Supermarkets Need To Merchandise By Daypart

The Lempert Report
May 19, 2017

A new sales opportunity for your supermarket? Study discusses the diet differences between Early birds and Night Owls.

A new study led by Mirkka Maukonen, of the National Institute for Health and Welfare at the Department of Public Health Solutions in Helsinki, found that “morning people” tend to have a healthier diet. 

For supermarkets it is a wake up call that says sure you can sell those sugar frosted donuts, danish and egg, bacon and cheese sandwiches next to your coffee bars, but you may be losing out on a growing market that want healthier to-go or eat in breakfast offerings and want to come to your store earlier – when you are not as busy and underscores a new sales opportunity. 

Published in Obesity, the research reports that “morning type” people may be healthier than “evening type” people, and is the first study of its kind to look at if a person’s circadian or biological clock rhythm (chronotype) affected what they ate, and at what time. 

Their results showed clear difference between the two different chronotypes of morning and evening people, with the team finding that not only did morning people eat earlier in the day than evening people; they also made healthier food choices throughout the rest of the day. Evening people do not make good food choices, and ate more sucrose, a type of sugar, in the morning and ate more sucrose, fat and saturated fatty acids in the evening. They also ate less protein overall. 

 “Linking what and when people eat to their biological clock type provides a fresh perspective on why certain people are more likely to make unhealthy food decisions,” adds Courtney Peterson, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Early birds may have an extra advantage over night owls when it comes to fighting obesity as they are instinctively choosing to eat healthier foods earlier in the day.”