When Mondelez (then Kraft Foods) brought its successful belVita products to the U.S. market back in 2012, I was an early supporter of the concept. Bringing a fortified snack bar (functional breakfast cookie)—one that promises sustained energy—specifically into the breakfast segment was a great move. The sustained energy piece is important here, and Mondelez notes that it comes from the selection of grains and the baking process yielding a product that is slowly digested over time.
Performance has been solid, with over $70 million in sales the first year. The products have continued to see strong sales, and last year Mondelez reported a 6.5 percent growth in its “power brands” like belVita (“Mondelez International Reports 2013 Results”).
The brand also has strong social media “stickiness” with Hispanic consumers (“BelVita scores socially with Hispanics”). Keen on this fact, Mondelez has included a strong focus on social media via agency tactics (“Will Social Media Swag Boost belVita Breakfast Biscuits?”).
Line extensions have followed. U.K. consumers saw Tops added to the mix last year (“Mondelez adds belVita Tops to its breakfast biscuit brand”), and now belVita Bites have hit the U.S. market—in Chocolate and Mixed Berry flavors and sporting 230 calories, 19 grams whole grain (wheat, rye, oats) and 4 grams fiber per serving, along with a selection of B vitamins. The bitty Mixed Berry biscuits interestingly include dried cranberries, blueberries and raspberries in the formulation that make themselves noticed during chewing.
While breakfast cereals continue to find difficulty resonating with today’s up-and-outa-here consumers, grab-and-go products will likely see continued forward trending—presenting significant opportunity to snack producers and bakers alike.