.  Such products are favored by consumers who prefer home-cooked warm cereals that are rich in different varieties of grains. As the popularity of grain-based products is increasing, numerous innovative flavors of hot cereals are being launched in the market to cater to such growing demand and support the growth of the market. 

By Category Analysis

Conventional Segment Holds Largest Share Owing to Budget-friendliness

Conventional and organic are two major categories that are available in the market.

Among these, the conventional segment accounts for the largest market share owing to the wide availability of such products in the market. Conventional products are also budget-friendly and are favored by cost-conscious consumers.

Natural and organic products are becoming popular among consumers. Health journals and medical societies such as the American Cancer Society stated that environmental toxins, mainly pesticides and insecticides, cause 85% of cancers. Thus, consumers analyze the packaging contents and the raw materials sources to assess whether they are good for their health. As organic products are made of organic ingredients that use organic farming practices, the popularity of such products compared to conventional products is increasing at a rapid pace. Thus, the organic segment is projected to grow at a swift pace in the future.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

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Supermarkets/Hypermarkets Segment Leads Due to High Discounts and Better Product Availability

Supermarkets/hypermarkets, convenience stores, online retail, and others are the distribution channels adopted by product manufacturers to reach out to their consumers.

The supermarkets/hypermarkets segment accounts for the largest market share as a wide collection of products is readily available in one place. Moreover, heavier discounts are provided to consumers if the products are purchased in bulk quantities.

Specialty stores and other retail stores are the second major distribution channels through which consumers prefer to purchase products. These stores provide access to limited edition products which may not be available in other major retail channels. Furthermore, consumers who prefer to purchase high-quality products prefer to purchase food from such channels.

Online retail has become another major distribution channel that consumers and manufacturers alike favor in selling and purchasing products. The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the adoption of such channels as several first-time users shifted to online platforms and have been using them since to make all varieties of purchases.


The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.

North America Breakfast Cereal Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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North America’s market size was valued at USD 16.57 billion in 2023 and accounted for the largest market share.  Cereals are the default breakfast food item in the region, especially in the U.S. Some of the major product manufacturers headquartered in the region include General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Post Holdings, which have been launching a wide range of products in different flavors to meet the growing demand in the region. A significant proportion of such products are associated with higher sugar content, which is one of the major reasons for obesity in the region. Hence, to create awareness among consumers and limit their sugar intake, health associations in the region are encouraging consumers to purchase products with lower sugar content.  

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Growing aversion toward processed and sugar-rich food and increasing adoption of innovative diets such as flexitarian, keto, and vegan diets is influencing the market in Europe. Cereals that are made of natural ingredients have higher fiber content and are growing in popularity among consumers. Thus, private label companies and major cereal manufacturers are launching new products that are marketed as “high protein,” “plant-based,” “clean label,” and “gluten-free.” A trade body named “U.K. Breakfast Cereal UK (BCUK)” introduced a ‘wake up to breakfast cereal - a five-point plan’ to reformulate their breakfast cereal offerings with improved formulations to make them healthier for the consumers. 

The increasing popularity of Western diets in Asia Pacific is one of the major factors that is supporting the growth of the breakfast cereal market share. The growing working-class population, industrialization, and the rise in disposable income have prompted several consumers to change their food consumption behavior and shift toward convenience food products, which include processed food products. Several traditional breakfast dishes are being replaced with processed food items, including the product, and the demand for such products is expected to increase further in the future.  

The demand for such food products in South America and the Middle East & Africa is growing at a slower pace. The influx of tourists, migrant workers, and businessmen from other countries is influencing the breakfast cereals consumption in the region. There is a growing preference for Western food products among consumers which is expected to continue and increase in the future. Hence, the market for breakfast cereals is expected to increase steadily in the future.

List of Key Companies in Breakfast Cereal Market

Key Industry Players Launch New Products and Adopt Territory Expansion Strategies to Enhance Their Position 

The market is semi-consolidated where major product manufacturers, such as Kellogg’s Company, General Mills, and Post Holdings, account for the majority of the market share. These major players are launching a wide range of products that suit the growing demand. Certain companies are targeting health-conscious consumers and launching marketing campaigns to amplify the better-for-you product among consumers. For instance, General Mills pushed its heart-health message related to its Cheerios family of brands with emphasis specifically on its “Cheerios Oat Crunch.”  Moreover, individual cereal packs that are portion-controlled and budget-friendly are becoming popular among consumers. Manufacturers have also identified untapped markets in Asia, Middle East, and South America and are launching products that suit the local needs.



  • April 2024: Kellogg’s India launched a new breakfast cereal product offering named Froot Loops for consumers. The product is targeted specifically for kids and provides a fruity and colorful offering to consumers.

  • January 2024: WK Kellogg Co. launched new better-for-you cereal products, which are available in chocolate and fruit flavors. The product is specifically aimed at Gen Z consumers who prefer protein-heavy, zero-sugar alternatives and an alternative to its other sugar-based product offerings.

  • December 2023: U.K.-based breakfast cereal company Weetabix acquired local cereal manufacturer Deeside Cereals and expanded its presence in the U.K. region.

  • February 2021: India-based company Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) entered a definitive agreement with Kottaram Agro Foods to acquire a 100% stake in its Soulfull brand of breakfast cereal and millet-based snacks.

  • June 2020: Norwegian company Orkla acquired Pepsico-owned breakfast cereal company Havrefras. This strategy helped the company strengthen its position as a leading breakfast cereal manufacturer in the country.


An Infographic Representation of Breakfast Cereals Market

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The report includes quantitative and qualitative insights into the market. It also offers a detailed regional analysis of the market size, statistics, trends, regional forecast, and growth rate for all possible segments. This analysis provides various key insights on the market, an overview of related markets, competitive landscape, recent industry developments such as mergers, acquisitions, regulatory scenario in critical countries, and key industry trends.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.47% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Hot Cereals

  • Ready –to-Eat Cereals

 By Category

  • Organic

  • Conventional

By Distribution Channel

  • Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

  • Convenience stores

  • Online Retail

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, Category, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Category)

    • Canada (By Category)

    • Mexico (By Category)

  • Europe (By Type, Category, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Category)

    • Germany  (By Category)

    • France (By Category)

    • Spain (By Category)

    • Italy (By Category)

    • Denmark (By Category)

    • Netherlands (By Category)

    • Rest of Europe (By Category)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Category, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • China (By Category)

    • India (By Category) 

    • Japan (By Category) 

    • Australia (By Category)

    • Vietnam (By Category)

    • Philippines (By Category)

    • South Korea (By Category)

    • Rest of the Asia Pacific (By Category)

  • South America (By Type, Category, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Category)

    • Argentina  (By Category)

    • Rest of South America  (By Category)

  • Middle East and Africa (By Product Type, Category, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • Turkey  (By Category)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Category)

    • South Africa (By Category)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Category)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 36.38 billion in 2023.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.47%, the market is slated to exhibit promising growth during the forecast period (2024-2032).

By type, the ready-to-eat cereals segment leads the market.

The growing demand for convenience food is set to support market growth.

General Mills, Kelloggs’s Company, and Post Holdings are a few of the leading players in the market.

North America dominated the global market in terms of share in 2023.

By category, the conventional segment holds the major share of the market.

The growing demand for clean label products, which is poised to support innovation, is the latest trend in the market.

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