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Breakfast: Retail Market Trends and Opportunities in the U.S.


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Breakfast: Retail Market Trends and Opportunities in the U.S. analyzes industry and consumer trends shaping the U.S. retail breakfast market. This report analyzes eight food and beverage categories significant to the retail market for breakfast, including hot and cold cereal; breakfast entrées and sandwiches; pancakes, waffles and French toast; breakfast baked goods; breakfast meats and meat alternatives; yogurt; breakfast & nutrition bars and breakfast supplements; and kids’ breakfast.
In each case, the report 1) trends and analyzes the given category with consideration of key demographics to provide insight into growth opportunities and challenges; 2) covers category performance as it relates to consumer attitudes and behavior toward breakfast with a focus on how users define their normal breakfast; and 3) presents marketing and new product trends that are influencing the category in the grocery aisle.

A key approach to the report involves the various ways consumers approach and define breakfast, a topic developed in its own section. In particular, it assesses how consumers define the breakfast that they normally have, as well as the relative importance they have ascribed to breakfast over time, and the degree to which consumers view breakfast as part of their routine. These results are woven into analysis as appropriate throughout the report.

The report also identifies challenges and opportunities relevant to retail breakfast marketers. It does so by digging into consumer need states that influence breakfast choices by comparing rationales for eating cold cereal and cereal/granola/ nutrition bars. To position growth opportunities within the breakfast daypart and beyond, it also analyses the extent to which breakfast foods straddle breakfast and snacking, as well as the degree to which consumers snack in the morning. Finally, it examines opportunities related to health and wellness, identifying the degree to which organic foods and gluten intolerant users eat a variety of breakfast foods; and the value consumers ascribe to healthy breakfast.

Finally, the report details usage growth in limited-service and full-service restaurant usage during 2006-2015, and the impact high-frequency restaurant breakfast users have on the retail market. It also compares consumer usage of 19 types of breakfast items at restaurants and at home, applying ratios suggesting at-home or at-restaurant usage dominance.


