The Breakfast Need for Speed

In-home and away-from-home occasions forecast to grow by 5% over next few years

breakfast

CHICAGO -- The consumption of breakfast and morning snacks, in and away from home, is forecast to grow faster than the U.S. population over the next few years, reported The NPD Group, Chicago.

Total breakfast occasions, in and away from home, are forecast to grow by 5% through 2019, ahead of the expected population growth of 4%. Annual morning snack occasions per person, in and away from home, have increased by 17% in the past six years, according to NPD’s continual tracking of U.S. eating behaviors.

The need for speed, affordability and portability are the reasons why morning meal traffic, which includes breakfast and morning snacks, at traditional quick-service restaurants (QSRs) has been growing. In the year ending February 2016, morning meal visits to QSRs increased by 5% on top of a 3% increase during the same period of the prior year.

The growth in breakfast and morning snack visits shows that QSRs are pushing all of consumers’ hot buttons. McDonald’s successfully tapped into breakfast’s popularity with the launch of its all-day breakfast offering. With convenience the key for restaurant breakfast occasions, foods showing growth include breakfast sandwiches and portable breakfast foods, such as yogurt and cereal bars.

Even with the strong growth of away-from-home breakfasts, the majority, 70%, of breakfast meals are consumed in the home. The average annual number of breakfast occasions per person in 2015 was 361, up 11 occasions per person from 2010. The motivations behind breakfast are generally convenience, satiation and healthfulness, but these factors can vary by generational group and life stage, according to NPD.

In the home, consumers, particularly young adults, are turning to more involved breakfast foods such as eggs and “traditional” breakfast foods. Better-for you snack foods, such as fruit, yogurt and granola bars, are among the top choices for morning snacks.

“It’s clear by the strong growth in breakfast that it’s an opportunity for food manufacturers, operators and retailers,” said David Portalatin, NPD’s vice president, food industry analyst. “The best way to tap into the breakfast and morning snack opportunities is to first understand what the consumers’ motivations, needs and wants are based on demographics, life stage and situation and let this knowledge guide your decision-making.”