Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s Breakfast feature. Life may be getting busier for many of us in Britain, but as Amy Price at Mintel reminds us, breakfast offers a bit of precious “me-time” before tackling the business of the day and is worth savouring. It’s also a massive opportunity for multiple grocers and the food and drink manufacturers who supply them.

bill-new-greyThe heavyweight marketing investment by breakfast cereal manufacturers over the decades has had an undoubted effect on our breakfast habits, but according to statistics website Statista.com the proportion of British adults saying they rarely have time to eat a “proper breakfast” has decreased slightly in recent years, from 56% in 2005 to 49% in 2015.

A survey published in February for Travelodge reveals that in in the Southern half of the UK and in Wales, people tend to prefer cereal, with different brands having their regional strongholds, but in the Northern half they still like to do things the old fashioned way. Like a cooked breakfast, some of the following statements should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, but here goes… The Travelodge study says the Scots opt for white toast with scrambled egg (what happened to porridge?!); in Yorkshire it’s more likely to be a “full English”; in the North West bacon butties come top; and in the Northeast they traditionally get stuck into sausage stotties, though Wikipedia points out that the supermarket versions may be closer to bread rolls than the authentic baker’s stottie.

According to the Travelodge survey 7.25am is the average time for breakfast, which takes just six and a half minutes to eat. Early risers eat at 6.58, but many Londoners opt for breakfast at their desk typically around at 8.30.

Speaking of which, six in 10 of Brits who have breakfast eat it at home, 20% eat theirs at work and more than 1 in 10 eat on the move.

Coffee is the drink of choice for more than half of the UK’s breakfasters: one in three have tea and one in 10 fruit juice.

Bearing out the six and half minutes average breakfast eating time mentioned earlier, Mintel confirms that convenience is an important factor for the breakfast foods market. In their research almost half of those eating breakfast at home rate how quick foods are to prepare as a factor influencing their final choice. For out-of-home breakfast eaters, being able to eat a product quickly is important to a third of people and being able to do so easily is important to a quarter. The promise of fullness remains a good proposition for new products, with around a third of breakfast eaters looking for breakfast foods that keep them fuller for longer. Enjoy your meal!

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