Business / Kellogg'S Worldwide—A Study In Cereal Consumption

Kellogg'S Worldwide—A Study In Cereal Consumption

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Autor:  anton  20 March 2011
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Kellogg's Worldwide—A Study in Cereal Consumption

15 December 2005

Introduction

The Kellogg's company was born in 1894 when the brothers Kellogg accidentally discovered cereal flakes while experimenting with food production techniques. The company was officially launched in 1902. At this time the company's only product was Corn Flakes. William Kellogg instilled values of innovative marketing, quality products, and information about healthy diets in the company. Kellogg's was the first company to include nutrition messages, recipes, and product information on cereal boxes. In 1906, William Kellogg decided to launch the company's first ad campaign, a full-page ad in Ladies Home Journal. Sales rose from 33 to 2900 cases per day.

The company’s first exploits abroad started in 1924, when Kellogg's began to sell Corn Flakes and All-Bran in Great Britain. Rice Krispies appeared just a few years later, and Frosties began to be sold in 1954. In 1978, Kellogg's began its expansion in the UK by building a factory at Wrexham. It was considered as one of the world's most modern food production factories. Kellogg's also expanded its reach by starting information programs for schools, health organizations, and consumers. From the UK, Kellogg's expanded all over the world. It currently produces more than 40 cereals in 19 different countries on six different continents. Corn Flakes has grown to become a cereal standard, found in all countries where Kellogg's is present. Its simple, neutral taste appeals to all palettes and it is easily customizable.

Kellogg's has always been an innovator concerning advertising and marketing. Its main advertising objectives are to provide product information while at the same time being socially responsible, as iterated in their philosophy: "Kellogg is committed to providing wholesome, quality spot advertising that is truthful and not misleading to consumers and to placing its commercials with quality television programming. In keeping with this commitment, Kellogg believes it has a responsibility to produce advertising, and to place those ads in programs that communicate the standards of good taste and fair practice that guide all of our corporate actions." Kellogg's also takes great pride in its marketing department, which contains seven sub-departments: product management, new product development, consumer affairs, promotion marketing, nutrition affairs, and product communications/PR. Perhaps the most important aspect of the Kellogg's marketing philosophy is their mantra "Think global, act local."

We used Kellogg's as our standard when researching cereal-eating habits around the world. We created an online survey using Zoomerang.com that surveyed consumers on whether they ate cereal, when they ate cereal, their taste preferences, their purchasing influences and so on and so forth. We sent the survey to 20 respondents for each of four regions: the United States, the U.K./Ireland, Germany/Austria, and France. We then analyzed the results and compared them to the Kellogg's product line and advertising and marketing techniques in the respective countries and finally, compared them to each other.

USA

A) Results of the Survey:

Cereal is a very popular food among Americans. Nearly all of the Americans surveyed eat cereal for one reason or another. Those who do not eat cereal choose not to do so for various reasons, among them being blandness, lack of protein, lack of substance, and disliking the taste or texture of cereal. One respondent seemed to be very concerned about his cereal becoming soggy. Instead of cereal, these respondents choose to eat such things as fruit, eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

Among those polled who do eat cereal (most of them), tastes were widely varied. Most of them had been eating cereal all their lives, or at least since they were small children and thus for as long as they could remember. The average respondent who eats cereal eats it between 3 and 5 times a week. Most of those surveyed started eating cereal because of family influence. It seems that all generations in the United States consume cereal and it is not only popular among children

or young adults. The second most influential factor is nutritional benefits, followed by advertising and friends. The most popular reason (by far) to eat cereal is as breakfast, followed by as a snack, and finally as an alternative to a traditional meal.

