Sunday, October 1, 2023

Why have Americans abandoned their traditional breakfast and what do they eat instead?

Why have Americans abandoned their traditional breakfast and what do they eat instead? Tony the Tiger may not have much reason to wake up with a smile.

American families no longer seem to gather around the breakfast table, eating Frosted Flakes and drinking orange juice. Only 35% of Americans eat this type of traditional breakfast seven days a week, according to a recent study by CivicScience, a consumer analytics platform. About 21% reported eating breakfast four to six times a week, and 20% reported eating breakfast one to three mornings a week.

Additionally, Kellogg Co. A,
which invented Corn Flakes and makes a line of other cereals, including Frosted Flakes and Special K, plans to split into two publicly traded companies in the fourth quarter of this year. Although Kellogg’s started primarily as a cereal company, about 60% of its sales in 2022 came from snacks, such as Pringles, Cheez-It cookies, Pop-Tarts and Rice Krispies Treats.

The company announced last month that its North American cereal operations would be integrated into the new WK Kellogg Co., which will trade under the symbol “KLG.” The remainder of the business will be consolidated into a company called Kellanova which will continue to trade under the current symbol “K.” Analysts see this as an important sign of changing consumer tastes.

“Time-poor consumers are more likely to grab an energy bar or grab a breakfast sandwich on the way to the office.”

What’s going on? Rising food prices could also hurt Americans’ love of traditional breakfasts; General Mills GIS,
prompting Cheerios to lower its full-year profit forecast in June, citing inflationary pressures negatively impacting demand.

General Mills did not respond to a request for comment.

In particular, many cereals seem to gradually lose their appeal. Unit sales of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals fell 3.9% last year and 8.7% in 2021 after rising 5.2% in 2020, according to data compiled by Circana and cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Time-poor consumers, whether working a hybrid schedule or full-time and returning to the office, are more likely to grab an energy bar or grab a breakfast sandwich on the way to the office. “The main trend remains the same: convenience,” said Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist at the Wells Fargo Agri-Food Institute. “People want minimal prep and no cleanup.”

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We also live in a world that is more health conscious than previous generations. Many traditional breakfast cereals contain refined sugar, and unlike the sugar found in fruits and milk, they may lack protein, fiber, fat, and other nutrients. A 1½-cup serving of Corn Flakes contains 4 grams of added sugar and 300 milligrams of sodium.

Kellogg’s did not respond to a request for comment.

Pandemic stress caused high school students to skip breakfast

It is not only cereal consumption that has decreased; some people skip breakfast altogether. Recently, more high school students have been skipping breakfast and eating fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a study based on a report released last April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, three in four US high school students said they consistently skipped breakfast during the last week of 2021. Female students were more likely to report having had skipped breakfast than their male counterparts: Just over 80% of female respondents, compared to 69.9% of male respondents, reported skipping breakfast. Native American, Black, and Latino students were more likely to skip breakfast than their white and Asian counterparts, the CDC found.

The findings concerned CDC researchers, who noted that skipping breakfast was one of the “poor eating behaviors” linked to chronic health conditions and poor mental health..

“It’s not a meal you want to miss,” said Jerlyn Jones, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Atlanta-based private practice Lifestyle Dietitian LLC. Eating breakfast at a good time (about two hours after waking up) is crucial for providing the essential nutrients the body needs after seven to ten hours of sleep, she told CNET.

“This is not a meal you want to miss.”

— Jerlyn Jones, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Skipping breakfast affects the body in several ways. Studies show that leaving home without a good meal can lead to a loss of important nutrients and has a worse impact on diet quality than skipping dinner, according to a study by the Economic Research Service of the Ministry of Health and Agriculture ( ERS). .

Fad diets such as intermittent fasting for weight loss could help people focus and lose weight, scientists suggest, and may be the reason some people report feeling more energetic and more productive before eating breakfast. .

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However, although the body naturally adapts to new eating habits when you skip breakfast, that doesn’t mean it’s a wise decision for everyone, Jones said. People should consult a doctor or dietitian before engaging in intermittent fasting, especially those who are taking medications or have ongoing health problems, Jones added.

Someone who skips breakfast may become accustomed to hunger early in the day and not eat, meaning they won’t get the nutrition their body needs in the morning, or they will starve before lunchtime and then resort to whatever that can satisfy your needs. hunger. Ultimately, they compromise your nutritional needs.

“As far as it goes, your body just craves any type of food,” Jones told CNET. “And it may not be the most nutritious food you can eat.” It’s simply a matter of looking for carbohydrates in their simplest form, like sugar. This can explain, for example, that desire to eat a pastry, a chocolate bar or a packet of salty crisps throughout the day.

Feeling busy and tired even when you have time to prepare breakfast are common reasons why people choose to skip breakfast, in addition to considering skipping a meal as a way to lose weight, Jones said.

Likewise, the stress of the pandemic could also be a contributing factor, CDC researchers said in the April report. During the pandemic, the decline in breakfast consumption among young adults was accompanied by an increase in afternoon and evening snacks based on high-calorie processed foods, according to a research paper published last year. past. Some students may have abandoned healthy foods and turned to unhealthy alternatives as a way to reduce stress after losing daily structure, CDC researchers said.

The rise of breakfast bars and other grab-and-go items

For those who still eat their breakfast, breakfast bars or energy bars are the new hot product for busy people looking for an affordable and quick option to get energy in the morning.

Sales of energy bars in the United States are expected to reach $8.5 billion this year, up from $7 billion in 2020, according to market research firm Mintel.

Conditions such as “inflation, hybrid work schedules and general consumer exhaustion” are what continue to attract consumers to energy bars, said Sydney Olson, senior food and beverage analyst at Mintel, in a recent report on snacks and nutrition. Consumers are not only facing financial constraints, but also general fatigue. Energy bars have become popular because they are relatively cheap and convenient, and consumers view them as “a healthy snack,” according to the report.

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“Energy bar sales in the United States increased from approximately $7 billion in 2020 to a projected $8.5 billion by 2023.”


“Consumers are still eating breakfast, but they appreciate the convenience of bars while they’re on the go,” said Swanson, an agricultural economist at Wells Fargo.

The drop in cereals has also affected milk sales, Swanson added. The dairy industry has seen a significant decline in fluid milk consumption as ready-to-eat cereal products have lost market share to on-the-go bars, he added.

In addition to breakfast bars, people are turning to convenience store breakfast sandwiches, Swanson added.. He noticed that companies were spending more money producing egg patties for breakfast sandwiches.

Although the character of the meal may have changed, most people still eat something in the morning, even if it is not the traditional American breakfast of yesteryear. According to the most recent data from the USDA, about 84% of Americans ages 2 and older surveyed between 2017 and 2020 said they ate at least one item for breakfast. They just don’t do as good a job as nutritionists would like.

The people need Aim for a balanced breakfast, with protein, carbohydrates and a little fat. If you don’t have time in the morning, preparing a meal the night before could help, or breakfast could be as simple as a slice of whole wheat bread spread with peanut butter, Jones said.

Everything we could consider breakfast does not provide enough nutrients to brain and the body functions as it should, he said.

“Unfortunately, in our society we are nutrient deficient,” Jones said. People don’t get enough essential nutrients, such as vitamin D and calcium, either because they skip meals or eat foods that lack adequate nutrients, she added.

“So no, coffee (alone) is not going to work,” Jones said. “We definitely need more than just coffee to help.”

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