- A recent global survey of 3,500 consumers found 25% spent less than five minutes on breakfast and 50% about 15 minutes, reported Nutrition Insight, citing a study by DSM.
- In the survey, 85% of the respondents said they eat breakfast daily. Of those who skip breakfast, 39% say it’s because they don’t have the time. In addition, 78% of the respondents said breakfast should be convenient to prepare and eat.
- “The first thing that came out of the study – I think this is the most important thing – is we want to eat something, but with our busy lifestyles we are increasingly time-pressed to do so,” Steve Hufton with DSM, a global supplier of nutritional ingredients, said in the Nutrition Insight story.
With grade school students as their target audience, public health officials and food manufacturers in the U.S. and across the world every year develop campaigns emphasizing the importance of a healthy breakfast as essential to winning the day, but by the time these students finish high school and enter the workplace, they seem to have forgotten.
The trend toward grabbing a quick breakfast to going without a meal before starting the workday is prominent around the world. But a survey of 3,500 consumers in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. seems to offer a nuanced explanation of adults seeming reticence toward breakfast.
Time is not the only reason consumers skip the meal. As they seek fast options to start the workday, people also are rejecting the traditional sweetened cereals they may have consumed growing up as well as pastries traditionally offered in grocery or c-store locations. The cereal industry has been hit particularly hard, with the industry as a whole down from nearly $14 billion in annual sales in 2000 to less than $8.75 billion in 2016.
And even as flavored yogurt has become one of the most popular on-the-go breakfast foods, it can be high in sugar. DSM said that adding the ingredient to attract consumers back to the breakfast table isn't necessarily a viable option; manufacturers must place focus on their ingredients profile and increasingly consumers, especially millennials, are shunning sugar.
Major cereal manufacturers are responding to demand for more portable options with the introduction of breakfast bars and to-go tubs of cereal that can be snacked on while driving to work. General Mills now sells its Golden Grahams, Trix and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals in bar forms, while Kellogg promotes its Raisin Bran cereal as a snack. Kellogg’s Special K brand also introduced a Crustless Quiche.
Future Market Insights said worldwide demand for on-the-go breakfast products registered at more than $1 billion in 2015. In addition, Nielsen reported that grab-and-go breakfast items were the biggest market gainer in 2016.
It's no secret that consumers are spending less time eating breakfast or snacking more during the day. It's smart for food manufacturers to introduce new products or repackage old mainstays to address this trend, which for now, shows no sign of abating.