Concerning the cereal taste itself, Americans seem to like a wide variety. Fruit and plain were liked almost equally, although fruit seemed to be the overall favorite. After that, sugared and chocolate tied for second place. Among other types of cereal liked by those polled are granola and those with soy and fiber added. Kellogg's is by far the brand of choice of Americans, however, the preferred

specific product varied greatly, including cereals such as: Special K, Honey Nut Cheerios, All Bran, Golden Grahms, Kix, Rice Krispie Treat Cereal, Cheerios (plain), Cocoa Puffs, Kashi Go Lean, Frosted Flakes, Smacks, and Raisin Bran Crunch. An overwhelming majority of respondents add milk to their cereal, although some also add fruit or yogurt. Interestingly, only one respondent said that they add sugar to their cereal.

Expectations for cereal are high among Americans, most wanting a blend of good taste, nutritional benefits, and hunger satisfaction. Lower numbers of respondents also desired a low calorie content. The most important factor considered when buying a cereal is taste, followed by price and nutritional value, then habit, then packaging and advertising. Most Americans expectations for cereal have not changed since they started eating it, but those who have say that they now expect more nutrition from their cereal and are less interested in "junky" or “sugary” cereals such as Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, etc., which are often considered to be kids' cereals.

B) Product Line:

Kellogg's currently distributes more than fifty cereals in the United States. Many trends can be found among all these different types of cereals. Perhaps the most evident is a trend towards a healthier lifestyle, which is evident in the survey's results. Many respondents said that nutritional benefits were a main factor in choosing their cereal, and many high-fiber, low-sugar, and low-calories cereals were listed among the favorites. The Kellogg's Company boasts a plethora of cereals geared towards this trend, including three different kinds of All Bran (high fiber), two different types of Complete (vitamins added), reduced sugar Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, reduced fat Granola, four different kinds of Special K (reduced calorie) and an entire line of cereals directed specifically at those seeking a healthier lifestyle called, appropriately, Smart Start.

Regardless of this trend towards a healthier lifestyle present in the United States, Kellogg's sugared cereals remain in full force. This makes sense since most Americans start eating cereal very young, and many sugared cereals are geared towards young consumers, such as Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops with their cartoon characters (Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam). There are also many cereals based on movies and TV shows that are also geared towards these young consumers and that are also sugary. Because Americans start eating these cereals at a young age, they often continue to eat them into adulthood, even though they are more conscious of nutritional benefits and as such do not eat them on a regular basis. Sugary cereals eaten by adults are most likely to be eaten as a snack instead of breakfast.

Kellogg's also offers many "classic" cereals, the most obvious being Corn Flakes. Corn Flakes is sold in every country in which it operates. It works well in the United States for many reasons. Firstly, it is one of the oldest cereals around. Since family was listed as the most important influence concerning cereal consumption, it is quite likely that many families have been eating Corn Flakes on a regular basis for generations. Thus parents have continued

to influence their children to eat Corn Flakes. Secondly, its classic nature makes it easily

customizable to each consumer's preferences. Since the taste is very neutral, each person can add what tastes best to him or her. Milk, yogurt, fruit, sugar—all of it works. This is very important given the wide variety of taste preferences in the United States. Please refer to Appendix A for a picture of the American Corn Flakes box.

Kellogg's also makes many cereals that are unique to the United States. One of these is the "Smart Start" line of cereals. Within this line there are three different types of cereal: Healthy Heart, Antioxidant, and Soy Protein. Please see Appendix A for pictures of these three cereal boxes. This line of cereals is very reflective of the current health trend in the United States. A large proportion of the American population is interested in losing weight and following a healthier lifestyle, and these cereals are marketed towards those consumers.

"Healthy Heart" boasts oat bran, potassium, and low sodium, all key ingredients for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It is certified by the American Heart Association. Given that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, it should come as no surprise that many people have recently become more interested in taking care of their heart.

"Antioxidant" is formulated to boost the immune system. It includes Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc. Many Americans are very busy people who work long hours and are under a lot of stress, all of which can wreak havoc on the immune system. Therefore, it makes sense that many Americans would be interested in boosting their immune system in any way possible.

