Food Engineering
Consumer Trends

Rise, shine and eat right: US consumers prefer healthy breakfast options, according to survey

Low-fat, high-fiber options rank high on Americans’ lists.

January 14, 2013

Rise and shine—and eat healthy—seems to be the new motto for US consumers, as the majority of breakfast-eating Americans (69 percent) are likely to consider Heart Healthy or Low Cholesterol claims important when selecting breakfast foods, according to a survey by Mintel.

A similar number (65 percent) think low fat and high fiber are important health-related attributes to consider when selecting breakfast foods, while 57 percent who eat breakfast food would be happy to spend more on higher-quality prepackaged items. Forty-one percent, meanwhile, would welcome more organic prepackaged breakfast options.

Consumer demand for healthier options was strongest in three well-established market categories: pancakes, waffles and breakfast sausages. And while 87 percent eat breakfast at home on weekdays and 30 percent eat at restaurants on weekends, a slight majority of respondents (53 percent) believe restaurant foods taste better than those in a grocery store. Forty-eight percent would like to see more restaurant-style options available at the grocery store.

As a whole, the breakfast foods category has experienced stable growth in the 2007-11 recession economy, with a 20 percent increase in dollar sales from $10 billion in 2007 to $12 billion in 2011. Mintel’s report predicts further market growth of nearly 26 percent from 2012-2017.

“Eating at home to save money and the convenience of many products in the breakfast category likely aided its impressive sales growth,” says Mintel Food Analyst Carla Dobre-Chastain. “While price will continue to play an important role when it comes to breakfast foods, Mintel’s research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for higher-quality breakfast products.”

Manufacturers take note—the trend in the US is toward higher-quality, higher-priced, healthier breakfast options.

Read the full report here.