Breakfast is an essential meal each day and cereal is a primary breakfast food for Americans. In 2022 breakfast cereal accounted for $10 billion and in 2024 that number is projected to be $10.34 billion.
Breakfast cereal components require gentle transport to avoid breaking or crumbling. Growth in the industry requires facilities to plan to meet that growth and to determine the right solution to facilitate the unique requirements to convey breakfast cereals.
How are companies preparing to handle this type of growth at their processing facilities?
In October 2022, Cablevey Conveyors commissioned the independent research firm, Ascend2, to conduct a research study titled Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems. The 16-page study (download for free) asked 290 food processing professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom to provide their insight on critical considerations when evaluating conveyor systems.
In this article, we will review and analyze the findings from 135 food processing professionals that are conveying breakfast cereal. What are they doing to prepare for growth? Use these findings and download the report for more information to help prepare for what is ahead in the breakfast cereal industry.
Finding #1: Budgeting for Growth.
88% of facilities processing breakfast cereal are increasing their budget for conveying equipment and maintenance in the next 12 months. 35% tell us that they are increasing significantly the budget needed to meet growth opportunities. Post-pandemic growth in the industry is projected to continue in the next 5+ years.
Why the increase in the budget? The increase is in response to how much these businesses grew in the past year. An astounding 72% of facilities experienced 11% or more growth in the past year. With this type of growth, facilities must plan to accommodate the increased conveying capacity of breakfast cereal to meet the growing demand.
Finding #2: How frequently should you evaluate your conveying systems?
Frequently evaluating the performance of your conveying systems is extremely important. How frequently should you evaluate your breakfast cereal conveying systems? 90% of the professionals surveyed evaluate their systems at least every 6 months and 34% do it monthly.
And when the evaluation process results in a purchase, who is involved in the decision-making process? It is a collaborative process that includes in-house engineers, outside consultants, maintenance personnel, and local equipment representatives. 42% say that each of these groups is involved in the process.
Finding #3: What type of conveying system optimizes a facility’s workspace?
An important consideration of growth is your workspaces and facility requirements. What conveying systems are best for the space that you have available? Are you optimizing the space you have available?
97% of breakfast cereal industry professionals told us that they are optimizing their workspaces and facility requirements. How are they doing it? According to the breakfast cereal processing experts surveyed, the #1 conveying system (53%) for maximizing available space is cable and disk conveyors.
Here are a few questions to ask when evaluating the right conveyor system to optimize the space at your facility:
- Do you have enough floor space or ceiling height to accommodate certain conveyor types?
- Does the layout of the conveying system take into account easy access for cleaning and maintenance, worker safety, and operational performance?
Here is a short video that shows a breakfast cereal conveying system and how to optimize space, maintain integrity, and preserve quality.
Why are cable and disc conveyors so popular? The Cablevey tubular drag-style conveyors are designed to require simple pneumatic tensioning for the cables and require very little maintenance. Cleaning is easy as well, with clean-in-place methods available to improve efficiencies and reduce downtime.
How are tubular conveyors cleaned? Wet cleaning, dry, and in-line cleaning options are available for the Cablevey conveying equipment. The Cablevey engineering and service process works with breakfast cereal teams to determine the best cleaning solution for specific needs and requirements.
Finding #5: The best solution to maintain the integrity of conveying breakfast cereal.
Cereals require gentle conveying. Cereals typically consist of nuts, grains, dried fruit, and other ingredients sensitive to heat, humidity, free fall, or vibration.
What system ranks #1 by breakfast cereal industry professionals for maintaining the integrity of cereal? Cable and disc conveyors are first at 52%.
When evaluating a conveying system for product integrity, here are two questions to ask:
- Will the system maximize hygiene levels while minimizing downtime?
- Will the system gently convey your products to avoid material breakage and product loss?
Finding #6: Don’t forget energy efficiency.
What contributes to energy efficiency? The size of the motor and the amount of horsepower required to run a conveying system can have a major impact on production costs. What conveying system is the most energy efficient for breakfast cereal? Cable and disc conveyors are #1 by a wide margin, at 53%.
Here are two questions to ask regarding energy and efficiency:
- How much energy will this system use?
- Is there a high or a low cut-off point at which this system becomes inefficient?
The breakfast cereal industry is growing and evolving. This research study provides insight into the specifics of how industry professionals are preparing for that growth and making the best decisions for their facilities.
The research points to cable and disc conveyors as the superior solution for cereal facilities. Tubular conveying utilizes a coated, flexible stainless steel drag cable pulled on a looped system. Solid circular discs or flights attached to the cable that gently move product through the system help cereal mixes maintain desired ratios of smaller and larger pieces and prevent the settling out that can occur with other types of conveyors.
These discs also push the product through the tube without air or excessive force to maintain material integrity and protect ingredients. The enclosed tubing drastically cuts back on dust for a more sanitary, safer production facility and prevents product contamination. Avoid waste, prevent breakage, and achieve the desired throughput of breakfast cereals with Cablevey tubular drag conveyors.
To find out if a Cablevey system is the best solution for conveying your breakfast cereals, have the Cablevey Testing Center perform a free test for you. The Testing Center will provide you with the data to help you make the most informed decision for your specific need.
This article only covers a portion of the finding from the Ascend2 research study. Download Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems for more insight into the food processing industry.