31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Each Day, Reports NPD

Chicago, October 11, 2011 —Although most U.S. consumersbegin their day with breakfast, one out of 10, or 31 milliondon’t, according to a recent food market research study conducted by The NPD Group, a leading marketing research company. 

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 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 childrenage with 13-to-17-year-olds having the highest incidence (14 percent) 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%

Source: The NPD Group/Morning MealScape 2011

Among the reasons individualsgive for not eating or drinking anything prior to 11 a.m. is that they weren’t hungry/thirstyor 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 daythere is a significant opportunity for food and beverage marketers to reach these consumers,” says Dori Hickey, director, product management at NPD and author of Morning MealScape 2011. “Marketing messages emphasizing the importance of having a morning meal should be age and genderspecific 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 MealScape2011study was fielded daily online from January 10 through March 7, 2011 and included 27,179 participants, both adults and children (parents answered on behalf of their children, age 2-5). Participants reported on yesterday’s consumption behavior from the time they got up until 11:00 a.m.

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