"Soy Protein" includes 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving. This is very appealing to Americans because there is currently a lot of buzz about soy's multiple health benefits. Soy is believed to contribute to a healthy heart and lower cholesterol. It also contains many antioxidants and its soluble fiber can help prevent many kinds of cancers and guard against kidney disease. Finally, it also enhances the body's ability to absorb calcium. With so many claimed benefits, it is easy to see why a health-conscious American would want to include as much soy protein as possible in their diet.

C) Advertising Strategy:

With such a wide variety of cereals, it should come as no surprise that Kellogg's employs a variety of advertising methods in the United States. In order to entice children, Kellogg's makes use of cartoon characters. Also, children's cereals are placed lower on shelves at supermarkets. To win over their parents, it offers options such as reduced sugar versions of the same cereals, which are widely publicized in the U.S. For those consumers who are more health conscious, Kellogg's uses advertising that gears towards these interests. For example, Special K is a low-calorie cereal so its commercials usually feature a slender woman trying on clothes or something similar. A recent campaign for Special K boasts that replacing two meals a day with Special K can lead to a 5 pound weight loss in two weeks. For consumers that are more interested in nutrition content than calorie count, Kellogg's campaigns with the nutritional benefits of a certain cereal (i.e. Smart Start).

Kellogg's offers a much larger and more diverse line of products in America as compared to other countries. This makes sense because a larger proportion of the American population eats cereal on a regular basis when compared to other countries. Over 50 different kinds of Kellogg's cereals are currently being sold in the United States. There are more cereals offered that are geared towards the "health-conscious" consumer and far less cereals that contain chocolate, however there are still a wide variety of sugar cereals available. However, the same basic taste groups are used across all countries: plain, sugar, chocolate, fruit, granola, etc. Most countries that Kellogg's operates in has at least one kind of cereal in each of these categories. This means

that while Americans may eat more cereal and have more cereal available to them, general taste preferences are cross-cultural.

UK/Ireland

Kellogg’s was launched onto the skeptical UK market in the early 1920’s. The company faced the difficult task of convincing a nation accustomed to a traditional breakfast of porridge, bacon and eggs to try a new breakfast food. However, through a combination of sales promotions and direct marketing Kellogg’s had revolutionised the eating habits of a nation within ten years. Kellogg’s used innovative marketing techniques such as free samples and door-to-door marketing. The free samples encouraged people to try their products, change their taste buds, and incorporate cereal as part of their daily eating habits. Cornflakes and Rice Krispies were the first products to be launched.

A) Results of the Survey:

We successfully completed a survey to discover the eating and buying habits of both British and Irish consumers. Through our questionnaire we discovered the motivations and reasoning behind their consumption and buying habits.

We surveyed an array of 20 people, and of those surveyed an enormous 92% eat cereal, and of those 92% the majority have been eating cereal all of their lives or for as long as they can remember. Eating cereal was generally not a new concept. On the other hand, the reasons stated for not eating cereal were: laziness, lack of time in the morning, did not eat breakfast. This leads us to conclude that those who do not eat cereal do not eat anything as an alternative to cereal.

48% of those surveyed eat cereal on a daily basis, a further 36% eat cereal 4-6 times a week and 16% eat cereal 1-3 times a week. This leads us to believe that cereal consumption is habitual. 83% stated family reasons as to why they initially started eating cereal and 17% stated nutritional benefits. This conveys that family influences are very strong and that cereal consumption begins at a very young age in the home. No participant stated advertising or influences of friends as a primary reason for starting eating cereal. Cereal is consumed as a breakfast food by 92% of people, but a further 33% eat cereal as either a snack or for breakfast. Nobody claimed to consume cereal as an alternative to a main meal.

An overwhelming majority of people surveyed would opt for a plain cereal (67%), a fruit cereal was the next most popular choice with 25% choosing this option, what we found surprising was that only 17% opted for a sugar cereal. Muesli was also stated as a preference by a number of participants.

These results in their entirety imply that the British and Irish consumers are ultimately health conscious and aware of the nutritional value a cereal provides. Sweet cereals were associated with children. Many respondents claimed to have grown out of sweet cereals such as Coco Pops.

