Fully 43% of morning eating/drinking occasions among Americans age two and up consist of beverages-only, according to a “Morning MealScape 2011” study from The NPD Group.
Coffee accounts for 30% of all instances of morning beverage consumption (including beverages consumed with food). Tap water and milk are the second and third most-popular morning choices.
For the study, NPD surveyed 27,129 U.S. consumers (parents answered on behalf of their children between the ages of two and five), asking them to report on their consumption behavior during the previous day between the time they got up and 11 am.
Nearly a quarter (24%) reported consuming a small or “mini” meal; 21% a full/complete meal, and 11% a snack.
Just over one in three (38%) reported just one morning eating or drinking occasion on a typical morning, while 41% reported two or more.
The average number of morning eating/drinking occasions per person is 1.4. Based on the population, that totals to an estimated 420 million such occasions per day, or 153 billion per year.
“By developing versatile products, and positioning products as both a meal and a snack, food companies can meet consumers’ varied morning meal needs and maximize sales volume,” noted Dori Hickey, NPD director, product management and author of the study, which reports on the situational and attitudinal factors that drive morning food/beverage choices.