On my morning commute, if I listen to the radio (and I still do most of the time), I’ll invariably hear a spot for McDonald’s pushing some sort of Egg McMuffin.
These days, as the Washington Post reports, even McBreakfast is taking a hit in this economy:
“Typically, if you’re unemployed, you’re not getting up at six and not going through the drive-thru,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, an analyst at Barclays Capital. “There is a direct correlation between unemployment and breakfast sales.”
In the five years before the recession hit, breakfast sales jumped 64 percent, according to NPD Group, a consumer behavior research firm, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry. But traffic slowed as the economy tanked and the ranks of the jobless soared. By the time unemployment hit 10 percent in the fall, breakfast traffic was down 4 percent.
With many economists suggesting that we’re in for a jobless recovery, marketers of all kinds are going to have to readjust their strategies as consumer behavior adjusts. We’ll have to be prepared for any and all of these new realities. There’s real money at stake.