Breakfast Sandwiches Gain Momentum Among Consumers

Sandwiches now rank among the top 10 breakfast items Americans consume.

Reflecting consumers’ fast-paced lifestyles, breakfast sandwiches now rank among the top 10 items Americans eat for breakfast, according to research from the NPD Group. In fact, when consumers order breakfast away from the home, sandwiches now rank higher than coffee, according to the NPD Group.

“The beauty of the breakfast sandwich is that you can get that 1950’s 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,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD and author of the annual Eating Patterns in America. “For breakfast we focus so much on coffee, which was always number one, but what has really changed in the America’s eating habits is the breakfast sandwich.”

For the year ending November 2012, 46 percent of all breakfasts, excluding morning snacks, ordered at a restaurant include a sandwich. That number includes breakfast sandwiches (34 percent) breakfast wraps (7 percent) and burgers/other sandwiches (4 percent), according to The NPD Group. By comparison, 42 percent of all breakfast meals ordered at restaurants include coffee

In 1989, 23 percent of all breakfasts ordered from a restaurant included a breakfast sandwich, according to the NPD Group. By comparison, coffee is shrinking as a share of breakfast; 51 percent of breakfasts purchased at restaurants in 1989 included coffee.

Here is The NPD Group’s list of the top ten items Americans consume for breakfast:

  1. Coffee – 14.7%
  2. Cold Cereal – 13.6%
  3. Fruit Juice – 10.5%
  4. Milk – 7.3%
  5. Bread – 6.6%
  6. Eggs – 6.1%
  7. Fruit – 6.1%
  8. Hot Cereal – 3.8%
  9. Tea – 2.5%
  10. Sandwiches – 2.2%