Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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Grocery Cereal A re consumers bored with cereal? Category performance would seem to indicate so, with overall sales dollars down 2 percent at total U.S. food stores with sales of more than $2 million for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 19, 2016, according to Schaum- burg, Ill.-based Nielsen. Even the sales dollars of hot cereal, that recent media darling, were down 1.9 percent during the same time period. ere's one bright spot, however: Natural and granola-type cereals, which, Nielsen data show, experienced a sales dollar uptick of 4.8 percent. Observing that "consumers are focusing on health, more so now than ever before, [because] they value life and family and want to ensure longevity and life's rewards," Dan Cabassa, CEO of Lake Success, N.Y.- based America's Food Basket (AFB), advises fellow grocers: "Clearly market the benefits of healthy living. Tie in health-benefits promotions and educate the consumer. Increase variety and incentives to try new [items] so the consumer benefits from exploring. is ensures continuity in the segment, and, in some cases, the brand." Cabassa's company, which operates stores in Con- necticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island under such banners as America's Food Basket, Ideal Food Basket and Ideal Market Place, has seen success with a similar strategy. "e AFB organization has partnered up with [whole- saler] Better Bowls Cereal remakes its 'boring' image with new products, promos. By Bridget Goldschmidt When shoppers stock up on their weekly must-haves, cereal is a go-to item that leads to additional purchases." —Linda Fisher, Post Consumer Brands 54 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | February 2017

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