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Work gets in the way of breakfast

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More and more of us are skipping breakfast or eating it at work, according to ‘Future Breakfast Solutions’, a new report published by Datamonitor for Reuters Business Insight.

Office canteens are the big growth area in the breakfast market as employers are increasingly keen to encourage employees to arrive at work early, while retailers are pushing premium priced on-the-go breakfast options to busy workers. It’s not just workers that are being targeted: children are being heavily targeted with processed options that satisfy parental convenience and excite children.

Meanwhile the traditional fry-up is being pushed even further of the menu. Over the last few years it became the reserve of the weekend indulgence, and even there it is being squeezed out by American-style options such as
muffins, smoothies and waffles.

A variety of factors such as increased labour mobility and longer working hours ensure that consumers do not have sufficient time in the morning to prepare and enjoy a traditional breakfast. The need for cash-rich time-poor consumers to eat on-the-go and in the office has led to social rules becoming more liberal, and consumers no longer feel embarrassed to eat in public places or in front of work mates in the office. As large breakfasts at home are becoming less common, with consumers instead opting to wake up later or get to work earlier, the breakfast occasion is deconstructed into a series of snacking opportunities, almost certainly featuring bakery products and confectionery that are eaten in the workplace.

However, cereals remain the mainstream breakfast option accounting for about a quarter of total breakfast spending in the UK, with consumption of cereal bars growing.

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