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CHICAGO – Breakfast sandwiches continue their rise in popularity and have replaced bacon on the list of the top 10 foods Americans eat as their morning meal, according to global information researcher The NPD Group.
The current top 10 items Americans consume for breakfast are:
- Coffee – 14.7 percent
- Cold cereal – 13.6 percent
- Fruit juice - 10.5 percent
- Milk – 7.3 percent
- Bread – 6.6 percent
- Eggs – 6.1 percent
- Fruit – 6 percent
- Hot cereal – 3.8 percent
- Tea – 2.5 percent
- Sandwiches – 2.2 percent
"The beauty of the breakfast sandwich is you can get that 1950s breakfast of eggs, toast, cheese and meat all in one and you can walk out the door if you want to. That is key because Americans are eating more breakfast meals in their cars than ever before," stated Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD and author of the annual "Eating Patterns in America" report.
Breakfast sandwiches are frequently purchased on the go, rather than prepared at home. For the year ending November 2012, 46 percent of all breakfasts ordered at restaurants (not counting morning snacks) included a sandwich, according to NPD.
"For breakfast we focus so much on coffee, which was always No. 1, but what has really changed in the America's eating habits is the breakfast sandwich," said Balzer.
In fact, 51 percent of breakfasts purchased in restaurants in 1989 included coffee; in comparison, 42 percent of breakfast meals ordered at restaurants today include coffee.
"When eating out, breakfast sandwiches now rank higher than coffee," added Balzer.
For the year ending November 2012, 46 percent of all breakfasts ordered at restaurants (not counting morning snacks) included a sandwich, according to NPD. That figure includes breakfast sandwiches at 34 percent, breakfast wraps at 7 percent and burgers/other sandwiches at 4 percent.
"Sandwiches are now among the most popular foods at all meal occasions…breakfast, lunch and dinner. To understand the American diet, it is important to understand what sandwiches really give us," Balzer noted.
By comparison, in 1989 only 32 percent of all breakfasts ordered from a restaurant were breakfast sandwiches, including traditional sandwiches ordered for breakfast.
The NPD Group's National Eating Trends (NET) has continuously tracked the eating habits of United States consumers since 1980. Its annual NET sample consists of 2,000 households containing approximately 5,000 individuals, the company said.