Research - 11.02.2015 - 00:00 

Hardly any time for breakfast

What do Swiss people eat? What motives control their eating behaviour? And what foodstuffs do they prefer? These are the questions which Prof. Dr. Thomas Rudolph and Melanie Bassett from the Institute of Retail Management (IRM-HSG) asked in a survey. <br/>


10 February 2015. More than 1,000 passers-by were interviewed in twelve locations in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. The result: in comparison with surveys conducted in 2003, 2005 and 2008, consumers are increasingly no longer following a standardised pattern. Time pressure and mobility are making them increasingly dissatisfied with their own diet and with the range of foodstuffs on offer.

Little time for the preparation of meals

As the survey conducted by the HSG researchers shows, a majority of the interviewees want to eat well and healthily. However, work, commuting and leisure activities leave only little room for the careful preparation of meals in everyday life. Thus on average, the interviewees take less time for all their main meals than they did in 2008. The proportion of people who take a maximum of 15 minutes over breakfast rose from 60.2% to 70.7%. People’s satisfaction with their own diet has decreased in comparison with previous years. Only 68.6% of the interviewees indicated that they were satisfied with their own diet (-4.4%). At the same time, they viewed the foodstuffs on offer more critically than they did six years before. Satisfaction with foodstuffs decreased in 13 of the 29 categories examined. The greatest differences were recorded in the categories “fat-reduced food”, “food with additional health benefits” and “alcohol”.

Eating fast on workdays, enjoying food at weekends
Dietary requirements vary from situation to situation. The survey reveals that the interviewees primarily make a distinction between requirements “during the week” and “at the weekend”. Whereas the interviewees predominantly want to eat fast during the week, their culinary enjoyment and personal well-being are particularly important at the weekend and with some of them also in connection with their evening meals in the week. It is evident, however, that people are only rarely guided by one single requirement. More strongly than in 2008, different dietary requirements occur in combinations: usually, the interviewees do not only want to eat fast, but ideally fast, well and healthily.

Eating out is becoming more and more popular

As in previous years, the interviewees increasingly prefer to eat out. People enjoy eating and drinking in a restaurant or having take-aways. Although a majority of interviewees still breakfast at home (69.3%), an increasing number of people have breakfast out (+6.9%). People already primarily have lunch in restaurants (16.1%), canteens/cafeterias (14.8%) or at the workplace (13.2%). With regard to evening meals, the picture is similar to breakfast: evening meals at home are still popular. Nonetheless, more and more people like to eat out (+4.4%).

Photo: Photocase / Design

Discover our special topics