Kellogg’s was by far the most popular brand with 83% stating it as their favourite brand, Weetabix was chosen by 10% of those surveyed and only 7% stated Nestlй as their favourite brand. The three most popular products were Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, and Special K. Fruit and Fibre, Bran Flakes and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes also received a number of votes. Again, the choice of these cereals reinforces the health consciousness of Irish and British consumers.

Of all those who eat cereal everyone stated they add milk to their cereal, 33% would add sugar and 8% would add yogurt, but no one mentioned supplementing their cereal with fruit.

We discovered that above everything, good taste (75%) was the primary expectation from a cereal, closely followed by nutritional benefits (67%) and hunger satisfaction (42%). The majority of people said that their expectations have not changed since they first began eating cereal, of the 23% whose expectations have changed they now opt for a healthier cereal as

opposed to a sweet cereal. They don’t enjoy sweet cereals anymore and are more aware of the nutritional benefits. As you become older your tastes naturally mature and sweet cereal was no longer as appealing.

When asked if they changed brands or products often, 58% stated no, but of those who said yes, it was for reasons such as variety, boredom and changing tastes. Also a number of those surveyed stated price as a reason for changing product/brand, implying that consumers are price sensitive and react to price changes. This price sensitivity of consumers was further emphasised when 33% claimed that price was what attracted them to buy a certain cereal. Taste was the biggest attraction with 58% stating it as the primary reason for purchasing a specific product. 33% stated habit and 25% stated nutritional value. Interestingly only 8% said the brand name was why they would choose a certain product and no one stated advertising or packaging as a reason for choosing a certain product.

When the participants were asked if they would be tempted by cereal bars, the answer was evenly divided. 50% would be tempted by cereal bars. The reasons given were that it’s a low calorie snack and it’s nutritious and healthy. Many people would eat cereal bars if they were very busy and on the move. Those surveyed also stated it made them feel healthy. The findings clearly convey that the majority pf people would consume cereal bars as a snack and not for breakfast, therefore implying they would consume cereal bars in addition to cereal and not as an alternative. For those who wouldn’t be tempted by cereal bars the reasons given were that they’re too sweet, high in sugar, not as tasty and for a snack they contain too many calories. Opinion was very much divided.

B) Product Line:

Please refer to Appendix B for a small number of products from the extensive number of products offered on the UK and Irish market. What we noticed was that from the range of products on offer there stemmed a number of similar products with slight differentiations. In the case of All Bran there is All Bran Original, All-Bran Apricot Bites, All-Bran Bran Flakes, All-Bran Flakes Yoghurty and All-Bran Sultana Bran. The presence of such an array of products indicates that Kellogg’s is aware of consumer preference and is constantly adapting their original products to suit changing consumer tastes. British and Irish consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and thus demand more from their cereal than just good taste, Kellogg’s is responding to this.

Kellogg’s Cornflakes was the first product to be launched on the UK and Irish market and still retains a strong market share with a third of survey participants stating it as their cereal of choice. Special K is becoming increasingly popular with British and Irish consumers. This is related specifically to recent obesity issues. Consumers have been forced to examine their lifestyles and re-evaluate their eating habits. Special K has been marketed as a healthy option and through this has captured a huge sector of the market.

C) Advertising Strategy:

Today in both Great Britain and Ireland advertising and packaging are key aspects of Kellogg’s marketing strategy. Kellogg’s advertise using a whole range of media: press, posters, radio, cinema, direct mail and most recently the Internet.

However, the main channel for its advertising is on television, where individual brands are given their own air time aimed specifically at a target audience. For example, Special K is aimed towards women and Coco Pops are primarily aimed at children. Corn Flakes, by contrast, are aimed at the whole family. This targeting will determine the content of the commercial and the time of broadcast.

