An overhead shot of a waffle, bowls of fruit oatmeal and a cup of coffee. Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Amy Bond, Assistant Librarian and Information Specialist, Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board

Bord Bia’s Busy Lives Consumer Lifestyle Trend outlines how consumers’ lives are becoming increasingly hectic. One impact of this is that people don’t have the time or energy to prepare, or even eat, the traditional three meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and so these increasingly demanding lifestyles are causing a shift in meal occasions.

Breakfast is often proclaimed the most important meal of the day, but it is still usually the first to be dropped when the pace of life becomes too much. However, often people aren’t necessarily skipping breakfast, but simply postponing it. One of the trends identified in GlobalData’s report on Evolving Meal Occasions is the All-Day Breakfast. Foods traditionally associated with the breakfast occasion are now being eaten throughout the day, sometimes even for dinner, which can then be known as brinner, and even later into the night.

Many foodservice outlets have realised the appeal of breakfast foods, and are offering all-day breakfasts, with McDonald’s in the US no longer limiting its breakfast offering to before 10.30am. Many laughed when a cereal café appeared in Camden a number of years ago, but consumers embraced the concept, though it may have lost some of its hipster credentials now Kellogg’s have opened a rival offering in New York. As reported by Mintel, this café, that originally started as a pop-up, has now moved to a venue five times the size of a much-expanded menu. Ultimately, Kellogg’s hope that this venture will help foster the idea of cereal as a meal choice beyond the morning with Millennials and Generation Z consumers, thus helping to drive its retail sales.

Producers of food typically eaten at breakfast need to be aware that consumers may no longer be enjoying your products at the time, or in the way, you assume they are. If your products are still confined to the breakfast table, there may be an opportunity to convince consumers that they are more versatile than they think. All food producers need to keep an eye on how consumption habits may shift next.

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