It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, if you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. And three-quarters of adults in America agree with the sentiment. In a CivicScience survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, 35% say they actually eat breakfast every day of the week. A hefty group report skipping breakfast more often than not, whether just one or two times in a week or up to six of the seven days.
Eating breakfast at home has always been the way of the majority, but the elevated levels that started during the pandemic haven’t fully normalized. Breakfast on the road or at work dropped significantly in early 2020 and is still several percentage points away from its pre-pandemic numbers.
One factor that has certainly affected breakfast habits is overall sensitivity to prices. Consumers who say the have become more price sensitive in the last year eat their breakfast at home more than other survey respondents. While the more price sensitive and the less price sensitive share the same percentages of eating breakfast on the go, 10% of those who have become less sensitive to prices are the most willing to pay up for breakfast at a restaurant.
As expected, people working from home, as well as those not working by choice, are the primary groups breakfasting at home. The consumers who are still working as usual – likely the commuters on the road and using the public transportation systems – are more than three times as likely as remote workers to get their breakfast on-the-go. People who have lost their jobs or are having trouble finding a job are the most likely to report not eating breakfast.
Non-breakfast eaters didn’t gain many long-term joiners during the pandemic, and there are certainly still plenty of people regularly eating their first meal of the day before noon. When it comes to consumer favorites, eggs win out (as they have in previous CivicScience studies), which also makes sense considering 81% of breakfast eaters prefer hot to cold breakfast options.
Close behind eggs are some of the usual hot sides: bacon, sausage, pancakes, and waffles. In addition, a considerable amount of breakfast eaters consume breakfast meats, of which bacon is still the king.
As an astonishing closing data point, coffee has decreased as a drink of choice to accommodate breakfast. Fruit juice saw a four-percentage-point increase in popularity since February of last year. CivicScientists wonder if consumers are opting for more drinks with nutrients like vitamin C to bolster their immune systems, or if they are simply not driving past their favorite coffee chain during the morning commute.