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CHICAGO -- U.S. consumers, from ages two and up, fuel themselves for the day with a variety of eating and drinking occasions from the time they awake in the morning until 11 a.m., according to a recently published morning meal study by The NPD Group, a leading market research firm. NPD's Morning MealScape 2011 study found that 43 percent of these eating and drinking occasions consist of a beverage but no food (for example, a mid-morning coffee), 24 percent a small/mini meal, 21 percent a full/complete meal and 11 percent a snack.
Just over one in three individuals (38 percent) limit themselves to one morning eating or drinking occasion while 41 percent have two or more occasions (for instance, early morning small meal and then a late morning beverage) on a typical morning. The average number of morning drinking or eating occasions per person per day is 1.4, which, based on the population, amounts to an estimated 420 million morning meal occasions per day, or 153 billion occasions per year that include at least one food or beverage, according to the NPD study, which does a deep dive into the situational and attitudinal drivers impacting consumers' morning food and beverage choices.
"Understanding the number of eating and drinking occasions and items helps food manufacturers seize the morning opportunity," said Dori Hickey, director, product management at NPD and author of Morning MealScape 2011. "By developing versatile products and positioning products as both a meal and snack, food companies can meet consumers' varied morning meal needs and maximize sales volume."