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It’s time for a breakfast cereal revival

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

Consumers like breakfast cereal, but not enough to shore up a category whose fortunes are waning as breakfast eaters seek other foods in a hyper-crowded morning space. In developed cereal markets, the product is losing out to foods with higher protein, less sugar, and more convenience. In emerging markets, cereals are fighting for growth, but are challenged by entrenched eating habits that veer towards more substantial and savory foods.


Cereal sales fall, but snacking may save the category

Two of the biggest and best-established global cereal markets, the US and the UK, saw flattened sales between 2016 and 2017, after facing a steady decline over the past five years. While cereal is still a popular breakfast option, it is not providing consumers with what they need. In the US, for example, 61% of those who have purchased cereal in the past year wish that it kept them fuller longer, while 56% wish that it gave them more energy. If cereal is not satisfying the needs of breakfast eaters, it is not surprising that they are moving towards other foods that provide the energy and satiety they look for in a morning meal. In the UK, changing breakfast habits are also contributing. A third of breakfast cereal buyers often skip breakfast, and about a quarter tend to snack throughout the morning instead of eating one main breakfast.


It’s time to make cereal a real snack food

Cereal's role as a snack, rather than a breakfast food, could help the category reclaim some lost ground, if manufacturers consider the potential to change its positioning. In the US, 76% of cereal eaters agree that the product is a "great snack," and snacking on cereal is a popular practice in other markets as well. In Europe, for example, 24% of Italian cereal eaters snack on cereal between lunch and dinner. Manufacturers should consider better ways to position their cereals as "suitable for snacking”, through packaging that is more portable, package sizes made for grab-and-go, and advertisements that demonstrate the ease with which cereal can make the transition to convenient snack.

Currently only few cereal products are packaged for on-the-go snacking. Resealable pouches encourage taking the cereal from one place to another, as do individual sachets of porridge or other microwavable hot cereals. But cereals have to find a way to be the snack that is truly eaten on-the-go, as opposed to the snack to eat once a person has arrived.


Vegetables try to edge their way into cereal

Asian cultures are well known for their savory breakfasts, especially Chinese congee - a hot rice porridge - and Indian savory oats. Indeed, introducing western-style cereals to the Asian market has been an ongoing challenge as the palates of Asian consumers are not attuned to the sweetness of traditional western cereals. On the other hand, Asian cereal eaters are most likely to welcome vegetables as an ingredient in cold cereals, whereas western consumers are not as inclined to embrace savoury cereals such as oats with eggs or flakes made with vegetables.

Yet, multinationals looking for ways to improve the health halo of cold cereals have been adding vegetables, primarily by selecting those with sweet profiles (beets, pumpkin, squash). The pumpkin spice fad that has informed a range of sweet products in the US is in part responsible for the incremental move towards savory cereals.


Vegan claims in breakfast cereals provide an extra layer of reassurance

Although breakfast cereals are inherently meat-free and most are also dairy-free, breakfast cereal brands increasingly flag up their vegan and vegetarian credentials on-pack. This provides an extra layer of reassurance to consumers who seek to avoid animal-derived ingredients. Such concerns are not ungrounded, as breakfast cereals can contain hidden animal products such as gelatine or dairy ingredients, often as part of coating or filling. Also the use of other, sometimes less obvious, ingredients may not agree with vegetarian or vegan values. Honey, for example, does not correlate with the vegan ethos that seeks to exclude all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation.

Vegan claims in breakfast cereals are becoming increasingly embedded in a wider clean label positioning, featuring alongside other health and ethical claims. Considered a hallmark of clean label, a short list of ingredients is becoming an important consideration for many consumers when purchasing food and drink. In breakfast cereals, consumers are increasingly opting for products with simple recipes, recognisable ingredients as well as clearer and simpler claims.

1. Müsliglück Garden Love Organic Muesli with Carrots, Tomatoes, Courgette and Pumpkin Seeds (Germany)  contains dried vegetables and wholegrain oat cereal. The crispy, nutty, fruity and chocolatey product is suitable for vegetarians


2. Quaker Overnight Oats Toasted Coconut & Almond Crunch Oats (USA) 
is a chilled oat cereal with quinoa, flaxseed and coconut. It can be prepared by adding milk in the evening and leaving it in the fridge overnight to be enjoyed cold in the morning.



