Breakfast news A bowlful of the big facts and figures about Britain’s breakfast habits

People who eat breakfast are slimmer because they tend to eat less during the day, particularly high-calorie snacks. That’s the counter-intuitive conclusion from NHS England, leading off our roundup of the published research into breakfast time facts.

Mintel, the research experts, maintain breakfast is an almost universal occasion in the UK. While 55% of us eat it at home every day, almost half (49%) sometimes have breakfast out of home, with 28% doing so once a week or more. The cost of eating out of home is seen as the main deterrent to more frequent uptake: almost seven in ten (68%) people who eat breakfast say it is too expensive to do often and the low cost of in-home breakfast options remains a key selling point.

Royal DSM’s survey of consumers in Europe and the US showed three in four consumers spend five minutes a day or more fixing and eating breakfast. 69% choose healthy foods over cheap foods: during the week 40% choose bread, while 25% have cereal. At the weekend the picture changes, with 20% of breakfasters opting for pancakes and waffles and 18% eating croissants and pastries.

Attest’s 2017 survey of 250 UK consumers found 60% had skipped breakfast at least once in the last 7 days. 71% of under 21’s had done so at least once in the last week. 21- 30’s pass on breakfast slightly less than the national average, and just 31% of over 50s miss out on their morning meal. Skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent among females under 21, with 81% having gone without at least once in the last week.

Cereal remains the nation’s goto choice for breakfast with 38% of respondents saying it is their typical weekday breakfast according to Attest. This was followed by toast or bagels, and then fruit as the third most popular choice for breakfast. We can see another generational shift in the results, with under 21s much less likely to eat cereal (28%) versus the national average. They’re more likely to be opting for toast, eggs or a cooked breakfast. Cereal is most popular amongst those in full-time employment, probably due to its ease and speed before heading out the door every morning.

Of those who enjoy a full English or cooked breakfast most mornings, Attest say they’re most likely to be males at 65% versus 35% females, and young, with half under 24. Many Brits plan ahead, with the majority of the UK still typically buying their breakfast in their weekly grocery shop (59%). People aged 50 and over are far more likely to buy their breakfast during the weekly shop, at 81%.

Women are 16% more likely to buy their breakfast like this than males: those working in London are much more likely to eat breakfast out at 25% versus the national average of 13%. Across the UK, men are more likely than women to grab their breakfast from a local convenience store at 22% versus 10% of females.