Drinkable yogurt, eggs & muffins are the fastest growing breakfast foods, Packaged Facts finds

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Drinkable yogurt, eggs & muffins are the fastest growing breakfast foods, Packaged Facts finds
As an iconic breakfast staple, cereal remains a morning favorite – but concerns about sugar are dragging down the category, while demand for protein and convenience are driving sales growth for drinkable yogurt, eggs and, somewhat surprisingly, muffins, according to Packaged Facts.

“Cereal remains the most popular breakfast food”​ in the US with an 87% household penetration pushing retail sales up to $10.96 billion in 2017 – significantly higher than any other major breakfast category, including fresh eggs, which came in second with $5.33 billion in retail sales in 2017, according to Packaged Facts Breakfast Product Trends report, published earlier this summer.

Despite having the highest retail sales of all the breakfast foods covered in the report, cereal sales continue to decline – dropping 1.9% from 2016 to 2017, according to the report. It adds that this trend likely will continue with a projected compound annual growth rate of negative 1.4% through 2022.

“Cereal’s association as a sugary food is also partially responsible for the downturn,”​ prompting manufacturers to focus on improving its nutritional profile and aligning it with better-for-you positioning “however possible,”​ according to the report.

One successful example of how the industry has done this is the exploding popularity of overnight oats “due to blogging, advertising campaigns and Instagram posts promoting the product,”​ according to Packaged Facts.

Cereal manufacturers also still have significant leverage in households with children, which are 12% more likely to buy cold varieties than the average consumers, it adds.

Drinkable yogurt & fresh eggs gain traction

As consumers turn away from cereal, they are embracing convenient, high protein options, including drinkable yogurt and fresh eggs, according to the report.

Retail sales of drinkable yogurt grew faster than any other category in the report at 19.9% from $760 million in 2016 to $911 million in 2017, according to Packaged Facts. It predicts this trend will continue with a projected compound annual growth rate of 12.5% through 2022 to reach $1.64 billion.

“Yogurt and smoothies benefit from alignment as a healthy food as well as being a very convenient breakfast option,”​ according to the report, which notes that 25-34 year old women, Asians and families are the most likely consumers of these products.

Another fast growing breakfast trend is fresh eggs, which Packaged Facts projects will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 10% through 2022 to reach $6.48 billion. This growth may not be surprising given eggs are used in nearly 94% of US homes, or roughly 115 million households.

Just as iconic of a breakfast staple as cereal, eggs also face some potential challenges – mainly a changing tide on egg-white omelets and sandwiches as consumer fear of fat wains and makes yolks acceptable again.

Muffins are the dark horse of breakfast

Muffins’ status in the report as the third fastest growing category projected through 2022 may come as a surprise given its ostensible contradiction with consumer demand for healthier morning options. And yet, sales of muffins grew 9.6% from 2016 to 2017 to reach $1.17 billion and is projected to have a 7% CAGR through 2022, according to Packaged Facts.

Packaged muffins, which skew towards sweet, are most popular among blacks and households with children, according to the report, which estimates usage at about 28.8%.

The category’s convenience as well as better-for-you options launching could be drivers of this growth.