3. Nature's Path Organic Coconut & Cashew Butter Crunchy Granola (Canada) contains creamy cashew butter, potassium-filled cashews and fibre-filled coconut chunks. The packaging suggests use in a bowl or “in your hand”, for on-the-go convenience.



4. EcoAndino Purple Corn, Quinoa, Yacon and Cacao Flakes (Peru) are organic, gluten-free and sugar-free flakes. The product is a great source of antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids which are easily digestible.



5. Veríval Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Porridge (Germany) 
is a savoury oatmeal with tomato chips, pumpkin flakes and whole vegetable pieces, seasoned with herbs and spices. It requires simply adding hot water and is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish.



6. Creative Snacks Co. Pumpkin & Pecan Granola (USA) contains real pumpkin, often used in pies, breads and cakes in the US thanks to its sweet profile flavour. This granola adds pecans for a crunchy texture.



7. Granola Crispy Cereal with Chocolate & Biscuit (Austria) 
blurs the line between cereal and biscuits.





8. N'oats Porridge with Apple, Strawberry and Crisps (Germany) 
is a porridge with a twist. In contrast to classic smooth porridges, this product contains nuts, apples, crunchy corn crisps and white chocolate, providing a dynamic range of textures.



9. Quaker Oats Oat & Fruit Apple & Cinnamon Breakfast (UK) is ideal for time-poor consumers who can’t afford a sit-down breakfast. It contains a blend of oats, natural yogurt, real fruit purée and juice, and is free from added sugar, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.



10. Onda Zen Salted Granola (Brazil) 

is a savoury, ready-to-eat granola that can be eaten on its own, or added to snacks, salads and soups. Suitable for vegans, it contains peanut, pistachio, Provence herbs and Himalayan pink salt. 



About Mintel

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on Mintel, please visit Follow Mintel on Twitter: or join the Mintel LinkedIn community:

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The greatest campaigns shared at Cannes-Alysis

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 11 July 2018

This Monday we partnered with IAPI and the AAI for a Cannes-Alysis event in the National Concert Hall, to bring you the latest and greatest insights from Cannes.

We have selected some of the best campaigns that were discussed on the night.


Grainne Wafer, Baileys

First on the stage was Grainne Wafer from Baileys on the hot topics in Cannes: gender, trust and tech.

When thinking about gender inequality among children, what brand pops into mind?This year Barbie aimed to inspire children beyond the clichés with a campaign claiming that “you can be anything”, regardless of your gender.

On the issue of trust, Grainne shared a stunt campaign by German supermarket Edeka, which fought the rise of nationalist movements by removing all non-German products from its shelves, making a statement about the importance of diversity.

Sandra Alvarez, Sparks Foundry

Next up, Sandra Alvarez from Sparks Foundry  put the spotlights on brands that help make the world a better place by tackling issues such as gender taboos and environment.

Axe noticed that men are increasingly questioning what defines masculinity and replied with a campaign pointing out that there is no one way to be a man.

Libresse put a stop to the taboo of having your periods with their Bloodnormal campaign that left no one indifferent.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation and publisher LADBible raised awareness about plastic in the ocean by petitioning to create a new country: Trash Isles.

Jamie Fulham, Core

Jamie Fulham from Core shared his experience of Cannes Lions following Martin Sorrell's advice: "say it as you see it".

The first thing Jamie learned is that we - Ireland - can win. Rothco' acclaimed campaign JFK Unsilenced is proof that we are able to create world-class work in this country.

He then made the point that everyone, in every area of advertising and marketing, can be creative. No matter what your job title is.

Jamie also flagged the changes in the way agencies work. Silos do not work anymore and agencies specialising in one thing only will soon be a thing of the past; the key is collaboration and we all have to learn to work together.

We should not be afraid of change, but embrace the possibilities that it brings with it. As David Ogilvy put it: "Change is our life blood, stagnation our death knell".

Chloe Barton, AIB

Chloe Barton from AIB then shared her experience as a Young Lion in the Young Marketers category. If you are under 30, make sure to enter the IAPI competition next year… It could be you!

