Why Are More Consumers Skipping Breakfast?

Aimee Harvey, Managing Editor, Technomic


CHICAGO -- It's often called the most important meal of the day, but breakfast is steadily falling off the radar—at least for at-home dining occasions. That's a key finding from Technomic's latest update to its Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, which reveals that consumers are slightly more likely to skip breakfast than they reported just two years ago. This change in behavior is largely coming at the expense of breakfast occasions at home. Additionally, consumers are now less likely to believe that skipping breakfast is unhealthy.

What's behind this shift? According to Technomic, it's likely that today's consumers are more comfortable with swapping out snacks and beverages as suitable replacements for traditional breakfast fare. Instead, they increasingly seek out these types of options while on the go, a clear nod to an evolving opportunity for convenience stores and other foodservice locations that effectively execute grab-and-go platforms.

“Speedy service and craveable grab-and-go options can help operators and suppliers engrain themselves into consumers’ morning routines,” said Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Time also remains a key deterrent to breakfast occasions, so operators will need to push the envelope in terms of convenience. Order-ahead and delivery capabilities are likely to appeal to those who constantly feel short on time in the mornings.”

Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumers as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, both powered by Ignite, the comprehensive 2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand consumer consumption of and attitudes toward breakfast and to identify key areas of opportunity.

Here's a look at several key findings from the comprehensive daypart study ...

All-day breakfast menus remain popular

Breakfast sandwich

Nearly a third of consumers (30%) said they are purchasing breakfast fare beyond morning hours more often now than two years ago.

Brunch occasions are increasingly on-trend


According to Technomic, 40% of consumers eat brunch at least once a week. Additionally, 31% of consumers said they consider breakfast to be more of a destination than they did two years ago.

Coffee brand loyalty is down

Drinking coffee

While affinity for a certain brand of coffee has long been a top consumer draw, it's likely that overall quality, rather than the brand of coffee itself, is doing more to increase traffic during traditional breakfast hours. Currently, 37% of coffee drinkers say they are loyal to a coffee brand or the restaurant that serves their preferred coffee, compared to 41% who said the same in 2015.