Top 4 Cereal Trends Redefining the Category


The cereal aisle isn’t what it used to be. Instead, brands are innovating, collaborating, and developing healthier options to reimagine what cereal means to the modern consumer, for breakfast and beyond.

These are the top four cereal trends redefining the category right now:

1. Functional Cereals

Move over functional beverages, functional cereal is here.

Earlier this year, Post released its Sweet Dreams cereal, designed to be eaten before bed to promote a good night’s sleep. Available in two flavors — Blueberry Midnight and Honey Moonglow — each contains a unique nighttime herbal blend and vitamins and minerals to support natural melatonin production.

Cereal trends

Sweet Dreams Cereal

On the opposite end of the functional cereal spectrum is GUUD’s Athlete Fuel, made to be consumed for an energy boost before or after a workout. The “modern muesli cereal” is nutrient-dense with 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and no added sugar, designed to be both energizing and easy to digest.

2. Collaborations

Although collaborations are not a new concept, brands have kicked cross-promotion into high gear this year with no shortage of unique co-branded cereals.

Kellogg’s partnered with The ICEE Company to release an ICEE Cereal that cools your mouth as you eat the crunchy cherry and blue raspberry spheres. Kellogg’s also partnered with Little Debbie to create a Swiss Rolls Cereal to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the top-selling snack cake.

Meanwhile, IHOP partnered with General Mills to drop the IHOP Blueberry and Syrup Mini Pancake Cereal. The collaboration, announced in December 2022, was inspired by the “pancake cereal” trend that went viral on TikTok in 2020. During the lockdown haze, users filled their bowls with teeny tiny pancakes, drizzled syrup on top, and ate it with a spoon like cereal—milk included.

3. Nostalgia

Developing new products that tap into consumers’ nostalgic feelings has proven time and time again to be an extremely lucrative marketing technique and the cereal aisle is no exception.

In celebration of The Walt Disney Company turning 100 this year, Post’s Disney 100 Years of Wonder cereal has hit grocery store shelves. Throughout 2023, the limited-edition boxes will feature a rotating cast of beloved Disney and Pixar characters likely to spark nostalgia across generations. This cereal comes in two flavors — a fruity option with red and blue pieces shaped like Mickey Mouse heads, and a round confetti cake version.

cereal trends

Post Consumer Brands collaborates with Disney

And for all the Hot Wheels kids out there, General Mills has got it covered. Their new Hot Wheels Cereal features sweetened corn cereal loops with Hot Wheels-inspired marshmallow shapes.

4. Better-For-You Cereals

As consumers continue to seek out healthier options in every category, a new league of better-for-you cereals has emerged.

Magic Spoon, which launched its line of grain-free cereals online in 2019, saw sales skyrocket during the pandemic. Last year, the brand expanded into physical retail at 1,300 Target locations and today, Magic Spoon can be found in 6,800 stores across the U.S. including Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons.

A trendsetter in the better-for-you cereal bracket, Magic Spoon has done exceptionally well by branding itself as a cereal with the taste you remember from childhood but loaded with ingredients for grown-ups.

“Even though I consider myself pretty immune to online ads, the appearance of Magic Spoon’s ‘zero-sugar, high-protein” cereal in my Instagram feed was uncomfortably well targeted to my lifelong love of cereal and eerily well timed to capitalize on my recent health changes,” wrote Mark Smirniotis in a Wirecutter review.

Combine nostalgia with better-for-you ingredients, and poof—magic.