One of the campaigns that stood out to Chloe was Intel’s drones light show at the Olympics, where the brand brought tech to life.

Emma Sharkey, Rothco

Emma Sharkey from Rothco was up next to discuss radio, the "forgotten medium" with ads that made a fantastic use of it. Just listen to this one for Dexcom.

And of course, she HAD to share the ad that won Rothco the Grand Prix for Creative Data and a Gold Cannes Lion in the Radio and Audio category: JFK Unsilenced. Well done Rothco!

Rory Hamilton, Boys & Girls

The last speaker was Rory Hamilton from Boys & Girls with a talk on brands' role in tackling societal issues.

With #project84, CALM installed 84 statues on top of the ITV tower to represent the 84 men who lose their life to suicide every week in the UK.

Rory closed the evening with the bigger issue of all… how do you take a selfie with your dog? Presenting… Selfie Stix.


We'd like to thank everyone who attended, and of course our partners at IAPI and AAI.


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Explore consumer insights update, issue 2, 2018

Posted By PML Group, Wednesday 11 July 2018
Updated: Monday 9 July 2018

PML Explore report

The latest issue of PML group's consumer insights update featuring extracts from PML Group’s research resources plus items of interest from home and abroad.

In this edition:
OOH – Key Online/Offline Driver
Trust in Out of Home
Time for a Dynamic Approach
Noticeability of Advertising
Summer in Dublin
Poster Impact
Top recalled campaigns Q1
Social Media Influencers
Dublin’s Footfall Analysis – Grafton & Henry Streets (BNP Paribas)
Canal Cordon Report (NTA)
National Roads Network Indicators (TII)
Supermarket Shopping (V360)
OOH & Mobile Made for each other (JCDecaux)


read report


About PML Group

PML Group is the Ireland’s leading Out of Home advertising and location based marketing specialist. They have a deep understanding of what people think, feel and do out of the home, making them experts in reaching and influencing audiences in the physical world. They combine insight, data, technology and smart people to create compelling, creative and quantifiable solutions which make a meaningful difference to businesses and brands.  They enable brands to navigate the complex, location-based marketing landscape with ease, to develop dynamic and integrated communications and to build rewarding customer relationships.

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The B2B Content Creation Masterclass

Posted By Squaredot, Tuesday 3 July 2018

squaredot b2b content creation masterclass

As a B2B marketer, you know you need to promote your brand in the best light, in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right message to ensure a steady stream of ongoing quality leads and loyal customer retention. To achieve this you need to get serious about your content marketing.

Squaredot have created this B2B Content Creation Masterclass ebook to guide you through the steps you need to take to create content that delivers qualified leads.


Read ebook


About Squaredot

Squaredot are an Irish B2B digital agency. We generate demand by connecting brands with the modern B2B buyer. Squaredot use research and data to create targeted marketing collateral, combined with award winning design and copywriting to craft engaging content that converts attention into leads. Squaredot’s services include research, strategy, persona development, content production design and promotion.


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Snack bars innovation: what’s now and what’s next

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 13 June 2018
Updated: Tuesday 12 June 2018

The snack bar category in recent years has catered for many different eating occasions. These range from indulgent and comforting snacks to functional, portable and healthy nutrition products, with many blurred variants in between. And as consumers develop a more holistic approach to health, natural, vegan and free-from formulations have continued to grow in popularity.

Vegan pea protein in the spotlight

As the buzz around plant-based diets grows, protein bar brands need to cater to a wider range of dietary preferences. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and health imperatives that support diets high in plant-based foods. This has particularly impacted the snack bar category, with global launches of vegan snack bars doubling over the past five years, from 11% of all snack bar launches in 2013 to 20% in 2017, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database. Leading markets for launches of vegan snack bars are predominantly in Europe, notably Germany, where a staggering 43% of snack bars launched in 2017 were vegan. However, soy protein (the leading source of plant protein) is considered a divisive ingredient. Often genetically modified, it’s avoided by as many as 17% of UK consumers. As a result, snack bar brands will increasingly need to review how to formulate products that are both vegan-friendly and clean label. Pea protein is emerging as a hero alternative to soy, with brands now visibly calling out the use of pea protein on packaging.


