Children are told on regularly about the importance of breakfast to start their day, but a recent study finds that many grown adults have disregarded that message. A DSM survey finds that one in four consumers are spending 5 minutes or less on breakfast a day, and about 50 percent of them spend about 15 minutes. Many of these participants would reach for a cereal bar or portable breakfast option instead of spending time on cooking breakfast.
The survey, which involved 3,500 consumers in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, the UK and the US, has 85 percent of respondents claiming that they eat breakfast daily. However, 78 percent of these consumers believe that breakfast should be a convenience food that is easy to prepare and eat. About 39 percent of those consumers that say they skip breakfast say it is because of time constraints. Only eight percent of those participants say they skip breakfast to watch their weight.
“The first thing that came out of the study – I think this is the most important thing – is we want to eat something, but with our busy lifestyles we are increasingly time-pressed to do so,” said Steve Hufton, DSM Food Specialities Communications and External Affairs, during DSM’s press presentation at the Food Ingredients Europe Conference 2017 .
However, during the weekend most consumers tend to spend more time on preparing breakfast. The “one in four” statistic decreases to about 14 percent of consumers that claim to eat a five-minute breakfast on the weekends.
“I’m also interested to see that when we take more time, we also reach for other things than the staples that we eat during the week,” said Hufton.
He continued by pointing out more favorable food options like eggs and croissants as common weekend breakfast selections.
Hufton referred to high-sugar breakfast options like cereal and yogurt as products that are losing consumer interest. Although these common foods are portable and suitable for breakfast consumption, their high-sugar content makes them unappealing to the health-focused consumers that are leading the market. DSM says adding the ingredient to breakfast formulations may not be the best way to appeal to taste buds, as consumers are now more interested in low-sugar and low-fat products. With more consumers reading the ingredients of products, manufacturers need to produce foods that appeal to their standards.
“They’re not just reading nutritional information, they’re reading the ingredients list as well, and their eyes are lighting up when they see the word ‘sugar’ on there,” Hufton said.
“Our willpower, psychologists tell us, tends to be strong in the morning, so it’s easier for us to make the right choices. We’re less tempted to go for the treats and things like that.”
Many food manufacturers are trying to appeal to the fast-paced lifestyles of their target consumers with on-the-go products. General Mills has started selling their Golden Grahams, Trix and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal products in bar form. Kellogg is trying to promote their Raisin Bran cereal as a mid-day snack. However, from these survey results, manufacturers need to produce products that are not only portable but healthy as well.
In 2015, Future Market Insights found the worldwide demand for on-the-go breakfast products to be worth more that $1 billion. Nielson reported on-the-go breakfast products to be the biggest market gainer in 2016.
It seems that as consumers get busier, they’ll spend less time on preparing food at home. The frozen food category is already seeing an increase in demand from millennials due to its convenient cooking methods. It would be a smart move for food manufacturers to create more fast and portable food options that adhere to the health standards of consumers as well.