New Kellogg Company Survey Explores Breakfast Behaviors in America
Results Show Gap between Consumers’ Goals, Actions

Protein, fiber and whole grains are at the top of Americans’ wish lists for a nutritious morning meal, according to new research from Kellogg Company.  A breakfast of cereal and one cup of milk can provide these key attributes; however, the recent survey of public perceptions of breakfast and breakfast cereal revealed interesting—and often contradictory—results.

“What we found can best be summarized as follows: People say they want this, but they do that. They want to eat breakfast, but they often don’t. They want a convenient breakfast, but don’t choose cereal and milk—one of the most convenient and nutritious breakfasts available,” said Lisa Sanders, director, global nutrition & scientific affairs at Kellogg.

“Some consumers skip breakfast to watch their weight, even though numerous studies have shown that people who start the day with a cereal breakfast tend to weigh less. And consumers say they want protein and fiber, but don’t always think cereal and milk can provide these key nutrients.”

The survey of 1,000 consumers across the nation was fielded to explore attitudes about breakfast, as well as actual breakfast habits.

According to the study, 56% of people would prefer to eat breakfast every day, but only 42% actually do. A lack of time and lack of appetite are the top reasons cited for why consumers choose not to eat breakfast in the mornings.

Whether discussing morning meal habits or nutrition, the survey showed a clear disconnect between what consumers want from breakfast and how they actually make breakfast choices. For example:

Convenience:

  • More than half of consumers say they’re too busy to eat breakfast, but more than 75% of consumers identify cereal as a quick and convenient breakfast option. Cereal is especially convenient for families with children – no matter your age, almost everyone can “make” a bowl of cereal.

Nutrition:

  • 45% of respondents cite cereal being less nutritious as a reason why they eat it less often. However, cereal and a cup of nonfat milk for breakfast is a great low-calorie, nutrient dense option, and can contain all five of the nutrients that the survey showed consumers consider most important in breakfast: protein, fiber, whole grains, calcium and Vitamin D.

Sanders shared that the survey helps the company address consumer needs.  “These results make it clear that there is a need for increased consumer education about the importance of breakfast – especially about how a cereal and milk breakfast, with its mix of nutrients, affordability, convenience and taste, can help start the day right.”

“We are dedicated to making sure consumers have the right nutrition information so they can make informed choices about what they and their families eat,” Sanders said. Kellogg provides education materials through its websites as well as through on-pack labels and by engaging with consumer groups and health care professionals.