What's In The Bowl?

September 08, 2014 07:00 ET

What's in the Bowl? Breakfast Cereals Canada Digs in to Clear Up Cereal Misperceptions

New interactive campaign invites Canadians to get to the bottom of every bowl

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 8, 2014) - Breakfast Cereals Canada is turning the (breakfast) tables to address consumer misperceptions about cereal with a new campaign. What's in the Bowl? is an interactive website (www.inthebowl.ca) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/whatsinthebowlcanada) campaign inviting consumers to get to the bottom of every bowl, with in-depth explanations of ingredients and nutritional benefits for eight popular cereal varieties, as well as answers to some common questions about breakfast cereal in general.

The need for the What's in the Bowl? campaign is reinforced by the results of a national poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Breakfast Cereals Canada, the organization representing Canada's leading cereal manufacturers General Mills Canada, Kellogg Canada Inc., Post Foods Canada Inc., and Quaker Canada . According to the poll, four in 10 Canadians chose not to eat at a bowl of cereal for breakfast within the past week, with one in ten never eating cereal at all. It seems that these Canadians don't realize that cereal - when eaten regularly - is associated with an increased likelihood of meeting daily nutrient targets and maintaining healthier body weights123.

That doesn't mean Canadians don't know cereal is good for them: when given a list of words they associate with cereal, 46 per cent cited "fibre", 40 per cent mentioned "whole grains" and 33 per cent responded "nutritious."

"That Canadians recognize the important place cereal holds in their diet is a good first step," says Lydia Knorr, a registered dietitian in Toronto. "But when they were polled about why they're not eating cereal, there were some misperceptions in the role cereal can play within a healthy diet."

Indeed, when asked which factors would lessen the likelihood of buying or eating cereal, "too much sugar" was the most commonly cited factor with 41 per cent saying sugar is a deterrent. "Too expensive" was the next most common reply (35%) followed by "too many preservatives" (24%), artificial colours (23%) and "it's a processed food" (18%).

"As a dietitian, it makes me happy to hear that consumers are taking factors such as sugar and additives in their foods seriously and want to know more," says Knorr, herself a mother of three. "But what many people don't realize is that cereals can provide more iron, folic acid, zinc, B vitamins and fibre than other conventional breakfast choice."

For those concerned about sugar, studies have shown that when looking at overall dietary intake, sugar from breakfast cereals - even pre-sweetened brands - accounts for less than five per cent of overall sugar in people's diets4. Sodium from cereal contributes just three per cent of the average Canadian intake5.

Meanwhile, research has shown that because breakfast cereal is almost always served with milk, having a bowl can help kids get closer to meeting the Canada Food Guide recommendation of three milk servings a day - a target on which more than half of kids over 10 years of age fall short6. And, with the average price of cereal (including milk) at just 53 cents per serving, it's an economical choice as well7.

Some other interesting poll findings:

What's in Canadians' cupboards?

  • 17 per cent of Canadians fessed up to having five or more boxes on their shelves, including three per cent who have between eight and 10 boxes at home on the go
  • Across the board, the average Canadian household has about three boxes of cereal, with little difference by geography

… and what's in Canadians' bowls?

  • About 1 in 4 Canadians (23%) says they poured a bowl of cereal this morning
  • The most frequently mentioned nutrients associated with cereal are fibre (46%) and calcium (16%)
  • Roughly the same number of people - 15 per cent vs. 14 per cent - described cereal as "expensive" as did "budget friendly"
  • The benefit of a bowl of cereal isn't just to your health - there's an emotional value too. 18 per cent of respondents used the word "comforting" to describe cereal, while 10 per cent said cereal is "fun" and 8 per cent call it "nostalgic"
  • Females were more likely than males to say cereal is convenient and to mention cereal as a snack

In honour of the What's in the Bowl? campaign, Breakfast Cereals Canada is donating $25,000 - the equivalent of more than 71,000 bowls of cereal - to Food Banks Canada. For every 'share' of its website, www.inthebowl.ca, and Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/whatsinthebowlcanada, Breakfast Cereals Canada will give one bowl of cereal to Food Banks Canada up to a maximum of $25,000.

Have questions about cereal? Join us at the breakfast table on September 9 at 9:30 a.m. EST, and take part in the webinar where experts will dig in to the misperceptions about this pantry staple. Hear from Dr. Harvey Anderson PhD, Lydia Knorr RD, and UrbanMoms' blogger Jennifer Hicks. To participate, go to www.rhvideo.ca/whatsinthebowl.

About the survey:

Findings are based on a poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between January 2nd to 7th, 2014 on behalf of Breakfast Cereals Canada. The survey was conducted via Ipsos' Canadian online panel on 1,100 Canadian adults, including 417 parents with children in the household, and is accurate to within +/- 3.4 percentage points had Canadian adults in the general population been surveyed.

About Breakfast Cereals Canada:

Breakfast Cereals Canada (BCC) represents the four leading manufacturers of breakfast cereals in Canada: General Mills Canada, Kellogg Canada Inc., Post Foods Canada Inc., and Quaker Canada. The companies joined together in 2007 to serve as a voice for breakfast cereals and to take a leadership role in enabling more Canadians to enjoy the benefits of breakfast cereal as a nutritious part of their diets.

In Canada, the ready-to-eat breakfast cereal market is valued at more than $1 billion, and cereal has become a staple of Canadian cupboards, with 93% of Canadian households purchasing ready-to eat-cereal. Breakfast cereals have a long food history that is grounded in science, and the industry has a demonstrated commitment to providing healthy, nutritious and innovative cereal products.

For more information about Breakfast Cereals Canada visit www.breakfastcereals.ca.

For more information and to book an interview with a registered dietitian or Breakfast Cereals Canada spokesperson, please contact:

Shari Cogan Kevin Morrison
(416) 985-2360 (416) 856-9807
Shari@felicitypr.com kevin@felicitypr.com

1 Barr SI et al. Breakfast consumption is positively associated with nutrient adequacy in Canadian children and adolescents. 2014. BJN (in press)

2 Barr SI et al. Consumption of Breakfast and the Type of Breakfast Consumed Are Positively Associated with Nutrient Intakes and Adequacy of Canadian Adults. 2013;143:86-92.

3 De la Hunty A, Ashwell M. Are people who regularly eat breakfast cereals slimmer than those who don't? A systematic review of the evidence. BNF Nutr Bulletin.2007;32:118-28

4 Langlois K & Garriguet D. Sugar consumption among Canadians of all ages. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE, Health Reports, Vol 22, no 3, September 2011. (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011003/article/11540/tbl/tbl2-eng.htm)

5 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004)

6 Statistics Canada, 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)

7 Calculation based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its MarketTrack Service for the milk and cereal categories for the 52-week period ending April 5, 2014, for the National market and Grocery Banner + Drug + Mass Merchandizer channel. Copyright © 2014, The Nielsen Company.

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