CHICAGO — Dec. 14, 2023 Continuing its cross-channel analysis to gain the most robust Complete Consumer™ insights, Circana™, a leading advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior, today released new findings on morning tradeoffs happening across consumer packaged goods (CPG) and foodservice purchases. The latest insights highlight consistent growth in commercial restaurant visits for morning meals (+4% in the last 12 months), driven primarily by Tuesday to Thursday visits, when people are most likely to be commuting to the office.

The key driver of this restaurant growth, the heavy restaurant breakfast buyer, accounts for only 20% of U.S. shoppers, but makes up nearly 60% of restaurant breakfast sales. Typically, older male consumers (aged 45-54) with a higher income ($100K+ yearly household income) are the heavy restaurant breakfast buyers, and they spend five times more on restaurant breakfasts than the average consumer and often seek out caffeinated beverages and convenient, on-the-go breakfast items. Although this cohort is driving commercial restaurant traffic and sales, with a lean toward a household size of five or more people, their spending on CPG breakfast foods remains in line with other consumers. Their CPG preferences also mimic their restaurant purchases, favoring ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee, and grab-and-go items like pastries, donuts, and bakery items.

“In-store CPG sales and restaurant purchases are highly intertwined, and viewing each separately prevents a full comprehension of consumer behaviors, and limits the ability to address consumer needs,” said Patty Altman, executive vice president, Consumer and Shopper Insights, Circana. “Understanding the interaction between these purchases is critical to determine how each impacts the other. Circana stands out as the only provider capable of seamlessly integrating the extensive scope of our foodservice offerings with our robust CPG perspective into a unified and unparalleled solution.”

While younger consumers (aged 18-24) purchase fewer restaurant breakfasts each year than any other age cohort, they have increased breakfast visits since last year. Heavy restaurant breakfast buyers presumably use restaurant breakfasts as a way to treat themselves on their way to the office during the week, stopping at gourmet coffee and tea chains, whereas younger consumers are still looking to treat themselves, ordering specialty iced and blended drinks, but gravitating toward lower-price channels, such as quick-service burgers.

“As gourmet coffee players continue to add locations, up 8% versus a year ago, we are seeing long-term implications and growth opportunities emerge for CPG retailers and brands based on our Complete Consumer insights,” said Tim Fires, president, Foodservice, Circana. “The opportunity to capture the heavy restaurant breakfast buyer in-store and deliver on their needs is through RTD specialty caffeinated drinks, with formats and flavors that are available in restaurants, along with convenient grab-and-go breakfast items like donuts, pastries and baked goods that don’t require utensils.” For more information about Circana’s industry-leading data, analytics, and foodservice and CPG expertise, please visit

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