PaPicante Mediterranean Pea Protein Bar with Tomato, Basil and Pine Nuts, Germany

Presence of 'pea protein crisps' given prominence on front of pack in this savoury snack bar from Germany.



inSpiral Visionary Products Organic Banana Go-Go Protein Clusters with Live Cultures, UK

The plant-based, gluten-free raw product is said to provide one portion of five recommended fruits and vegetables a day. It contains banana rolled in cashew nuts, crunchy buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, almonds, figs, pea and rice protein, and one billion of bacteria each pack.



Anything goes: New launches continue to redefine the snack bar

Snack bar formats have evolved and brands are looking beyond bars to provide consumers with portion control, shareability and fun. Demonstrating what an established option this format has become, balls and bites accounted for 7% of all global snack bar launches over 2017, more than doubling over the past three years. 

Savoury flavours have emerged in traditionally sweet categories over the past few years. Salty versions of sweet flavours, such as salted caramel or 'sweet and salty' popcorn, have become mainstream, overshadowing overly sweet flavours and possibly enabling greater consumption. Launches of 'sweet and salty' snack bars tripled over the three years to 2017. Moving further along the sweet-savoury continuum, the snack bar category has also seen launches of fruit and vegetable combinations.


Lubs Pepper & Spinach with Chilli Veggie Bar, Germany

An organic vegetable bar with red pepper, spinach and cayenne pepper. This vegan product is free from gluten and added sugar.

 MaXsport Raw Juicer Beetroot and Currant Bar, Germany

Mixing vegetables and fruit, this vegan snack is high in fibre and contains no added sugar.



Meal replacement snack bars aren’t just for dieters

Time is a precious commodity and consumers are hungry for products that help them streamline every moment of their lives. Meal replacement products allow to deal with the time-consuming tasks of meal-planning, food shopping and eating more efficiently. While some consumers receive enormous pleasure from their eating experiences, not everyone is a foodie, and some are too busy to be foodies all the time.

Snack bars are experimenting with non-traditional ingredients including cheese, meat, eggs and even insects, and this trend shows no sign of abating. Dairy ingredients and yogurt brands have been appearing in the snack bar category as brands look to offer consumers a more convenient way to snack on dairy products. 


Clio Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bar Enrobed in Chocolate, USA

A unique new snack bar that offers yogurt consumers true on-the-go snacking convenience. Made from pressed Greek yogurt and enrobed in chocolate, these bars need to be refrigerated, but can be consumed with just one hand and no spoon.



Salad Shots Bar Choco Balsamic Snack Bar, USA

This natural product is said to combine the goodness of a salad with the convenience of a bar, and is infused with superfoods and antioxidants. It’s made with dark chocolate, cranberries, goji berries, chia seeds, kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, almonds, walnuts and pecans.


 You Beef Bar with Apple and Banana, Switzerland

This low fat, high in protein bar is described as a dried beef preparation made from meat pieces with apples, bananas and honey.


Cathedral City Lighter Mature Cheese Snack Bar, UK

This 30g bar targets consumers who enjoy snacking on cheese, but are looking for a convenient format for on-the-go snacking.



Smooth-textured layers add healthy indulgence to snack bars

Snack bar brands are embracing nut butters, the spread-turned-snack food that has experienced growth in popularity over the past year. However, textural variety is not something that has been well explored yet, with only a few brands keeping the nut butter as a separate textural element, rather than mixing it into the bar itself. By doing so, for instance through sandwiched layers or fillings, they go beyond flavour and use soft, creamy textures to add appetite appeal.


Kashi GoLean Plant Power Honey Pecan Baklava Plant Powered Bars, USA

Playing with textures, this bar has a smooth honey, cashew and sunflower seed butter layer on top of crunchy nuts, seeds and chewy wholegrains.




Broderick's Crunchy Slam Dunk Peanut Chunk Bar, Ireland

This Belgian chocolate and rice crispies bar is covered with a layer of smooth peanut butter bar and chocolate.



About Mintel

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on Mintel, please visit Follow Mintel on Twitter: or join the Mintel LinkedIn community:

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