When was the last time you had a bowl of Cheerios or Wheaties for breakfast?

If you’re like the majority of busy North Americans, you probably just grab a granola bar or hit the Tim Hortons’ drive-through to start the day.

These changing habits have contributed to the decline of cold breakfast cereal sales over the past decade.

According to Euromonitor, which tracks consumer trends, Americans are more likelyto eat snack bars, Greek yogurt and even liquid meals, such as Carnation instant breakfast, before they pour a bowl of cereal in the morning.  

Even the world’s biggestcereal maker, Kellogg’s, reported a 16 per cent drop in profits last summer.

Other companies have also been struggling to make cereal a top choice for consumers once again, but it’s not just busy lifestyles that are getting in the way.

Lloyd Moritz, the Seattle-based author of The Breakfast Bowl blog, says that health consciousness is another big factor in the decline of cereal consumption.

“People want healthier choices. They want less sugar, less carbs, more protein,” he told CTV’s Canada AM on Thursday.

Concerns about how sugary cereals were being marketed to children led many households to switch to different breakfast foods altogether, Moritz said.

That means more people and kids are eating healthier options, such as yogurt or something simple prepared at home.

Moritz also said that typical breakfast cereal is “not as fun anymore.” He still vividly remembers the cereal of his childhood – fun packaging and toys that made reading the cereal box just as enjoyable as eating its contents.

He said that food companies will have to be innovative when it comes to marketing healthier cereals if they hope to cash in on some parents’ breakfast nostalgia.

Moritz knows what he’s talking about. He says he has been “fascinated” with the cereal industry for more than two decades. He has been researching and writing about different types of cereal and has collected about 2,000 cereal boxes over the years.