Nestlé’s Box Bowls, a recently launched cereal that can be eaten straight from the box, will not pose a serious threat to on-the-go breakfast alternatives.

The offering comes in a six-pack style containing cereals from the Nestle portfolio. Nestle has taken normal variety boxes as their starting point but allowed for milk to be poured directly into a specially-designed bag, allowing for the contents to be eaten straight from the box.

Breakfast on the go 2019: Nestle

Box Bowls are an attempt by Nestle to entice ‘breakfast skippers’ back to breakfast with novel packaging as well as challenging on-the-go breakfast alternatives such as cereal bars and breakfast drinks.

Nestle said the new pack is designed to fit around consumers’ ever busier lifestyles and “can be enjoyed at home or while out and about”. Although there is no need to use a bowl, people would still need to have milk to hand as well as a spoon – which brings into question the Box Bowl’s on-the-go credentials.

Breakfast on the go 2019: consumer survey

According to GlobalData 2016 Q4 consumer survey, breakfast is the most rushed meal of the day, with 52% of consumers globally spending less than 15 minutes eating it, therefore it is no surprise brands continue to invest in innovative breakfast products.

The issue of a bowl in a box approach is the required given the static nature of consumption, but compare this to a cereal bar and ease of consumption is clearly missing.

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A potential target audience is office workers, but there are questions here about how much more beneficial a cardboard box turned-bowl can be when many office workers would have easy access to proper bowls.

Environment: ‘All natural’ packaging

Nestlé’s bowl in a box isn’t going to force a behavioural change to the extent that people will be consuming bowls of cereal whilst walking to work. But what it might do is shift focus towards more multi-purpose packaging. For example, Nestle has also recently developed new ‘all natural’ packaging for its Nesquick line, made from recyclable paper and completely free from plastic; the new packaging highlights a shift towards more sustainable packaging.

The innovative packaging has obviously been designed with the environment in mind; all the materials can be easily recycled from the cardboard carton to the cereal lining film. There has clearly been a conscious decision to move from the single-use packaging of variety packs that manufacturers currently use.

Despite consumer habits still needing to change before the bowl in a box product will compete with cereal bars and breakfast drinks, the innovative approach Nestlé has taken to packaging and the overall impact they have on the environment will win plaudits if not necessarily a larger share of the on-the-go breakfast market.