31 Million Skip Breakfast Daily

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31 Million Skip Breakfast Daily


Although most U.S. consumers begin their day with breakfast, one out of 10 – or 31 million people – do not.

That’s according to a recent food market research study conducted by The NPD Group, Morning MealScape 2011, which delves into the situational factors and attitudinal drivers impacting consumers’ food and beverage choices in the morning.

The study finds that males age 18-34 have the highest incidence of skipping (28 percent) whereas those adults 55 and older have the lowest incidence of skipping (11 percent for males, ages 55 and older, and 10 percent for females in this age range) among adults. Among children, the incidence of skipping — percent of individuals who are up, but don’t eat or drink anything in the morning —increases as children age with 13- to 17-year-olds having the highest incidence (14 percent) of skipping.

Among the reasons individuals give for not eating or drinking anything prior to 11 a.m. is that they weren’t hungry or thirsty or didn’t feel like eating or drinking. Other top reasons are that they didn’t have time and were too busy. Adult females show a higher propensity to skip a morning occasion due to a time constraint, like being too busy, rushing to get out the door, or running late.

For those who do eat a morning meal, three-fourths have their morning meals, snacks and beverages in their home. Approximately one in five consume foods and beverages in the morning both at-home and away-from-home on a typical day; and 14 percent of individuals have their morning meals away from home.

“With 31 million people skipping breakfast each day there is a significant opportunity for food and beverage marketers to reach these consumers,” said Dori Hickey, director of product management at NPD and author of Morning MealScape 2011. “Marketing messages emphasizing the importance of having a morning meal should be age and gender specific in order to increase their effectiveness. To convert teens, a two-pronged approach may be necessary – one that appeals directly to teenagers; the other to provide strategies for parents of teens.”

NPD’s Morning MealScape 2011 study was fielded daily online from Jan. 10 through March 7 and included 27,179 participants, both adults and children.

The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries, including food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games and wireless.