According to the 2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report from industry analyst Technomic, consumers are skipping breakfast more often than they were two years ago. Breakfast attitudes have been changing for some time now, and although breakfast foods have become more popular than ever, they are often being consumed at unconventional times throughout the day.

The busy pace of modern life is the primary agent for this shift. The lifestyle change has had more of an effect on breakfast than other meals, as people are looking to start their days quicker with less patience for sit-down meals.

Another factor is consumers’ evolving definition of healthy eating. Fewer consumers believe that skipping breakfast is unhealthy, which has caused them to consider snacks as suitable replacements. Instead of viewing breakfast as a necessity, they view it as extraneous. In fact, Technomic’s report finds that 31 percent of consumers say they consider breakfast to be more of a destination than they did two years ago.

As breakfast has diminished, breakfast foods have become more prevalent. 30 percent of consumers report buying breakfast foods outside of traditional morning hours more now than they did two years ago. Brunch has also become a cultural force, as 40 percent of those surveyed by Technomic claim to eat brunch at least once a week.

Grab-and-go options are becoming a significant portion of breakfast food consumption, and retailers have been wise to jump on that trend.

“Speedy service and craveable grab-and-go options can help operators and suppliers engrain themselves into consumers’ morning routines,” says Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Time also remains a key deterrent to breakfast occasions, so operators will need to push the envelope in terms of convenience. Order-ahead and delivery capabilities are likely to appeal to those who constantly feel short on time in the mornings.”