Busy lifestyles: Global on-the-go breakfast market set to grow 46% by 2026

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Busy Western consumers continue to forgo the traditional sit down breakfast for the on-the-run option. Pic: ©iStock/tommaso79
Busy Western consumers continue to forgo the traditional sit down breakfast for the on-the-run option. Pic: ©iStock/tommaso79

Related tags Breakfast Porridge Cheerios

Grab-and-go breakfast products are forecast for growth as busy Western consumers continue to forgo the traditional sit down breakfast.

While the breakfast-on-the-run product sector is expected to grow at a steady pace for the next decade in the West, a far slower growth rate is expected in other regions, Malarkodi Mahendran, senior consultant of Future Market Insights told BakeryAndSnacks.

Globally, the segment was valued at $1.23bn in 2016, indicating that consumers do want quick-to-prepare-and-consume – albeit healthy – products like fast-cook oatmeal and yogurt cereals, and Mahendran forecasts it will grow at a 4.2% CAGR, reaching $1.8b by the end of 2026.

Breaking the fast around the world

Breaking the fast around the world Dirima
  • Mahendran forecasted that the on-the-go breakfast products market in Western Europe will remain dominant through to 2026, reaching $566.4m in market value.
  • The Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region, too, will experience good growth, accounting for over 18% share of the global market, while on-the-go breakfast products revenues in Japan will surpass $200m by the end of forecasted period.
  • Conversely, she stated, the same sector in Middle East and Africa (MEA), as well as the rest of Eastern Europe will grow at a much slower 2.2% CACG, while Latin America’s global market share will remain less than 10%.
  • On the other scale, North America is experiencing a very healthy growth for convenient breakfasts and the segment has becoming profitable for leading F&B companies.

However, she said growth will come mainly from Western European countries, which accounted for over a quarter of e global on-the-go breakfast revenues last year.

The appeal of grabbing a breakfast bar or nutritious shake on-the-run is certainly growing in among people in developed countries, but the segment is experiencing some sluggishness because of low consumer awareness in developing countries.

As such, the inconsistent distribution of on-the-go breakfast products in various regions will hinder overall growth of the global market in the coming decade, said Mahendran.

Is West best?

According to the market research group’s report, “On-the-go Breakfast Products Market: Western Europe to Retain Dominance”, various parts of the world show a very different picture when it comes to what – and how – consumers are eating for breakfast.

For example, while more and more consumers want convenience when it comes to breakfast – promoting such items like Quaker Instant Oatmeal Cups, Anchor Fast Start Liquid Breakfast, and General Mills’ Fruity Cheerios Cereal On-The-Go breakfast bars – many consumers believe these products aren’t as nutritious as regular breakfasts.

“In developing regions, awareness among consumers regarding on-the-go breakfast cereals and breakfast drinks is relatively low and traditional breakfasts are still popular,”​ said Mahendran.

“However, in developed region awareness among consumers regarding on-the-go breakfast cereals and breakfast drinks is higher and they always seek new and healthy options.”

Emgering markets

Also, manufacturers in countries such as Brazil, China and India prefer distribution channels such as e-tailing platforms to the traditional supermarket route.

The subdued focus on branding and promotional activities by manufacturers operating in these regions, coupled with the low visibility these products generally receive in the retail channel, is expected to further hamper advancement, said  Mahendran.

“Developing countries such as India, China and Brazil have weak distribution networks for on-the-go breakfast products. Manufacturers use a selective modes of distribution such as online selling to reach out to consumers.”

She added that “On-the-go breakfast products are relatively more expensive than conventional ready-to-eat breakfast products. This is a major factor expected to impact market growth during the forecast period.”

Market share


Future Market Insight’s report lists the Quaker Oats Company as maintaining its majority shareholding of the breakfast market, while launching new on-the-go breakfast products will be a key strategy for players in the breakfast cereal realm like Kellogg’s, MOMA, Uncle Toby’s, Sanitarium, Weetabix and Nestlé.

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