Port Washington, NY —
More Americans are eating breakfast on the go than ever before. In fact, last year more than one out of five Americans ate breakfast away from home or skipped it, according to leading marketing information provider The NPD Group, Inc. On-the-go and skipped meals accounted for 21% of all breakfasts last year, compared to 17% in the early `90s. And an average of 73 breakfast meals per person were either eaten away from home or missed completely in 1999. Findings are reported in the firm's latest Breakfast Book, which compares 1999 breakfast consumption patterns with the decade earlier. Information was collected from more than 2,000 nationally representative households.
One of the key drivers for this trend is the increasing popularity of foods that are easy to eat and transport, such as yogurt, breakfast snack bars and bagels. Fruit is the most popular carried breakfast food. However, breakfast snack bars have seen the largest increases among carried morning foods. They are now part of 6% of all carried breakfasts, twice as many as in 1990.
Not surprisingly, given the growing popularity of eating on the go, NPD reports that restaurants are preparing more of our breakfast meals for us. While the number of meals eaten at a restaurant remains constant, people are picking up more breakfast meals on the go and eating them elsewhere. The popular breakfast sandwich served at most fast food restaurants reigns as America's favorite grab-and-go morning food.
Finally, while most people still eat breakfast, Americans are skipping breakfast more often. Skipped breakfast meals increased to 49 meals per person, up from 42 meals per person in 1990. The average person skips approximately one breakfast meal a week. NPD found that people of all ages are skipping breakfast more than they did years ago. Children 6-12 and young adults 18-34 lead this trend with the largest increases in skipped meals within the past few years.
"Americans are having their breakfast on the go, or just plain skipping it more than we did a decade ago," says Arnie Schwartz, vice president of National Eating Trends at The NPD Group, Inc. "Meal preparation time will always be a key issue at breakfast. Ready-to-eat and ready-to-serve foods and beverages continue to grow in importance. Food manufacturers and restaurant retailers who take advantage of this need for convenience will benefit."
The NPD Group's National Eating Trends(R) panel is the primary source of data for this study. The National Eating Trends (NET) service has tracked the eating habits of Americans since March 1981 capturing all foods and beverages regardless of where they're eaten. NET's annual sample consists of 2,000 households containing approximately 5,200 individuals. The panel is demographically and geographically balanced to U.S. Census Bureau statistics each year.
News, photos provided by Business Wire.