Why is Cereal So Expensive?

Why is cereal so expensive - Explained

Why is cereal so expensive? You may have noticed that there are a lot of different options when it comes to buying cereal.

Whether it’s in a bag, or a box with or without ink, the reality is that there are many factors that drastically influence the cost of cereal.

Many users would rather buy an off-brand cereal than a popular brand such as Cheerios or Lucky Charms. Some say they taste the same, others because they believe that the most popular ones, like Lucky Charms, have additives that alter their children. However, it is well known that cereals are by far one of the cheapest foods you can find in shopping carts.

The average cost of cereal can vary from $0.15 to $0.31, and even $1.47 an ounce! Keep reading to discover why cereal is so expensive, you will be surprised.

Froot Loops
Why are Cheerios or Froot Loops so expensive?

Why Cereal Prices are Rising

Sweet breakfast, that’s the most important meal of the day, isn’t it? Yes, and it’s also the first. When we wake up, most probably the last thing we think about is making extravagant dishes, especially if it’s not a special occasion.

For many us, cereal is the best choice for breakfast, easy, fast; it’s just a matter of having a bowl, cereal, pour some milk, and in!

Yet, recent years have seen a decline in the number of Americans consuming cereal, bringing the industry down by as much as 17%. All because the price of cereals has risen dramatically in recent years!

Tony the Tiger and Cap’n Crunch aren’t doing so well…

Maybe you’ve already guessed why is cereal so expensive, or not. We are here to break the reasons down for you:

Factors Influencing the Price of Cereal


What you’re paying isn’t the cereal itself, one of the main reasons why cereals are so expensive is all the marketing involved costs they carry. Advertising, toys, royalties for using your favorite cartoon in the box. It is the most rigorously planned process, which entails a great deal of extra cost.

Based on an article from the Wall Street Journal, Cheerios, which is owned by General Mills, has spent $473.2 million on commercials through the end of June (2014 data), according to iSpot.

Brand’s most effective ad has been its Cheerios Super Bowl 2014 TV Commercial, ‘Gracie’, which stars a young girl who finds out she’s about to become a big sister. The total money spent on this commercial was $4.7 million.

In their counterpart, Kellogg’s Special K brand spent $61.2 million on commercials that first half of 2014.


It’s no secret that the more eye-catching the cereal box, the more it sells. This is indeed a proven fact and is driving the brands to sell bigger (extra-large) and flashier boxes, with almost the same amount of cereal.

Shoppers are conditioned by a warehouse-club mentality to think that bigger is a better value, but they likely don’t realize that this isn’t generally the case when it comes to cereal, is what Teri Gault says, founder and CEO of TheGroceryGame.com

Cap n' Crunch box
Why is just cereal so expensive

Time and changes in consumer behavior’s

The last decade has been quite eventful, human behavior is changing, and there are already many more quicker options to eat than cereal.

“Americans don’t necessarily have the time to enjoy a sit-down breakfast anymore and they’re looking for portability”

Many people who ate cereal in their mornings are switching to other faster and more convenient options for eating on the go, such as protein bars.

Also, you don’t need to wash dishes before you eat a protein bar, right?


Cereal is becoming expensive, but it’s still by far one of the best options for breakfast as long as you aren’t in need of something to eat “on the go”.

Our recommendation if you’re running out of budget for your breakfast and you don’t want to stop tasting that signature Froot Loop flavor is to try off-brand options, which although they don’t look as nice on the outside, the taste will be almost but identical, and you will saving money over time.

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