ORLANDO, FLA. — Kellogg Co.’s Rice Krispies cereal brand is making its mark on social media and among online influencers, according to a new report from IZEA Worldwide, Inc., a provider of technology that helps marketers and creators connect.
The 2020 report, which provides analysis of more than 439 million social media posts generated by more than 4 million online influencers from May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020, found Rice Krispies garnered the top spot among 46 ready-to-eat cereals for share of voice (SOV), which is based on volume of both organic and sponsored social media content created by influencers.
IZEA said Rice Krispies SOV averaged 26.1% based on total influencer content volume over the 12-month period, followed by Post Holdings’ Pebbles at 17.7% SOV, General Mills’ Cheerios at 16.7%, General Mills’ Lucky Charms at 15.7% and Kellogg’s Froot Loops at 5.5%.
Rice Krispies also registered the highest organic content references, the report said, with more than 11,000 social media mentions during the 12-month period. Pebbles also finished second in this category, with nearly 8,000 posts.
Conversely, General Mills’ Chex cereal lagged behind its peers in terms of both organic and sponsored influencer content creation. The total count of organic content pertaining to Rice Krispies was more than 12 times that of Chex, IZEA noted in the report. However, Chex registered the most positive influencer sentiment, with 96% of its influencer content being categorized as positive, and only 4% categorized as negative or neutral.
Another General Mills’ brand, Cheerios, surpassed all other RTE cereal brands in terms of sponsored content posts. According to the report, Cheerios had two times the volume of sponsored content when compared with the next most prolific brand: Pebbles.
The report identified Oreo as the most common brand name mentioned by influencers alongside Rice Krispies. A little more than 7% of all influencer content mentioning Rice Krispies also mentioned Oreo, the report said.
Perhaps helping Rice Krispies rise to the top of the charts is its relationship with Chrissy Teigen, a model, television personality and author. The survey identified Ms. Teigen as the most engaged influencer for RTE cereal, with 749,763 engagements on a single post for Rice Krispies. Ms. Teigen, who has 29.5 million followers on social media platform Instagram, posted an image of her and her daughter making Rice Krispies treats on April 5.
IZEA said the average creator producing content about Rice Krispies has 129,500 followers, compared with 73,400 average followers for the RTE category.
Meanwhile, the highest engagement count for sponsored content created for the RTE cereal category was a Sept. 25, 2019, Instagram post from Juan Bertheau, an actor, model, dancer and YouTube personality. Mr. Bertheau has more than 4.8 million followers on Instagram, and his post featured him wearing socks with Toucan Sam, the Froot Loops’ mascot.
“Cold cereal brands are actively investing in influencer marketing and social media content strategies to increase new sales and loyalty for their products,” said Ted Murphy, founder and chief executive officer of IZEA. “We found that 6.2% of all influencer content we measured in this category during this period was sponsored by cereal brands. Interestingly, while cold cereal brands sponsored fewer influencer content pieces overall in March and April during the pandemic, the amount of organic content created by influencers during this period was at an all-time high for the category. As more people are cooking and buying longer-lasting food items while confined to their homes, we saw more influencer content about cereal brands being produced. In fact, as more consumers spend time on social media, the average engagement rate for influencer content featuring cold cereal increased in both March and April by about 29%.”
IZEA found that sponsored content engagement for the RTE cereal category averaged 1.45% during the evaluation period, well below the 4.3% average for the more than 3,000 brands currently observed through BrandGraph. General Mills’ Trix brand leads the category in sponsored content engagement, with 10.18% versus Rice Krispies at 0.93% engagement.
The total number of engagements with influencer content featuring RTE cereal brands is at an all-time high during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, having increased by more than 51% in March and April relative to the prior six months, the report said.
“Due to the pandemic some brands chose to pause or decrease sponsored content activity during this period — however, BrandGraph tells us that, because more consumers are at home and spending time on social channels, this is actually a strategic moment for brands to work with influencers to generate social content and capture share of voice,” Mr. Murphy said.