Breakfast! Some of us can’t bear to start the day without it – whilst the rest of us simply don’t want anything to eat in the mornings and are quite happy with our favorite cup of coffee instead. But just how many people in the US skip breakfast each morning? And what is the nation’s favorite breakfast option in 2023?
To find out all of this and more, our Kitchen Infinity team conducted a survey of 2,500 US adults alongside an analysis of over 4.9 million breakfast-related Google searches conducted in different states across the country.
In a rush? Here’s a wrap of our main Breakfast statistics of 2023
If you don’t have much time, the last thing you need is us waffling on… so here’s a roundup of our key breakfast facts, figures and statistics for the USA in 2023.
Data from Kitchen Infinity National Survey
- 1 in 5 US adults skip breakfast (20%).
- 80% tend to have breakfast everyday.
- The USA’s favorite breakfast in 2023 is cereal, as 14% of people say this is their preferred choice.
- Eggs are the nation’s second most popular breakfast option, favored by 11% of people.
- Wendy's is America’s favorite restaurant to get breakfast, with an average of 288,000 searches being conducted each month for the term ‘Wendy’s breakfast’.
How many US adults skip breakfast?
Did you know that the old saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” was first coined in the 19th century by James Caleb Jackson and John Harvey Kellogg in order to sell their new creation… the world’s first ever breakfast cereal! But just how important is breakfast to US adults today? And how many of us are happy to go without a meal to set them up for the day ahead?
To find out, we asked 2,500 US adults in February 2023 the following survey question:
Which of the following is your favorite breakfast choice?
- I typically skip breakfast
- Bacon and/or sausages
- Cereal bar
- Donuts or cookies
- Smoked salmon
Our survey found that:
- 1 in 5 (20%) US adults skip breakfast.
- Whereas 80% of the population tend to have breakfast.
Are men or women more likely to skip breakfast?
From not being hungry in the mornings to having too much to do and not getting a chance to stop and have a bite to eat, there are so many reasons why many of us don’t end up having breakfast. But is this more common in men or women?
Our survey conducted in February 2023 revealed that:
- Both men and women are just as likely as one another to skip breakfast.
- 20% of women say they typically don’t have breakfast.
- Whilst 19.5% of men say the same.
Which age group is most likely to go without breakfast?
There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between our gender and likelihood of skipping breakfast – but how does our age impact how likely we are to do so? To find out, we took a closer look at the age breakdowns from our survey and found that:
- More 25-34 year olds skip breakfast than any other age group, as 20.3% of people in this category say they typically go without this meal.
- 45-54 year olds are also some of the most likely to not have breakfast, with 20. 2% saying they tend to skip breakfast, too.
- On the other hand, the age groups most likely to have breakfast are 35-44 year olds and 16-24 year olds.
What is the USA’s favorite breakfast in 2023?
The concept of breakfast looks very different for all of us, whether it’s something quick grabbed on the go or a sit-down family meal that’s never missed. But how much do our food choices differ when it comes to breakfasts? And what is the USA’s most-loved breakfast option?
To find out, we took a closer look at the most popular responses from our survey.
As you can see from the graph:
- Cereal is the nation’s number one choice for breakfast, as 14% of US adults voted for this as their favorite option.
- Eggs are the second most popular breakfast amongst those in the USA, with more than 1 in 10 people (11%) saying their favorite way to start their day is with a scrumptious serving of eggs.
- It seems that many US adults in 2023 are opting for healthier ways to begin their mornings, as an impressive 9% of people say they like to have fruit for breakfast!
- Options such as toast, avocado, yogurt, bagels and omelets also make the top 10 list, alongside foods that take a little longer to cook such as pancakes and bacon/sausages.
Which breakfast items are most popular in each state?
So now we know which breakfast items are the nation’s favorites all in all – but how does this differ state by state? To find out, we analyzed Google search data using the tool Keyword Finder, which allowed us to see which breakfast items are searched most frequently in each US state.
