One in four Irish people have recently changed their breakfast choice for health reasons — as it remains the most popular meal of the day.

According to research from Bord Bia, nine out of 10 people have breakfast. The rises slightly again at the weekends.

The research found the most important consideration for people at breakfast time was health and most (87%) ate breakfast at home as opposed to the office.

One in four (23%) have recently changed their choices for health reasons. A reported 44% claimed to be cutting back on sugar, while 13% of people are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

Half of all breakfasts in Ireland are eaten between 8am and 10am. On average, we spend 13.6 minutes on our breakfast during the week and 16.3 minutes at the weekend.

Bread and toast tops the survey as the favourite midweek breakfast for one third (33%). This is followed by porridge (25%), cereals (19%), eggs (18%), and fruit (17%) respectively.

Tea is the preferred drink at home, with nearly half (44%) drinking it during the week, while another 28% drink coffee. Water and fruit juice follow behind at 12% and 9% respectively while only 4% of people drink a fruit smoothie they have made themselves.

Breakfast time is also a time to multi-task.

The research found 41% of people check emails and social media while eating breakfast.

Over 20% of people use the time to also take daily vitamins, watch TV, finish household chores and get their children out of bed and ready.

Half those surveyed will never miss breakfast while those that never or rarely eat breakfast are likely to be single and young settlers (aged 21 to 29).

Commenting on the research, Bord Bia consumer insight manager Paula Donoghue said that Irish people were increasingly looking for healthy, low-cost, and easy to prepare breakfast.

“People are looking for ‘permissible pleasures’ that make it easier for them to cut down on certain foods such as a healthier variant of their favourites such as turkey rashers instead of traditional pork rashers,” she said.

“We also found many parents in our breakfast club were concerned about the level of sugar and salt in their kids’ preferred cereals but were stuck between giving them what is best and what they will eat.

“Many claim that they would like to see more low sugar and salt options which would ease their concerns and still be attractive to children.”

Meanwhile, the second annual SuperValu Home Truths II Report revealed the country was in danger of becoming a fast-food nation.

The survey found that 71% of adults under 34 admit to having a takeaway at home at least once a week, with 50% eating at least one meal from a fast food restaurant weekly.

The findings compares to just 42% of those over 45, who have at least one takeaway at home per week and 20% eating weekly in a fast food restaurant.


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