2. Cereal is no longer the star of breakfast. For millions of Americans, cereal is the breakfast of choice. What could be simpler than a bowl of cereal? Yet, cereal’s simple ways have begun to mark its demise as cereal sales have begun to fall. Just this past week General Mills reported a 25 percent decline in sales this latest quarter and there’s a rising demand for alternative breakfast options. Euromonitor International reports that the cereal category has dropped by nearly $4 billionsince 2000 from $13.9 billion to $10 billion. Turn to millennials and maybe you’ll understand another reason cereal is food non grata at the breakfast table. Today’s generation doesn’t want cereal — and its typically high sugar content — in the morning. Instead, they’ll pick up a bagel or yogurt or smoothie.
3. Climate is going to change the fundamentals of breakfast. Even if millennials opt for a bagel or smoothie, there are a few foods that they won’t be able to find, due in large part to climate change. Climate change has devastated orange crops (for orange juice) and foods like pork, sausage and bacon. The so-called “aporkalypse” has been called “unavoidable” by industry experts. Meanwhile, the price of hazelnuts is going up due to poor weather. Coffee will also be affected from climate change: rising temperatures lead to more pests, which in addition to more pesticide use and coffee adulteration, will also mean less coffee.
4. Breakfast prices will rise. Climate change is already changing the breakfast industry by changing market prices. California is facing one of the worst droughts in its history, even prompting a new D5 category for its severity. The USDA says meat and produce prices could rise by 6 percent from droughts in Texas, Oklahoma and California. It’s not only drought that is upping prices but the other “D” issue: disease. Early in May of this year the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus killed millions of baby piglets in Europe and has spread to Japan, Mexico and Canada. Part of the cause is “lax biosecurity.” The BBC reports that the disease is caused by “dried pig blood in feedstuffs that are given to weaned piglets”—a direct consequence of factory farming methods.
5. Breakfast fundamentals are evolving. Although breakfast cereals may be on the decline, industry experts are finding that foods heavy in protein have been on the rise. You may notice cereals are banking on this trend by injecting high-protein claims. But as cereal fades away, foods like eggs, cheese, chicken, pork and increasingly yogurt are on the rise. Fast-food companies have catered to this surge by introducing unusual breakfasts such as Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco and the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts. According to the Guardian, U.S. fast-food chains are setting their sights on breakfast because “breakfast business at fast food chains now rakes in about $50 billion a year, and accounts for nearly all of the industry’s growth. Between 2007 and 2012, it was responsible for 90% of the industry’s sales growth.”
Fast food isn’t the only thing taking over the simple breakfast meal. Eggs, cereal bars, egg sandwiches, and sausages have all been seeing a rise in sales. Breakfast is becoming the quickest way to eat processed foods high in sugar and fat. Even General Mills knows this as it stated in its annual report that snacks are a new area of focus. So get ready for a new era of breakfast — a meal that’s quickly becoming less affordable, more fattening and maybe, not even on the menu.