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A.M. Eating/Drinking Routines Vary Widely Among U.S. Consumers

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U.S. consumers fuel themselves for the day with a variety of eating and drinking occasions from the time they awake in the morning until 11 a.m., according to a recently published morning meal study by market research company The NPD Group. NPD’s Morning MealScape 2011 study finds that 43 percent of these eating and drinking occasions consist of a beverage but no food (e.g., mid-morning coffee), 24 percent a small/mini meal, 21 percent a full/complete meal, and 11 percent a snack.

Just over one in three individuals (38 percent) limit themselves to one morning eating or drinking occasion while 41 percent have two or more occasions (e.g., early morning small meal and then a late morning beverage) on a typical morning. The average number of morning drinking or eating occasions per person per day is 1.4, which, based on the population, amounts to an estimated 420 million morning meal occasions per day, or 153 billion occasions per year that include at least one food or beverage, according to the NPD study, which does a deep dive into the situational and attitudinal drivers impacting consumers’ morning food and beverage choices.

“Understanding the number of eating and drinking occasions helps food manufacturers size the morning opportunity,” says Dori Hickey, director of product management at NPD and author of Morning MealScape 2011. “By developing versatile products and positioning products as both a meal and snack, food companies can meet consumers’ varied morning meal needs and maximize sales volume.”

NPD’s Morning MealScape 2011 study included 27,179 participants, both adults and children (parents answered on behalf of their children, age 2-5). Participants reported on the prior day’s consumption behavior from the time they got up until 11 a.m.


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