Our list of search terms included toast, fruit, crepes, breakfast burritos, beignets, eggs, pancakes, avocado, bacon, grits and English muffins.
As you can see from the map, search volumes for various breakfast food related search terms differed significantly from state to state. The table below shows which breakfast option is searched-for the most in each US state (as of February 2023):
|State||Breakfast Item||Average monthly searches (for the year ending February 2023)|
|New Mexico||Breakfast burrito||2,400|
|Rhode Island||English muffin||1,300|
*It’s important to note that just because searches are highest in certain areas for a specific breakfast food, this does not necessarily mean it's the most popular option. People may be searching online for those food items to eat at other times of day, not just breakfast, or alternatively may simply be searching online for the food in order to find out more about it, without necessarily having an interest in eating it for breakfast. However, for the purpose of our research, we used these search volumes as an indication of popularity, as many searches may have been looking for inspiration, recipes or places to buy these foods to consume for breakfast.
Eating out: Which US restaurant chains are most popular for their breakfasts?
Grabbing breakfast at your nearest drive-through can often be a life-saver when we’re on the go – whether that’s picking up a McDonald’s breakfast or ordering your favorite pastry alongside a coffee at Starbucks. When we consider cooking statistics, setting time aside to eat out for breakfast or brunch is also a popular choice amongst many of us, with cafes, diners, and numerous restaurant chains making much of their daily income during the AM.
It’s quite clear by the multitude of early-opening restaurants and eateries in the USA that our nation loves to eat out or order out for breakfast. That’s why we decided to do some digging to find out exactly which restaurants are our favorites when it comes to breakfast.
To do this, we analyzed online searches consisting of names of popular restaurant chains followed by the word ‘breakfast’ using the tool Keyword Finder. This revealed that:
- Wendy's is America’s favorite restaurant for the first meal of the day, with the term ‘Wendy’s breakfast’ being searched online approximately 288,000 times a month.
- Mcdonald's breakfast ranks in second place, with a staggering 177,000 monthly searches.
- Followed by Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Hardee's and Burger King.
- Other popular breakfast eateries include Jack In The Box, Whataburger, Starbucks and Carl's Jr.
|Rank||Search term||Average monthly searches in the US (2021-2023)|
|4.||Taco Bell Breakfast||122,000|
|6.||Burger King Breakfast||42,800|
|7.||Jack In The Box Breakfast||22,600|
|10.||Carl's Jr. Breakfast||14,400|
|13.||Del Taco Breakfast||6,100|
|17.||Panera Bread Breakfast||3,400|
|19.||Dairy Queen Breakfast||2,600|
A list of the US’s top 20 places to eat out for breakfast, in terms of monthly online searches
USA School Breakfast Program statistics 2023
The School Breakfast Program operates in over 90,000 schools across the United States, providing children with healthy, nutritious breakfasts for free or at a reduced price before school each morning.
- In 2020, $3.6 billion was spent on the program, providing breakfast for over 12.4 million children with a nutritious breakfast every single school day.
- For SY2022-23, breakfast ranged from $1.73 to $1.80 for students in elementary to highschool
- The School Breakfast Program has been proven to increases academic engagement and achievement amongst children, particularly in math.
- Southern and South Western states have the highest rates of participation in the program
Still hungry for more? Here are some extra sunny side-up breakfast facts and figures of 2023!
- Did you know that the word breakfast literally means to break one’s fasting period from the previous night?
- Various studies have found that children who eat cereal for breakfast to meet their recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals than those who skip breakfast.
- The world record for the most people eating breakfast in bed was achieved in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 30th 2019 when a whopping 574 people tucked in (literally) to their breakfast altogether!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of breakfast statistics, facts and figures for the US in 2023! Whether you’ve learned a thing or two, it’s given you some food for thought (pardon the pun – that’s the last one, we promise) or it’s just made you hungry, why not check out our kitchen inspiration gallery so you can enjoy your next breakfast in your dream surroundings.