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Toast and eggs still top breakfast choices for most Canadians: Survey

Dalhousie University and Caddle dig into Canadians’ morning meal preferences
Jillian Morgan, female, digital editor for Canadian Grocer
traditional breakfast
Fifty seven per cent of respondents said they eat breakfast each day.

When it comes to breakfast, Canadians still prefer the classics: toast, eggs and coffee.

Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab and Caddle surveyed more than 9,000 Canadians in March about their preferences for the first meal of the day.

The survey found that 57% of Canadians eat breakfast each day, and 80% do so at home as opposed to dining out. 

Toast and bagels were the top choice at 41%, followed by eggs and a side of protein like bacon, ham or sausages at 38%.

Cereal and granola came third at 30%, followed by fruits and oatmeal at 23% and yogurt and smoothies at 18.3%. Twelve per cent of Canadians prefer pancakes and waffles, while 11% enjoy pastries and muffins.

Just 6% eat protein shakes or bars for breakfast, with the same percentage preferring leftovers from dinner.

All generations prefer toast and bagels except for the greatest generation, which favours cereals and granola.

Coffee remains the beverage of choice for breakfast, with 53% preferring coffee with breakfast. Water is second at 13%, followed by tea at 11%, juice at 9%, and milk at 8%. 

Even though coffee is the preferred beverage for all generations, baby boomers and the greatest generation are at least twice as likely to prefer having coffee with breakfast than gen Zs.

READ: A look at how Canadians’ coffee habits are evolving

Only 6% of respondents said they never eat breakfast. Among generational groups, gen Z has the highest rate of breakfast skippers at 9% and the lowest rate of daily breakfast consumption at 49%. 

The greatest generation has the highest rate of daily breakfast consumption at 75%, while boomers have the lowest rate of breakfast skippers at 4%.

A total of 11% of Canadians say they eat breakfast at work. Two per cent regularly eat breakfast at a restaurant, with the same percentage choosing to eat breakfast in transit, in a car, or on public transportation.

"Our survey sheds light on the evolving breakfast habits of Canadians. It's fascinating to see how generational differences and regional variations play a role in how people start their day. This data is crucial for understanding consumer behavior and can significantly impact the food industry and policy development,” Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, said in a release.

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