Morning’s definitely not broken

chazThe breakfast sales opportunity spans eating at home and on the move, and according to research experts Mintel it remains a hugely important category even in our stressed out age, with many people still reckoning it should be their best meal of the day. Which is very good news for local convenience stores and cafés serving people on the go – and you, the wholesalers that supply them.

The word ‘breakfast’ comes from the ancient term for the first food after a religious fast, something people were meant to be thankful for and presumably, expected to eat slowly and appreciate. It’s not like that on weekdays in millions of UK homes these days: breakfast is more like ‘break, and fast!’ when we get chance to grab it, but many of us still like to make up for it at weekends and take longer over the morning meal.

Research from Mintel’s Global Market Navigator for this January’s Farmhouse Breakfast Week revealed that British consumers are still bowled over by breakfast cereal, spending a healthy £28 per head, or £1.8bn between us, on breakfast cereal in 2009, up from £1.7bn in 2008. And it doesn’t stop there. Mintel estimates breakfast will hit £2.2bn by 2014.

During the recession Mintel findings indicate consumers have moved away from buying breakfast from coffee shops or sandwich outlets, opting instead for eating cereals at home or at the office. That said, cereal bars and hot cereals have come through the recession in good shape, worth £310m and £103m respectively.

Mintel reports 87% of UK adults eating cold breakfast cereal at least daily. For the 6% who go further, it’s an easy, quick and nutritious meal substitute that offers a regular core food choice for lunch and tea as well. Ready to eat cereals make up 76% of the UK market, with consumers spending £1.3bn in 2008.

England ate a bitter breakfast of disappointment in the World Cup this summer, but Britain beats its European neighbours in spending on cereal. When it comes to the Big five European countries, Britain is the top breakfast cereal spender, Mintel’s GMN finding that Brits munched their way through an average £28 each as mentioned earlier. Across the channel, France spends just £7 per head on cereal and Spain, Italy and Germany even less at just £5 each.

When we get the chance to have a cooked breakfast, we love them. Bacon is Britain’s nation’s favourite cooked breakfast ingredient, with consumers spending a sizzling £18 per head in the past year alone.

Eggs come second, with Brits spending £10 per head annually, £9 per head on sausages and £5 per head on canned beans.

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