Why Tim Hortons and McDonald’s love go-go Gen Ys

David  April 23, 2012

The Toronto Star
Published On Mon Apr 16 2012
By: Francine Kopun

More Canadians – especially Gen Y, or Millennials – are grabbing breakfast on the go, according to research from The NPD Group Inc.

People aged 19-35 skip the family kitchen at breakfast and rely on quick-service-restaurants (QSRs) like McDonald’s and Tim Hortons to kick start their days.

It’s part of a larger trend: Six years ago, breakfast was the #1 skipped meal in Canada, according to Robert Carter, executive director of foodservice at The NPD Group.

Now it’s lunch. The average Canadian skips lunch 44 times a year.

Millennials are the group driving the growth in breakfast sales and they are likely to fuel it for years to come. Within the next five years, breakfast servings are expected to increase by more than 11-million among Millennials, says Carter.

The catch is that they will be looking for healthy breakfast options.

“Right now convenience is king, but as the Millennial population ages, the levels of concern regarding food and nutrition are expected to rise,” according to Carter.

He predicts a rise in demand for breakfast items that are lower in calories and can be eaten on the run.

The breakfast trend has fueled a 14 per cent increase in QSR breakfast sales in the past year, according to the study, A Look into the Future of Foodservice.

The survey also found that while breakfast cheques at restaurants have increased, supper cheques have dropped.

“If you go out to breakfast, there’s a good chance you won’t go out at supper,” says Carter. “People are managing their spend.”

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