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The Morning Meal Period is Still Rising, Shining

The consumption of breakfast and morning snacks is forecast to grow faster than the U.S. population over the next few years, reports The NPD Group.

Total breakfast occasions, in and away from home, are forecast to grow by 5 percent through 2019, ahead of the expected population growth of 4 percent, reports The NPD Group. Annual morning snack occasions per person, in and away from home, have increased by 17 percent over the past 6 years, according to the NPD Group.

The need for speed, affordability, and portability are the reasons why morning meal traffic, which includes breakfast and morning snack, at traditional quick service restaurants has been growing. In the year ending February 2016, morning meal visits to quick service restaurants increased by 5 percent on top of a 3 percent increase during the same period the prior year. With convenience the key for restaurant breakfast occasions, foods showing growth are breakfast sandwiches and portable breakfast foods, like yogurt and cereal bars.

Despite the growth spurt of away-from-home breakfasts, 70 percent of breakfast meals are consumed in the home. The average annual number of breakfast occasions per person in 2015 was 361, up 11 occasions per person from 2010. The motivations behind breakfast are generally convenience, satiation, and healthfulness but these factors can vary by generational group and life stage, according to NPD's recently released NPD generational study. In-home, consumers, particularly young adults, are turning to more involved breakfast foods such as eggs and "traditional" breakfast foods. Better-for you snack foods, like fruit, yogurt and granola bars, are among the top choices for morning snacks.