Young adults eat the earliest, at the average time of 7:37am on weekdays and 8:17am on weekends.
Whereas over-65s enjoy their first meal of the day at 8:00am during the week, and 8:40am on Saturdays and Sundays.
This may be explained by almost half of 18-24-year-olds (46 percent) eating as soon as they’re awake, while other age groups do so only when they’re hungry.
The research, commissioned by milk alternative brand, Wunda, also found 43 percent of adults believe breakfast is the most important meal, and over half (52 percent) believe it sets them up for the day.
But while 35 percent of adults believe breakfast is their healthiest meal of the day, this rises to 46 percent of Gen Z.
In comparison, one in five (21 percent) of those polled think lunch is the healthiest, and 15 percent think the same of their evening meal.
A third of adults have changed their morning mealtime habits in the past three years, with 38 percent of them now believing they eat a “healthier” dish, while 34 percent try to eat breakfast every day.
Reasons for these changes include working from home (21 percent), trying the latest trends (23 percent), and going on a “health kick” (19 percent).
Typically, on three days a week, 18-24-year-olds opt for a morning meal that includes plant-based alternatives to milk and meat – more so than any other age group.
And young people regularly buy three different types of milk or alternatives.
Following the findings, Wunda – a milk made from yellow split pea – has teamed up with TV chef Miguel Barclay, to develop new recipes using the dairy alternative.
Miguel Barclay said: “The research shows young people are the biggest adopters of milk alternatives with their breakfast.
“And not only that, they believe they’re eating healthier than any other age group, and they’re more interested in adding nutrition to the start of the day.
“I teamed up with Wunda to create recipes that are tasty, simple, quick, and affordable, and showcase how easy it is to add variety to your meals – without resorting to the same old foods at the back of the pantry.”
The research also found when it comes to dishes of choice, 18-24-year-olds are the biggest consumers of porridge (39 percent) and overnight oats (33 percent).
They are also stereotypically more likely to have avocados (nine percent) and smoothies (eight percent) for breakfast, while 55-64-year-olds settle for cereal (44 percent).
And the top influences when it comes to meal choices include the amount of time people have to prepare and eat breakfast (27 percent), and how healthy they believe the dish is (24 percent).
It also emerged that 18-24-year-olds have been most inspired by friends and family member’s habits (37 percent), as well as health trends (31 percent) and social media crazes (29 percent), more than other age groups.
Similarly, they’re most likely to get breakfast ideas from cafes and restaurants (41 percent), online (38 percent), and recipe books (38 percent).
It also emerged 46 percent of all adults describe their breakfast as healthy.
But 18-24-year-olds are most likely to believe their dish is high in calcium (46 percent) and protein (44 percent).
And 43 percent of the adults polled, via OnePoll, believe they are “health conscious” – including 62 percent of Gen Zs.
The study also found pea milk is the go-to for nine percent of adults with their cereal, and 15 percent with their porridge.
Vasu Read, spokeswoman for Wunda, said: “It’s interesting to discover the trends and differences when it comes to breakfasts for adults.
“Many people might be under the impression young adults are time poor and more likely to skip the first meal of the day, or put less effort into their meals – but this research shows it’s not the case.
“Youngsters are up the earliest, can be health conscious, and would like to prioritise their nutritional needs in the morning.
“We want to showcase that plant-based diets don’t need to come at the compromise of taste or nutrition.”