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News & Trends

No Cereal Killer, But UK’s Breakfast Trends Show Opportunities & Challenges Ahead

June 29, 2017

5 min read

Breakfast has long been considered ‘the most important meal of the day,’ but our latest survey results show that may no longer be the case.

On June 22nd we surveyed 250 consumers in the UK to learn more about their breakfast habits, and we found that an incredible 60% have skipped breakfast at least once in the last 7 days.

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Have you skipped breakfast in the last 7 days?

Generation breakfast

The data shows that this change in our morning eating habits could well be a generational shift, with 71% of those aged under 21 having skipped breakfast at least once in the last week.

For those aged 21-30 they skip breakfast slightly less than the national average, while just 31% of those aged 50 and over skipping breakfast in the past 7 days.

Skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent amongst females under the age of 21, with a surprising 81% having skipped breakfast at least once in the last 7 days.

The results also show that for many in the UK, breakfast may actually be a luxury, with those who are unemployed  far more likely than average to skip breakfast in the week. 82% said they’d missed it at least once in the last 7 days.

Cereal habit

While originally invented as a digestive aid, cereal remains the nation’s go-to choice for breakfast (when it isn’t being skipped), with 38% of respondents saying it is their typical weekday breakfast.

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What do you typically eat for your weekday breakfast?

This was followed by toast or bagels, and then fruit as the third most popular choice for breakfast.

We can see another generational shift in the results, with under 21s much less likely to eat cereal (28%) versus the national average. They’re more likely to be opting for toast, eggs or a cooked breakfast.

Cereal is most popular amongst those in full-time employment, probably due to its ease and speed before heading out the door every morning.

Of those who enjoy a full english or cooked breakfast most mornings, we see they’re most likely to be males (65% versus 35% females), and young (with half of them under the age of 24).

Breakfast on the go

When it comes to breakfast, our survey results show that many Brits plan ahead, with the majority of the UK still typically buy their breakfast each week in their grocery shop (59%).

However that does leave a fairly substantial number who typically eat out of the house too.

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Where do you typically buy breakfast during the week?

Diving deeper into the data, we can also see that:

  • Females are 16% more likely to buy their breakfast in the weekly shop than males
  • Those working in London are much more likely to typically eat their breakfast out (25% versus a national average of 13%).
  • Eating breakfast out is particularly popular amongst women who live and work in Loddon, where over a third typically buy their weekday breakfast at a cafe or restaurant
  • Across the UK, men are more likely than women to grab their breakfast from a local convenience store (22% versus 10% of females).
  • Those aged 50 and over are far more likely to buy their breakfast during the weekly shop (81% versus the 59% national average).

This could be a potential point of concern for breakfast grocery brands and retailers, because we can also see that the next generation (those aged under 21) are less likely to buy their breakfast in a weekly shop (dipping to 50%).

A tasty opportunity

When eating breakfast out, 23% of the UK population expect to pay £2.00-£2.99 for their meal, however a substantial number (21%) are typically spending £4.00-£4.99.

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If you buy breakfast out, how much do you typically spend?

Those working in London are more likely than the rest of the UK to fork out £5.00-£6.99 each time they eat breakfast out.

The results also show that men are more likely to spend more on breakfast out than women, which probably reflect their higher likelihood of ordering a (usually more expensive) cooked breakfast option.

With over 40% of the UK spending money on breakfast outside of their weekly grocery shop, this represents a huge opportunity for local cafes, convenience stores and national chains to tap into an urban youth market that are increasingly likely to eat breakfast out and eschew the usual supermarket bought cereal for breakfast.

Breakfast in bed

The age of convenience and food-on-demand is well and truly here, so were weren’t too surprised by the results to our next question.

We found that 54% of the UK would be willing to pay to get a nutritious breakfast delivered to their door (either at home or work).

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Would you pay to get a nutritious breakfast delivered to you (at home or in the office)?

This idea is particularly popular with those aged 21 and under, with a massive 70% saying they would pay for the convenience.

However those aged 50 and above were much less enthused, with 75% saying they wouldn’t pay for such a service.

Beyond that, there were very little variances in demand for such a service based on gender, region or income – so it could be a big opportunity for the already fast-expanding food delivery market to jump on next.

Kellogg’s = Breakfast

Finally, we asked ‘What brand do you associate with breakfast?’

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The results speak for themselves, with Kellogg’s the dominant brand when it comes to breakfast, enjoying 59% market share of unprompted brand recall.

In conclusion

Breakfast is seeing a clear generational shift, with habits very different for those under 21 when compared to those aged 50 and over.

These shifting habits may present a challenge for traditional supermarkets and brands (like Kellogg’s), despite their current share of brand recall.

However they represent a real opportunity for anyone able to provide convenient breakfast’s on the go, and a potentially lucrative new area of businesses for the delivery industry too.

For even more facts and figures on the changing behaviours and attitudes of UK consumers, check out our 59-page Food & Drink Consumer Trends Report.

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