Here's the good news: Fewer Americans are skipping breakfast, considered the most important meal of the day. The bad news: Fewer are eating cereal. Bad news, that is, for cereal companies like General Mills, Kellogg and Post.
Cold cereal is still the number one choice for breakfast in America, with sales topping $9 billion over the last year, according to Nielsen. However, "What we've seen for the cereal category over the past four years has been a 7 percent drop in volume," said John Baumgartner of Wells Fargo Securities.
Baumgartner and other analysts cite several reasons: consumer boredom with cereal, a desire for higher protein products such as yogurt, and the need for on-the-go breakfasts consumers can eat in their cars. "Cereal sales have gotten squeezed over the past several quarters," said Morningstar's Erin Lash.