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New Research Casts Mornings as Mini Occasions

New research from The NPD Group shows that rather than being a monolithic daypart, breakfast is better understood as a collection of eating and drinking occasions. And many adults, 41% according to NPD’s Morning MealScape 2011 study, indulge in two or more such occasions on a typical morning. The average number of eating/drinking occasions per day is 1.4.

A full meal is eaten by just 21% of morning diners, the study finds. The largest share of morning diners (43%) have just a coffee or other beverage but no food. Another 24% have a small meal in the morning and 11% eat just a snack.

This data—and especially the finding that 43% take the time for a morning purchase but buy no food—suggests that there is great potential for increased sales growth in mornings. Previously released research from NPD’s Morning MealScape 2011 study focused on the number of adults who skip breakfast altogether. Males ages 18 to 34 are the most likely to skip (28% do, compared with 18% of females in the demographic). But there may also be sales-growth opportunities with adults whose morning occasions currently are small.

Mintel’s recently released “Breakfast Restaurant Trends-US-February 2012” study finds that while number of breakfast items on menus increased by 24.2% from Q3 2009 to Q3 2011, restaurant breakfast sales increased just 2% between 2006 and 2011. Mintel estimates U.S. breakfast sales in 2011 at $25.4 billion.

1 comment to New Research Casts Mornings as Mini Occasions

  • Breakfast should always be for the “Breakfast of Champions” as Wheaties used to claim. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but also the most neglected meal time as Americans rush into their workday schedules. Restauranteurs chip away at the opportunity but have only begun to mine this field of opportunity.

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