Analysis: Which Cereal is America’s Favorite?

Pattern Data Science

February 9, 2022

Grab a spoon, a bowl, and your milk of choice, because March 7th, 2022 marks National Cereal Day! Whether you’re someone who starts every morning with a bowl of Corn Flakes, or if you’re more of a late-night snack bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch kind of person, there’s no wrong way to celebrate this unofficial holiday.

As for us? Well, we’re going to celebrate the best way we know how, by diving deep into our data to learn more about Americans’ relationship with breakfast cereal. Are there certain times of year where people are more or less likely to buy a box of cereal? Which types are the most popular? And has the pandemic changed demand for cereal?

Pour yourself a bowl and keep reading to find out the answers to these questions and more!

What are the most popular types of breakfast cereals on Amazon?

Everyone has their favorite kind of cereal, but is there a clear winner when it comes to online demand? To discover the king of breakfast, we started with analyzing total online demand in all of 2021 for different types. Here’s what we found:

It was a tight battle for the most popular cereal in 2021, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch just edged out Rice Krispies to claim the crown. Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms weren’t far behind, either, putting all four of these in a tier of their own.

Honey Nut Cheerios was able to fend off Raisin Bran for the #5 spot, and after that we see another drop to Fruity Pebbles and Special K.

Of course, we couldn’t include every single type of cereal in our analysis, and instead chose to focus on some of the most popular and prominent ones. Of those we did include, Coca Krispies saw the least amount of demand. Count Chocula, which is only widely available around October, was second to last, while Golden Grahams, Wheaties, and French Toast Crunch (a cereal that was brought back thanks to popular demand), round out the bottom five.

Again, don’t worry if your favorite cereal is at the bottom of this list, as there are _many _cereals that would certainly fall below them if we were to include every possible type of breakfast cereal.

Now that we know which cereals are the most popular, let’s take a step back and examine a broader view of breakfast cereals as a category.

When is online demand highest for breakfast cereal?

Is there a specific time of year when breakfast cereal is more or less popular? And what about National Cereal Day? Does it move the needle for demand at all? Let’s start by examining weekly demand for the entire category of “breakfast cereal” last year.

Online demand for breakfast cereal was generally consistent throughout the year, but was highest during January and February. It then fell off during the spring, where it remained consistent throughout the summer and fall, until dropping again during the holidays.

It’s obviously difficult to determine the causes behind these changes in demand. Perhaps the drop in online demand last spring and summer was driven by more people returning to in-person grocery shopping after staying at home to avoid the Delta variant. Or, perhaps January and February simply represent the typical peak for breakfast cereal shopping.

One thing is certain, though: National Cereal Day doesn’t appear to move the needle for online demand for breakfast cereals, as the week of March 7th didn’t bring any special increase in demand.

Let’s look at the change in weekly demand for some of the most popular types of breakfast cereal:

For the most part, the trends for our most popular types of cereal were fairly consistent throughout the year. One notable difference, though, is Lucky Charms: which saw demand rise steadily through February and peaking during March, although this is certainly as a result of St. Patrick’s Day and not National Cereal Day.

Several top cereals saw demand drop to low points in the late spring and early summer, particularly Honey Nut Cheerios, which saw demand fall by as much as 42% compared to the annual average during the first week of June.

Another interesting dip experienced by most of the top cereals was during the week of Thanksgiving, as apparently shoppers are far too busy prioritizing big meal items than a box of Raisin Bran.

Another notable spike: Rice Krispies during the holidays, no doubt the result of millions of Americans looking to bring a big plate of homemade Rice Krispie treats to their holiday party.

Has COVID-19 impacted online demand for breakfast cereal?

From what we’ve seen so far, some cereals are clearly impacted by certain holidays or times of year: Rice Krispies being hugely popular during Christmas, Lucky Charms during St. Patrick’s Day, etc.

But the final thing we wanted to investigate was what kind of impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on breakfast cereals. To do this, we examined monthly demand over the past three years.

Let’s start by examining breakfast cereal as a category:

Here we see that there was a clear and immediate impact on online demand for breakfast cereal in the first months of the COVID outbreak in March and April 2020. In March, as people across the country began to stock up in preparation for an uncertain length of time spent sheltering in place, online demand shot up by 72% compared to the previous month.

Demand then settled into a more typical flow through the rest of 2020, though staying consistently ahead of 2019’s pre-pandemic figures. 2021, meanwhile, has seen demand match that of 2020’s (except, of course, for March and April).

Here’s a weekly view of 2020 for an even closer look at how those first few weeks of COVID-19 shutdowns impacted online demand for breakfast cereal:

Demand started to spike already during the second week of March, cresting the following week where it was up by more than 100% compared to mid-February. By early May, once most grocery stores had begun to return to normal hours, demand had settled back to pre-shutdown levels.

Which types of cereal got the biggest early COVID boosts?

As people were hurriedly adding boxes of cereal to their Amazon shopping carts during the first months of COVID shutdowns, were they more likely to opt for certain types of cereal than others? Or was it more of a free for all?

Let’s find out.

Every single type of cereal saw an increase in demand during the first week of COVID-19 shutdowns when compared to the month prior, but none more than Honey Nut Cheerios which saw demand surge by a stunning 215%.

Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran, and Frosted Flakes got the next largest bumps, as people were clearly most eager to stock up on the “standard” cereals.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which was the most popular type of cereal overall in 2021, still got a sizable increase in demand at 79% but fell much lower on this list than many others.

The lowest increase went to Count Chocula, which was undoubtedly hard for intrepid shoppers to find in mid-March.

Here’s a closer look at the change in weekly demand in 2020 for some of these cereals:

There’s simply no doubt that panic shopping sent demand for several types of cereal skyrocketing during the first weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak. Interestingly, though, it seems that this impact was mostly temporary. Each of the types of cereal in this view saw demand fall to at or below the annual average by May.

A lesson for brands

National Cereal Day might not really move the needle when it comes to online demand for breakfast cereal, but that doesn’t mean that other holidays and events don’t.

Some cereals are closely tied to certain holidays, like Lucky Charms and St. Patrick’s Day, or Rice Krispies and Chex to Christmas. Others, meanwhile, seem to enjoy pretty consistent popularity throughout the year. And the early pandemic shutdowns clearly had people eager to stock up on old favorites like Honey Nut Cheerios and Raisin Bran.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, talk to us today.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Marketplace Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.