When participants were asked if they recalled any particular advertising campaigns, Coco Pops and Special K were prominent in the participants minds. In the case of Coco Pops, children are the target audience. Kellogg’s uses colour and music to appeal to this younger audience. Coco ultimately faces a challenge in the advertisement and the ads always finish with the catchy phrase - “I’d rather have a bowl of Coco Pops”. Coco Pops also attracts children with the promise of a free toy or game inside each box of Coco Pops. Most recently Kellogg’s has promoted its cereals by associating them with Scooby Doo.

Kellogg’s uses promotions and special offers to appeal to the consumer. Often the packets of cereal contain serving suggestions and nutritional information. For the younger consumer they have stories illustrated by colourful animations.

Another marketing technique that Kellogg’s uses is that it gets involved with the local community and supports local schools and events, again promoting its family orientated image and ensuring that it has a permanent place in the minds and homes of consumers.

From the survey we were able to build a profile of the British and Irish consumer. Their attitude to both sweet cereal and cereal bars emphasises their health consciousness. They are price sensitive consumers, possessing limited brand loyalty and regularly switch brands/products. Advertising had little impact when it came to product choice but consumers were aware of various advertising campaigns. Cereal is primarily a breakfast food in Britain and Ireland and is marketed in this way. Kellogg’s has come along way from its original introduction into the British and Irish market in the 1920’s. It provides an extensive range of cereal to the British and Irish consumer in response to demand. Kellogg’s adapts its packaging and advertising to appeal to this market. Cereal is advertised as a family food and Kellogg’s promises to provide a product to suit the needs of every individual family member. Their cereals and advertisements are becoming increasingly health orientated to match changing consumer behaviour and the evolution of a health conscious nation.

Austria/Germany

In Austria and Germany cereals are mainly consumed for breakfast. In general breakfast is considered an important meal, because it is the basis for your day, although some people skip it because of lack of time or hunger in the morning. The reason that cereals are considered as breakfast might be that Austrians and Germans prefer to have a “real” meal for lunch and dinner. This constitutes a complete plate with which they can satisfy their hunger. Almost no one eats cereals as an alternative for a whole meal. Cereals are not seen as enough for a whole meal and often cereals are not the only part of the breakfast but are complemented with other things. A typical Austrian breakfast consists of bread or rolls with butter, jam, honey, cheese, ham and fruits and coffee. Compared to the French breakfast it is quite big and it should satisfy your hunger for a long and hard working day.

Especially young people have cereals for breakfast several times a week. Cereals are very popular with children, especially the chocolate ones. When combined with milk their parents support this consumption, because milk is rich in calcium. Generally Austrians and Germans do not prefer very sweet cereals; they eat it plain or with fruits.

In the last years there has been a trend towards better nutrition. People are more conscious of how they eat and their food's effects on their health. Cereal producers responded to that trend with the introduction of healthier variations of their products, as stated below. These fitness and low fat products are well accepted.

A) Results of the Survey:

20 Austrians and Germans were asked about their cereal eating habits. 75% responded that they eat cereals, 25% answered with no.

Here is some detailed information about the results:

- People who do not eat cereals said that it was not their taste, that they preferred “natural

- food” like fruits or that they do not like milk. They eat bread or rolls for breakfast which can be considered as a typical Austrian and German breakfast as mentioned above.

- It is interesting that the people who do not eat cereals are mainly male. That might be because women are more health conscious and for them the nutritional benefits are quite important and they find these benefits in cereals.

- 92% of the respondents eat cereals for breakfast; only a few of them (8%) take it as a snack and no one uses it as an alternative to a meal.

- The average cereal consumption is about 3.5 times a week.

- Most of the respondents started eating cereals because of family members (58%), followed by advertising (25%) and friends (17%).

- 50% prefer to have plain cereals, 42% with fruits and 33% with chocolate. That is to say that Austrian and Germans do not like a kind of extreme sweet taste.

- 92% of the respondents eat it with milk, followed by fruits (25%) and yogurt (17%).

