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.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

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 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)
Sept 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)