31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Daily, Represent Market Opportunity

Although most U.S. consumers begin their day with breakfast, one out of 10, or 31 million don’t, according to a recent food market research study conducted by The NPD Group. 

NPD’s "Morning Mealscape 2011 study," which delves deeply into the situational factors and attitudinal drivers impacting consumers’ food and beverage choices in the morning, finds that males, 18–34, have the highest incidence of skipping (28%) whereas those adults 55 and older have the lowest incidence of skipping (11% for males, ages 55 and older, and 10% 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%) of skipping.

Percent of Adults, By Gender, Who Skip Breakfast

Males Females
18–34 years old 28% 18%
35–54 years old 18% 13%
55+ years old 11% 10%

 

 

 

 

Among the reasons individuals give for not eating or drinking anything prior to 11 a.m. is that they weren’t hungry/​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% 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,” says Dori Hickey, director, product management at NPD and author of the report.  “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.”

[Source:  "Morning Mealscape 2011 study."  The NPD Group.  11 Oct. 2011.  Web.  27 Oct. 2011.]