  • Executive Summary
    • Report Scope
    • Report Summary
      • Breakfast defined
      • How consumers define breakfast
      • Demographic analysis
      • Importance of breakfast not lost on consumers
      • But losing steam when it should be gaining momentum
      • Degree of importance influenced by needs placed on breakfast
      • Part of the routine
      • Challenges and opportunities
      • Blurring the lines: breakfast or snack?
      • Breakfast foods as all-day snacks
      • Organic food use by breakfast food type
      • "Health by subtraction" terms still prevalent
      • Importance and healthfulness of breakfast
      • Breakfast: retail vs. restaurants
      • High-frequency restaurant breakfast users pose challenges
      • Breakfast item choices at home versus at a restaurant
      • Cereal usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Cereal usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Pancakes, waffles & French toast usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Breakfast baked goods usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Breakfast meats & meat alternatives usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Yogurt usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Breakfast & nutrition bars and breakfast supplements usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Key demographics
      • Marketing and new product trends
      • Kids' breakfast usage, marketing & new product trends
      • Demographic analysis
      • Trends over time
      • Marketing and new product trends
  • Breakfast Defined
    • Tale of the tape: 10-year trending
      • Breakfast staples face challenges
        • Table Breakfast Food Usage by Type, 2006 vs. 2015
        • Table Breakfast Foods Usage by Type: Percentage Change, 2006-2015, 2006-2009, 2009-2012 and 2012-2015
    • Breakfast defined
      • Simplicity, please
      • Two roads to healthfulness
      • Demographic analysis
        • Table How Consumers Define Breakfast: Selected Definitions by Demographic, 2016
      • For Millennials and parents, is breakfast the new coffee?
        • Table How Consumers Define Breakfast: Top Energy and Health Definitions by Demographic, 2016
    • Importance of breakfast not lost on consumers
      • But losing steam when it should be gaining momentum
      • Degree of importance influenced by needs placed on breakfast
        • Table Breakfast Is More Important than Lunch or Dinner: Percentage Who Strongly Agree by Demographic, 2015
    • Part of the routine
      • Demographic analysis
        • Table Tendency to Eat Same Foods for Breakfast, 2016
  • Challenges and Opportunities
    • Meeting the need state
    • Blurring the lines: breakfast or snack?
      • Embracing snacking as a breakfast option
        • Table Tendency to Substitute Breakfast with a Snack, 2016
      • Breakfast foods as all-day snacks
    • Health and wellness
      • Inherent health trending up
      • Organic food use by breakfast food type
        • Table Households That Use Organic Food: Breakfast Foods Used by Type, 2015
      • "Health by subtraction" terms still prevalent
      • Gluten intolerance
        • Table Diet Watchers and Gluten Intolerant: Household Breakfast Foods Used by Type, 2015
      • Importance and healthfulness of breakfast
        • Table Breakfast Importance and Healthfulness, 2016
  • Breakfast: Retail vs. Restaurants
    • Restaurant breakfast beckons
      • High-frequency restaurant breakfast users pose challenges
        • Table High-Frequency Restaurant Breakfast Usage by Demographic, 2016
      • Breakfast item choices at home versus at a restaurant
      • But some at-home options maintain wide usage advantage
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Cereal
    • Cereal: trends over time
      • Cold cereal: household volume declines
        • Table Cold Cereal Household Usage Frequency Share, 2011 vs. 2015
      • Positive hot cereal household volume trends
        • Table Hot Cereal Household Usage Frequency Share, 2011 vs. 2015
      • Key demographics: children are a key driver in use of breakfast cereal
        • Table Cold and Hot Cereal Usage by Demographic, 2011 vs. 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Portable breakfast necessitates grab and go convenience
      • Health incorporates trendy diet and wellness monikers
      • Unique ingredients provide for more interesting flavor profiles
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Breakfast Entrées & Sandwiches
    • Breakfast entrées & sandwiches: trends over time
      • Key demographics: blacks and families favor breakfast entrée and sandwiches
        • Table Frozen Breakfast Entrées & Sandwiches Usage by Demographic, 2011 vs. 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • All-day breakfast opportunity
      • Catering to interest in better-for-you warm breakfast
      • Comfort food and indulgent flavors
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Pancakes, Waffles & French Toast
    • Pancakes and waffle mix/frozen: trends over time
      • Key demographics: usage strongest among blacks and families
        • Table Frozen Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast Usage by Demographic, 2011 vs. 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Capturing a health halo
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Breakfast Baked Goods
    • Breakfast baked goods: trends over time
      • Key demographics: breads have universal appeal; sweets are used by families
        • Table Breakfast Baked Goods Usage by Type and Demographic, 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Healthy breakfast baked goods
      • Breakfast baked goods embrace indulgence
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Breakfast Meats & Meat Alternatives
    • Breakfast meats & meat alternatives: trends over time
      • Key demographics: young adults, blacks and families more likely users
        • Table Eggs, Bacon and Sausage Usage by Demographic, 2011 vs. 2015
        • Table Meat Alternative and Breakfast Meat Alternative Usage by Demographic, 2011 vs. 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Healthy meat means increased transparency in farming and processing
      • Precooked meats
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Yogurt
    • Yogurt: trends over time
      • Key demographics: women continue to over index in yogurt usage
        • Table Yogurt/Smoothie Usage by Type and Demographic, 2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Yogurt beyond breakfast
      • Yogurt broadens health halo
      • Flavor innovation
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Breakfast & Nutrition Bars and Breakfast Supplements
    • Breakfast & nutrition bars: trends over time
      • Key demographics: use skews younger and more affluent
        • Table Breakfast Bar, Energy/Diet Bar and Breakfast Supplement Usage by Demographic, 2006-2015
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Going bite-size
      • Breakfast cereal bars get a healthy ingredient makeover
      • Nutrition bars find their "health niche"
  • Usage, Marketing & New Product Trends: Kids' Breakfast
    • Breakfast foods and beverages usage among children
      • Breakfast food usage
        • Table Breakfast Food Usage by Type and Presence of Children in Household, 2015
      • Larger households are more likely to use breakfast pastries
        • Table Breakfast Food Usage by Type Among Households with Kids: By Number of Kids in Household, 2015
      • Families with older kids are more likely to use hot breakfast and toaster pastries
        • Table Breakfast Food Usage by Type Among Households with Kids: By Age of Kids in Household, 2015
      • Affluent families over index in use of energy/diet snack bars
        • Table Breakfast Food Usage by Type Among Households with Kids: By Household Income, 2015
      • Trends over time
    • Marketing and new product trends
      • Better-for-you breakfast
      • Making breakfast fun to eat
      • Hot breakfast
  • Appendix
    • Methodology
      • Consumer survey methodology
      • Report table interpretation
      • Indexing

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