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    More Morning Consumers Choose Soda

    Soft drink consumption with breakfast eaten outside the home has nearly doubled.

    CHICAGO -- These days, more people are enjoying a chilled morning jolt as they increasingly turn to soft drinks rather than coffee. Consumption of soft drinks with breakfast eaten outside the home has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, while coffee consumption with breakfast outside the home has fallen nearly 25 percent, according to data compiled by New-York based consumer-research firm NPD Group.

    The statistics are specific to drinks with meals and do not, for example, address the Starbucks phenomenon, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    Breakfast consumers order a soft drink with their breakfast 15.1 percent of the time, compared with 7.9 percent of the time in 1990, said Harry Balzer, an NPD executive vice president. At the same time, Balzer said, coffee was being ordered 38 percent of the time, compared with 48.7 percent of the time 15 years ago.

    It probably is not surprising that soft drinks are a growing choice at breakfast considering that nearly half of the U.S. population older than four years of age consumes soft drinks on any given day, according to one study, the newspaper said.

    Consumers are drinking soda for breakfast at home more frequently, too, though not in the same numbers. Balzer said 2.4 percent of the people who ate breakfast at home in 2006 consumed a soft drink with breakfast, compared with 0.5 percent in 1985.

    Most morning consumers prefer fully-sugared regular pop, but morning diet-soda consumption continues to grow. In 2006, 5.3 percent of those eating breakfast away from home had a diet pop, while 9.8 percent had a regular soft drink. Diet pop accompanied 1.7 percent of breakfasts in 1990, according to NPD.

    A typical soft drink contains about 35 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, while a similar size cup of coffee has an average of 75 milligrams, the report said.

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