No time for breakfast: Convenience is king

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Are we too busy to eat breakfast?
Are we too busy to eat breakfast?

Related tags: Cereal, Wheat, Porridge

A new survey has revealed that far from enjoying a traditional full English each morning, many Brits are skipping breakfast because they say they do not have enough time.

Over 40% of British adults are skipping breakfast at least once a week, according to a new report from market research and report firm Canadean.

In light of this perceived time-scarcity, convenience has been a key trend within the breakfast cereal sector with many brands bringing out breakfast bars and other on-the-go lines to cater to these time-pressed consumers.

Breakfast falls victim to modern life

Of the 2,000 UK-based participants, it was found that those aged 18-24 are most likely to skip breakfast, with 54% skipping breakfast at least once a week and 29% skipping breakfast four times or more per week.

When asked why they do not eat breakfast in the morning, the most common responses were “I am not hungry in the morning”​ (49%) or “I do not have time in the morning”​ (26%).

Michael Hughes, research manager at Canadean Custom Solutions, commented that “consumers are trying to cram as many activities as possible into the day, and this is impacting breakfast occasions”​.

Convenience and Health

Earlier this year Mintel said that health, portability and convenience should be key considerations in new breakfast product developments in the US if manufacturers hoped to tap into this market.

Last week Quakers launched a quinoa bar under its Harvest Crunch range, made using quinoa, Canadian oats, wheat, brown rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and milk chocolate. Meanwhile Kellogg launched a low-fat, multi-grain porridge that comes in easy, single serving pots and sachets.

Weight loss misconception  

Within the Canadean survey, health was also noted as one reason behind participants’ decision to skip breakfast, with 12% of adults telling the researchers that they skipped breakfast in order to lose weight.

However, according to the Journal of Epidemiology​, breakfast skippers have a higher risk of obesity since eating earlier in the day prevents people from overeating later on.

The health factor of cereal bars received a blow in 2011 when a Which? report on the fat and sugar content of 30 leading cereal brands revealed that just over half contained 30% sugar with only one bar boasting no added sugar.

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