Kid breakfast items remain constant over decades, report

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Percent, Breakfast

Breakfast products that are quick and easy to prepare remain the
most popular items chosen by moms with young children, revealing
that certain trends withstand time, according to the NPD Group.

The market researcher last week released information from its annual Eating Patterns in America​ report, which revealed that the top ten breakfast foods given to kids under six today are virtually the same as they were six years ago. Cold cereal, a glass of milk and fruit juice remain the most popular products, indicating that foods that are quick and easy to prepare continue to take top priority, regardless of lifestyle differences over time. "New moms today are asking the same question their moms asked when deciding what to feed the kids, 'What is the easiest way to get this job done?' Often times, it's the way their mom did it,"​ said Harry Balzer, NPD vice president of and author of the Eating Patterns in America​ report. Currently in its 22nd year, the annual report tracks the daily consumption habits of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and compiles data from more than 40 research efforts conducted by NPD. Data for the current report was gathered during the 12 months ending February 2007. Other products in the top ten list both today and 20 years ago are toast, eggs, pancakes, fruit, hot cereal and bacon. The one change in the list is the appearance of waffles today, which has pushed out fruit drinks from the top ten list. According to NPD, the foods served today appear to be driven by convenience and portability. As a result, the classic bacon and eggs breakfasts are being made less often for young kids today. Only 19 percent of parents gave their children bacon in the period from 2005-2007, compared to 25 percent in 1985-1987. Eggs are served by 44 percent of parents today compared to 56 percent two decades ago. Other foods that have reduced popularity are toast (20 percent down), juice (9 percent down) and English Muffins (5 percent down). Foods that have become more popular today compared to 20 years ago are waffles (served by 36 percent of parents compared to 17 percent), yogurt (17 percent compared to 2 percent), toaster pastries (17 percent compared to 5 percent), bars (10 percent compared to 2 percent), and fruit (40 percent compared to 33 percent). "Based on what we've seen over the past 20 years, it is pretty clear what kids will be eating for breakfast in the year 2027,"​ said Balzer. A report published last year by NPD found taste preference and familiarity to be the most important drivers behind peoples' breakfast choices, factors found to be even more important than convenience when it comes to morning meal and snack choices. Almost half of the consumers surveyed said they chose particular breakfast items because it was part of their routine. The same number of respondents said they chose to eat items that were their favorites.

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