Premier global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition, unveiled findings from its third annual Asia Pacific Breakfast Habits Survey 2021, which revealed that the desire to improve health and well-being was the top reason that motivated Asia Pacific consumers to adopt positive breakfast habits.
30 percent of consumers began eating breakfast more often as a result of the current situation, and half of the respondents who started doing so said they ate breakfast six to seven more days per week.
To understand the impact of the current pandemic on Asia Pacific consumers’ breakfast attitudes and habits as well as the behavior preferences of different demographic groups, Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Breakfast Habits Survey 2021 polled more than 5,500 consumers aged 18 and above across 11 markets – Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Approximately 50 percent of respondents in each market were Generation Zs (aged 18 – 24) or Millennials (aged 25 – 40).
“The pandemic has sparked noticeable changes in the breakfast eating habits of consumers in Asia Pacific,” said Stephen Conchie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific. “With growing awareness of the need for a healthy and nutritious breakfast to support their well-being, many of them – including Generation Zs and Millennials – went from not eating breakfast before, to now consuming breakfast on a daily basis. This marks a step in the right direction to foster positive nutrition habits and lay the foundation for them to lead healthier lives.”
Higher Frequency of Breakfast Consumption More Evident Among Gen Zs, Millennials
Two in five (37 percent) Generation Zs and Millennials in Asia Pacific began eating breakfast more often as a result of the pandemic, higher than the region’s average of 30 percent across all age groups. The change in breakfast habits among Generation Zs and Millennials was particularly evident among those in Thailand (65 percent) and the Philippines (53 percent), with over half of consumers aged 18 to 40 now consuming breakfast more often.
When asked about the reasons for consuming breakfast more often, the top reasons given by Generation Z and Millennials were similar to the average Asia Pacific consumer. These include:
- I want to improve my health and well-being (65 percent)
- I have more time in the morning to prepare breakfast (48 percent)
- I want to use this time at home to make a positive lifestyle change (41 percent)
In addition to increased breakfast frequency, four in 10 Generation Zs and Millennials (41 percent) also started eating healthier breakfasts. This change was more prevalent among those in the Philippines (66 percent), Indonesia (61 percent) and Vietnam (57%). Key changes made by Generation Zs and Millennials to their choice of breakfast include:
- I incorporated more vegetables and fruits into my breakfast (57 percent)
- I made sure I have a nutritionally balanced meal at breakfast (54 percent)
- I drank more water at breakfast (52 percent)
Increased Awareness of the Importance of Nutrition among Asia Pacific Consumers
There is a remarkable increase in recognizing nutrition as an important element of their ideal breakfast among Asia Pacific consumers. When asked about factors that make up an ideal breakfast, respondents selected nutrition as the most important factor (50 percent), followed by quick and easy preparation (16 percent), taste (14 percent), and convenience (14 percent).
In the Asia Pacific Breakfast Habits Survey conducted in 2019 by Herbalife Nutrition, nutrition was of a lower priority to consumers, ranked after taste and convenience.
Asia Pacific Consumers See Value in Consuming a High-Protein Breakfast
When asked about the personal benefits of consuming breakfast, respondents cited having an energy lift in the morning (76 percent), kickstarting their metabolism for the day (49 percent) and helping them to focus better at work or in school (49 percent) as the key advantages.
In addition, the majority of the region’s consumers (73 percent) also saw value in consuming a high-protein breakfast:
- 67 percent said a high-protein breakfast helps keep them fueled until their next meal or snack
- 65 percent shared that it helps to support muscle health
- 53 percent shared that it helps to boost their immunity
Inconvenience is the Top Barrier Preventing Consumers from Eating Healthier Breakfasts
While the majority (74 percent) of respondents believe that it is important to have a healthy breakfast on a daily basis, and intend to consume healthier breakfast options (85 percent), a minority continue to face barriers in making healthy breakfasts a key part of their daily routine.
Among those who do not intend to consume healthier breakfast options, the main reasons were:
- Healthier breakfast options take too long to make (27 percent)
- Healthier breakfast options do not matter to them (25 percent)
- Healthier breakfast options are expensive (23 percent)
When asked about their willingness to spend for their ideal breakfast, the majority were unwilling to spend more than the equivalent of US$5 per meal.
“A healthier breakfast does not necessarily take too long to make,” added Conchie. “There are a wide range of fuss-free breakfast options which include more nutrients, yet are easy and quick to prepare. These will provide consumers with energy to start their day whilst improving overall well-being in the longer term.”