It’s long been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But the results of a recent national consumer poll on breakfast habits revealed that more than half of Americans do not consistently eat breakfast every day of the week, with 12% rarely eating breakfast at all. The top reasons for skipping their morning meal included not having an appetite in the morning, followed by lack of time.
Some 10,000 U.S. consumers were on their breakfast eating and food-buying preferences in the breakfast poll, which was released by Instantly, an audience and consumer insights platform provider. The study, polled in June 2015, explores issues around convenience, fast food and time constraints for what’s traditionally considered the most important meal of the day.
According to the study, when time is a constraint, Americans are likely to get something on the go (43%) or skip the meal all together (21%). When eating on the go, 63% of respondents might grab something from home, 45% would go to a drive-through restaurant and 31% might stop at a convenience store or gas station.
When it comes to fast food restaurants, McDonald’s dominates preferences. Forty-four percent of respondents agree that McDonald’s is their “go-to” for morning eats, compared to Taco Bell (4%), Burger King (5%) and Jack in the Box (4%). While 52% of Americans believe fast food menus have become healthier in the last year, 57% are still concerned about the nutritional content of fast food breakfast. Yet 72% of respondents believe fast food chains should sell breakfast items all day.
“In the U.S., with longer work days that break out of the 9-5 model, timing and convenience has become a deciding factor in what many Americans eat in the morning,” said Andy Jolls, chief marketing officer at Instantly. “But that doesn’t mean demand for breakfast foods is low. If companies can provide breakfast in a format that accommodates busy schedules while appealing to taste and nutrition, they could see significant incremental growth.”
When time isn’t a factor, Americans say taste and health benefits are the most important deciding factors in breakfast foods, while portion size and cost are considered the least important factors in deciding on what to eat.