Global nutrition company Herbalife Nutrition recently released findings from its “Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey 2019”. Conducted in March 2019 with 5,500 respondents in 11 markets - Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam - the survey revealed that while the majority of Asia Pacific consumers understand the benefits of a healthy breakfast, and desire to consume healthier breakfasts, 67% still make breakfast decisions based on convenience, ahead of health benefits (43%) and nutritional value (33%).
The Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey 2019 builds upon the original study conducted in 2018, which looked at consumers' attitudes and habits towards breakfast. This year, the survey uncovered the typical local breakfast combinations that consumers opt for, the factors influencing these decisions, as well as their views of what makes up a healthier breakfast combination.
"It is widely understood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting each day with a healthy breakfast supports metabolism, muscle health, and long-term weight management. With this in mind, it is essential that consumers make informed decisions to kickstart their day with the right nutrients," said Stephen Conchie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Herbalife Nutrition.
Coffee and eggs -- the typical breakfast combination for APAC consumers
When asked about the breakfast choices that Asia Pacific consumers would typically go for, the survey revealed "coffee and eggs" as the most popular breakfast combination for consumers in Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand. The only exceptions were Hong Kong and Indonesia where "tea and eggs" took the top spot, and in Vietnam where "coffee and bread bun" was voted the top breakfast combination. On average, APAC consumers said that they consume their typical breakfast combination 16 times each month, equating to around once every two days.
Convenience -- the top influencing factor for consumers' choice of breakfast
On the reasons that influenced their typical breakfast choices, APAC consumers highlighted the following as their top five considerations:
- Convenience (67%)
- Tastiness (47%)
- Cost-effectiveness (44%)
- Healthy (43%)
- Nutritious (33%)
With convenience being the key consideration factor in their choice of breakfast, majority of consumers also chose the most convenient way to get their typical breakfast ready:
- 51% said they would prepare the breakfast from scratch at home
- 22% would purchase it from a nearby eatery
- 18% would prepare it using processed food at home
When it comes to their preferred location to consume breakfast:
- 70% prefer to consume breakfast at home
- 11% prefer to consume it at a nearby eatery
- 10% would consume it at work
- 6% would consume it on-the-go
APAC consumers divided over healthier breakfast choices
When asked about what they would consider as a healthier breakfast combination, the views of APAC consumers' were divided. In Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, milk was considered a healthier beverage option compared to coffee; in Hong Kong and Taiwan, soy milk was considered a healthier option; while in Malaysia and Singapore, tea was considered healthier.
The top healthier breakfast combination in each of the APAC markets are:
- Milk and eggs - Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
- Plain water and fruits - Australia
- Soy milk and cereal - Hong Kong
- Milk and plain toast - Japan
- Plain water and rice - Korea
- Tea and eggs - Malaysia
- Tea and oatmeal - Singapore
- Soy milk and eggs - Taiwan
The diversity of responses shows that Asia Pacific consumers may not be fully aware of the ideal nutritional make-up for breakfast. While the "plain water and fruits" combination selected by consumers in Australia is high in fiber and vitamin content, there is a noticeable lack of protein, which when consumed in appropriate amounts at breakfast, supports metabolism, muscle health, and weight management. Additionally, the healthier breakfast option selected by consumers in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan are lacking significantly in fiber.
APAC consumers desire healthier breakfasts
Despite the lack of widespread understanding on the ideal nutritional composition for a healthy breakfast, 82% of APAC consumers said that they desire to consume healthier breakfasts, with over nine in 10 consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam wanting to do so. However, the lack of time (62%), amount of effort required (31%) and inconvenience (31%) remained as key obstacles that prevent them from doing so.
"There is no doubt that Asia Pacific consumers want their breakfast to be healthy, tasty, convenient and cost-effective all at the same time. For us at Herbalife Nutrition, we've invested in new products while continually improving on our current products such as the Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1, to make it really easy for consumers to prepare a tasty, nutritious, healthy breakfast every day," added Conchie.