What's for breakfast? Fewer Americans are eating breakfast

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages /  JGI/Jamie Grill
©GettyImages / JGI/Jamie Grill

Related tags: Breakfast

A survey polling 2,000 Americans found that the average person eats breakfast just three times a week, while 13% rarely, if ever, eat breakfast.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll in conjuction with hummus brand, Sabra, to examine overall breakfast eating habits and behaviors. 

Among those that do eat breakfast, 65% said eggs were their go-to morning meal, 58% drink coffee, and 56% eat cereal.

Beyond that, 46% of respondents chose breakfast sandwiches and 42% chose bacon as their top breakfast foods. 

The poll results also included 'trendier' breakfast items such as avocado and hummus toast (preferred by 29% of respondents) and most popular with men between the ages of 25 and 34.

Some traits emerged between respondents who chose sweet or savory items for breakfast, according to the poll. The 'sweet breakfast eater' tended to be an early riser and experience an energy 'crash' around 2 p.m. The 'savory breakfast eater' said they were most productive later in the morning (just before 11 a.m.) and experience their afternoon energy crash closer to 3 p.m.

Is breakfast time the new snack time?

According to Mintel research, breakfast is no longer a priority for many Americans as they are strapped for time and sometimes skip breakfast all together.  In 2018, half of consumers agreed breakfast is more important than lunch or dinner, compared to 55% in 2014.

Mintel added that part of the trend of skipping breakfast is due to traditional 'mealtimes' turning into 'snacktimes' (nearly 75% of consumers say they snack in the morning), highlighting the need for light and portable foods. 

Consumers are also shifting their food interests when seeking out breakfast foods, looking for healthy foods that are convenient, high in protein, contain fruit, and are low in sugar, noted Mintel.

Most consumers are eating breakfast away from home opening up opportunities for retailers and restaurants to offer more grab-and-go options. according to Mintel. 

Flavored coffee, veggie burritos

Among the items that American consumers are eating for breakfast, over half said they prefer 'trendier' options (such as an international flavor twist to eggs)  or traditional breakfast foods. 

"Diners are increasingly exposed to international cuisines, whether at foodservice or retail, and we are seeing strong growth in these offerings,"​ said Mintel. Other breakfast trend observations include two in five consumers wanting to see more flavored coffees available and a rising interest in plant-based breakfast options (e.g. Veggie Grill's burrito featuring JUST egg made from mung beans).

"Promoting the importance of breakfast and focusing on snackable breakfast items will be important to help traditional and innovative breakfast items succeed. Knowing that consumers’ needs differ based on day of the week means operators and manufacturers must balance health with indulgence, and convenience with leisure,​" added Mintel.  

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