Blurring the breakfast food lines: breakfast or snack?

Blurring the breakfast food lines: breakfast or snack?

Consumers continue to embrace snacking—not only as viable daypart option but also as a paradigm through which to view eating in general (smaller, more frequent meals). This has caused and will continue to cause changes in consumers’ relationships with traditional breakfast foods.

Embracing snacking as a breakfast option is clearly important: roughly one quarter (24%) of consumers often snack in the morning instead of having a full meal. The tendency to snack for breakfast is most pronounced among younger adults and those with children in the household, and they should be targeted accordingly.

But as restaurant brands such as Denny’s have long known, and as McDonald’s success with all-day breakfast cements, foods traditionally associated with the breakfast daypart can also find success during other parts of the day and/or as a snack.

  • Among breakfast foods, yogurt straddles breakfast and snacking: some 39% of adults eat it as a snack, while 44% eat it for breakfast.
  • But other foods closely associated with breakfast also make their way into the snacking realm, such as bacon (43% for breakfast versus 16% as a snack), cold cereal (55% versus 25%), and even pancakes/French toast (33% to 13%).

Among the range of options analyzed in Packaged Facts’ Breakfast: Retail Market Trends and Opportunities report, comparatively low snacking usage penetration suggests that snack-based growth opportunities still exist, given the proper alignment of packaging, portability, and preparation requirements. 

-- By David Morris