In its “Breakfast Consumer Trend Report,” Chicago-based research firm Technomic notes that coffee is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ breakfast purchasing decisions. Thirty-three percent of consumers who drink coffee at breakfast say they are loyal to a coffee brand or restaurant that serves their preferred coffee, which is an increase from 25 percent who reported loyalty in 2009, it states.

In addition, the research firm notes that consumers generally place greater importance on convenience and speed of service than price for breakfast, which indicates that consumers are willing to pay more for a morning meal that saves time and fits their daily routine, it notes.

“Breakfast is a very dynamic segment in which consumers are looking for healthier options and place a premium on convenience,” said Darren Tristano, excecutive vice president of Technomic, in a statement. “Our busy lives and weekly routines drive the need for fast, convenient options in the morning. When consumers don’t have convenient options, they’re increasingly bringing breakfast from home to eat elsewhere.”

The firm notes the expansion of breakfast sales in the last few years, but its consumer data shows that the market is not yet saturated.

Technomic estimates that the breakfast segment accounts for 12 percent of the total restaurant industry, generating about $42 billion in annual sales. Breakfast patronage has increased at foodservice locations, particularly fast-food restaurants where 46 percent of consumers now occasionally purchase weekday breakfasts, compared to 33 percent in 2009.