- The respondents expect their cereal to taste good (83%), to satisfy their hunger (75%) and to have nutritional benefits (33%). Nutritional benefits are very important for female respondents.

- The main attractions for buying cereals are taste with 75% and habits with 50% which are closely linked. For 25% the nutritional value is important followed by price and packaging.

- The best known and preferred brand is Kellogg’s (75%), followed by Nestlй (42%) and several local brands. Kellogg’s Cornflakes are very popular but also Nestlй Fitness and Nestlй Fitness & Fruits. Only a few respondents stated that they ate chocolate cereals.

- Most of the people do not change there eating habits if they find a product which tastes good to them. This is not only true for cereals but for German and Austrian eating habits in general. The only change is from sweet cereals to more healthy ones with fruits or less sugar and less chocolate. This is a trend, especially seen among women, who rwant to take care of their health and think that cereals eaten with milk really fulfill their need of vitamins, calcium and energy. But young people answered that they want to try something new and that they are therefore open towards changing the product.

- 77% of the respondents said that they would be interested in eating cereal bars or that they already eat them. They consider it mainly as a good tasty snack. Here is to say that local brands are more popular and not many people eat Kellogg’s cereal bars. Might be because Kellogg’s cereal bars are quite new and the other ones taste good too.

B) Product Line:

The Kellogg's product range in Austria and Germany is divided in various categories. There are plain cereals with only grains and nothing else added, like Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Special K, Frosties. Another category would be cereals with fruits like Special K Red Fruit and Special K Black Berry, Froot Loops. Then cereals with chocolate, like Kellogg’s Chocos, Choco Krispies, Frosties with Choco, Special K Choco, Toppas Choco. In this context it is to say that the chocolate cereals are mainly preferred by children and Kellogg’s addresses children in their advertising campaigns. This distinction is made on the German Homepage of Kellogg’s where you can find products for children and adolescents and products for adults and families.

Besides the product line includes Honey Loops, Crunchy Nut and Rice Krispies.

The following new products respond to the health trend: Frosties with less sugar, a new fruit variation (Special K Black Berry) and a new product line which is called Day Vita which include Day Vita plain, fruits and sticks. They try to satisfy the daily need for fibres and to be good for the digestion.

There also exist several cereal bars, in the children category Frosties, Frosties Choco, Frosties Choco Krispies and for adults and families Special K bars and muslix â„¢ bars, and also yogurts and drinks.

Day Vita does not appear in the other countries of our survey. It responds to the health trend in Austria/Germany. The emphasis here is not on losing

weight but eating healthy and satisfying your needs on vitamins etc. Please see Appendix C for a picture of DayVita.

Kellogg’s Original Cornflakes are very popular in Austria/Germany too, they are simple in taste and you can mix it quite well with other things like milk or fruits. Please see Appendix C for a picture of the German Corn Flakes box.

C) Advertising Strategy:

The advertising campaigns in TV spots mainly address children with Tony the Tiger for Frosties, the frog for Smacks and Chocos, and the bear for Choco Krispies. They try to convince the children that it tastes good but also that it gives them power and energy for the whole day.

The homepage in general attracts mainly young people, but for “adult and family products” the company emphasizes the nutritional value of the various products with certain exact data which Austrians and Germans like since they are really attached to facts. They offer several games, linked to the winter season at the moment, or quizzes related to football (soccer), the number one sport in Austria and Germany, and also a health check. They put a great emphasis on health on their homepage, informing consumers about related topics and problems. In general, they try to reach their customers through children and so to attract their parents and convince them of the combination of nutritional value and good taste of their products.

France

In general, French eating habits are still very closely linked to their national heritage of eating good food for pleasure. Although receptive to new ideas and trends, the French have changed their eating habits much more slowly than, say, the Americans. A recent survey conducted by the French government's Committee for Health Education (CFES) showed that 76% of the French eat meals they have prepared at home, though the younger generation of singles between the ages of 18 and 29 buy convenience foods. This may be due to the fact that they live outside the structure of settled family life. It will be interesting to see in five years time, if this trend continues once this age group has settled down.

