Before government officials told consumers to stay home, Americans were buying breakfast from restaurants on their way to work or skipping the meal entirely. Now breakfast staples like orange juice are seeing higher sales after years of declining consumption.
While food companies like Kellogg have benefited from the shift in consumer behavior, fast-food chains are seeing their breakfast sales plunge further than those for lunch or dinner. McDonald's said Thursday that breakfast is the most challenged daypart and will be the slowest to recover as much of the workforce temporarily cancels their daily commute. Most of Yum Brands' Taco Bell restaurants are opening later, effectively removing breakfast from the menu.
Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that cereal is seeing a similar lift to sales as consumers look for cheap and convenient at-home meals.
Kellogg cereal sales rose 2.7% in the company's first quarter. Industry-wide, cereal sales had been in a long slump. Retail sales of cereal fell 7% between 2015 and 2019, according to Nielsen data.
"It's growing in breakfast in the double digits, but it's growing as dinner replacement as well and a snack," Cahillane said.
Shares of Kellogg rose 3% in morning trading after the company reported organic revenue rose 8% during the quarter ended March 28. The stock, which has a market value of $23.1 billion, has fallen 2% so far this year.