The preferred place to eat either lunch or dinner is still at home. 75% of French people eat at the table. Although the media contend that there is some breakdown in the structure of family eating habits, in general the way the French eat remains structured around mealtimes. They enjoy eating red meat and sugar (40% of the population claimed to have eaten products with high sugar content the day before the survey). Despite the reduction of fats and sugars and the introduction of lighter food products, the French continue to eat traditional products and the results are not that serious from a health point of view.

It would seem that without any great effort, the typical French meal is well balanced. It comprises the essentials: a starter and main dish with vegetables and meat followed by cheese and fruit for dessert. However, breakfast time in France is less balanced with only 8% of the population (mostly young children) eating a cereal, a fruit and milk product. The French diet is varied and balanced. The French, in contrast to Anglo-Saxons, hardly ever snack outside of meals.

A) Results of the Survey:

The French sample that we tested consisted of 20 people. 92% stated that they would eat cereal. Among them 33% male and therefore 66% female participants.

Some of the most interesting findings among the French sample stated that:

- Average cereal consumption of the French respondents is 3,8 times per week.

- A vast majority of 83,3 % started to eat cereal because of family influences, 16,6 % because of advertising and only 16,6 % because of nutritional benefits (add up to more than 100% since is was a multiple choice question, so 100 % possible for each answer choice).

- The typical time for French to eat cereal is the breakfast (100 %) followed by snack (16,6 %) and as an alternative to a meal (8,3 %) due to our survey contradicting the survey mentioned above. This is probably due to the fact, that the French sample we tested consisted of many young people (average age 22 years).

- Concerning the type of cereal, chocolate and plain cereal are the most preferred (50 % each) followed by fruit (33,3 %) and sugar (16,6 %).

- Responses concerning favourite brand and favourite product showed that there is a domination of Kellogg’s (58,3 %) followed by Nestlй» (16,6 %). The majority of the favourite products mentioned where sweet type of cereal either with chocolate or sugar for example Kellogg’s Frosties.

- 83,3 % answered that they would add milk to their cereal, followed by yogurt and fruit.

- Regarding expectations when buying cereal almost everyone choose “Good Taste” followed by hunger satisfaction, nutritional benefits and low calorie content.

- The same result could be found in regards of main attraction to buy a certain cereal. Again taste is the most important factor (100 %) followed by habit, price, packaging. Surprisingly only 25 % said that nutritional values were attracting them to buy a certain cereal.

- Expectations towards eating cereal didn’t change much among French participants. Only a few stated that they ate more sweet cereals as a child and now eat plain cereal.

- Our French sample didn’t seem to be very brand loyal. There were quite a few that stated that they preferred to change products and brands once a while mainly to try new tastes.

- Regarding our survey, more than half of the French cereal eaters have an interest in cereal bars. 58,3 % stated that they would be interested in eating cereal bars for various reasons like taste, having a nutritional snack at any time of the day especially during sport activities and when traveling. Those who had no interest mainly gave taste as a reason to prefer “real” cereal products to cereal bars, often considered to be too sweet.

B) Product Line:

The Kellogg’s product line in France consists mainly of eight product families. Starting from the traditional Kellogg’s Original Corn Flakes, also Frosties, Miel Pops, Coco Pops, Smacks, Extra, All Bran and finally Special K can be found in almost every grocery store in France. One thing appears to be quite interesting regarding the French product line offered by Kellogg’s. In six out of the eight product families, there is a cereal with chocolate as a main ingredient. This corresponds somehow to want we found in our survey as 50 % preferred chocolate type cereal. Only Miel Pops and Kellogg’s Original Cornflakes are not available with chocolate as an ingredient! Still, the global product Kellogg’s Original Cornflakes works very well for French consumers as 50 % stated that they prefer plain cereal and some also said it was their favourite product.

There is also a country specific product offered to fit French taste: All-Bran Chocolat, is only offered in France. Again, this corresponds with the taste preferences that our survey suggested. Furthermore, it was a surprising finding, that chocolate cereal is liked so much among the French cereal consumers. It was expected that they would be more concerned about having a low calorie product and eat cereal to stay slim and keep in shape.

Another interesting point is that especially in huge supermarkets like Monoprix or Carrefour, cereal consumers are offered a large range of different products – unlike most other European countries. One explanation that could be concluded from our survey results may be the interest of French consumers to try new tastes as they are not very brand, or product loyal.

As stated above, the main attraction to buy a certain cereal is taste followed by habit, price, packaging, nutritional values and advertising. Also quite influential is the role of the family in giving the first incentive to start eating cereal, followed by advertising.

C) Advertising Strategy:

Does this fit to advertising and Marketing activities in France? In general, cereal ads aim at telling consumers that they are offered a tasty product that has important nutritional values which exactly fits to what respondents stated as their main attraction to a certain cereal.

The current promotional activity of Kellogg’s in France centers around four different campaigns:

- “Deviens un agent secret!” This campaign is offered on Miel Pops, Frosties, Coco Pops, Smacks und Chocos packs and is mainly aimed at children providing some toy spy equipment.

- “Rencontre TONY PARKER!” This campaign is offered on Frosties Pйpite and Frosties Choco MAX packs. You have to find five errors comparing a photo on the website with the one on the pack in order to take part in a lottery to win one out of 10 trips to San Antonio to meet Tony Parker.

- “Entretenez votre bien-кtre intйrieur” This campaign is offered on all Kellogg’s All Bran packs. On each pack you find a coupon offering a up to 1,40 euros price reduction on the next purchase.

- “Les grands jeux Lilo & Stitch 2” This campaign is offered on Frosties and Coco Pops cereal bars packs and on Rice Krispies packs. It is a drawing competition where 100 DVDs can be gained.

These campaigns appear on packaging to which French consumers seem to be more attracted that advertising. This could be an explanation for this type of marketing activities in France.

Conclusion

When reviewing the study as a whole, a few general trends can be found. First of all, cereal is a very popular food item. In all the regions studied, the majority of survey respondents eat cereal. Most regions were above 90%, with Germany/Austria having the fewest cereal eaters at 75%. However, although cereal is very popular in most regions, the United States offers an exceptionally larger product line than the other regions. Another thing that the regions had in common was the fact that cereal is generally seen as a breakfast food. The option of eating it for a snack or as an alternative to a traditional meal was slightly more popular in the United States, but cereal prevailed as a breakfast food there as well. Further, all regions listed milk as the most popular addition to cereal. Also interesting is that many “sugary” cereals are marketed specifically towards children.

Perhaps the most notable trend is the "health trend" that is in full-force in the United States, the U.K., and Austria and Germany and is beginning in France. Cereal markets are

reflecting this trend as they all carry low-calorie (Special K), low-sugar (reduced sugar cereals), and high-fiber (All Bran) cereals that are marketed as such. Nutritional value was listed as a high priority for each region although slightly lower in Austria/Germany and France. Kellogg's was also listed as the most popular brand for each region, a testament to its international prowess.

There are also a few notable differences, including the fact that chocolate cereal was very popular in all of the regions except for the United States. Chocolate cereal is mostly seen as a kids cereal in the United States. The fact that Special K is sold with chocolate in Europe is a bit surprising to Americans since Special K is sold as a “diet” cereal and according to the American mentality, chocolate and “diet” don't mix. America was also the only region that preferred fruit cereals. All the others opted for plain, with the addition of chocolate for France. Also notable is that price was far more important to U.K. consumers than the other regions, but that taste prevailed as the most important buying factor in all regions. In conclusion, it appears that cereal is on its way to becoming a globally popular food due to several common trends among countries. However, each region has its own specificities and has guarded many of its own taste preferences. Because Kellogg's has been receptive to both global trends and local taste preferences, it has realized global success and will probably continue to do so in the future.



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