Breakfast The Foodservice Daypart to Rule Them All
By Dwayne Reno
It comes as no surprise that the breakfast daypart seems to have conquered the foodservices industry with all-day breakfast now being served at many fast food and full-service restaurant (FSR) locations across North America. The added exposure on the breakfast daypart is also helping to create new foodservice trends such as the resurgence of the breakfast sandwich, a protein rich meal on the go. In this article I would like to discuss why the breakfast daypart has been so popular and share some breakfast innovations that are helping to transform the increasing popular foodservice daypart.
Breakfast Items for Lunch and Dinner?
The Breakfast daypart has been riding high in recent years; the meal your mom told you to never skip is now creating all kinds of waves within the foodservices industry. The popularity of breakfast seems to be tied to the increasing consumption of protein rich foods and snacking occasions among millennial consumers. However, on the other hand cereal manufactures can’t seem to catch a “break” as sales for the top cereal brands continue to slip. This could be because most millennials prefer to eat on the go. The NPD Group finds that young adults skip twice as many breakfast meals compared to older Americans. Also when they do eat breakfast in the morning it seems to be more of a potable snack such as a yogurt, breakfast bar or a smoothie, gone are the days of sitting down to have breakfast as a new generations seems to be changing the way we view the traditional daypart.
Darren Seifer of the research firm NPD Group said in an interview, “young adults are big on protein-rich foods. They may not eat breakfast every day, but when they do, we are seeing a greater number of younger consumers consuming eggs in the morning," he says. And based on NPD's modeling, this trend is set to accelerate, he also added.
Cue the Breakfast Sandwich Craze
Snacking on the go has caught the attention of the large chain operators who are now trying to capitalize off millennial’s love for protein rich foods that can be eaten on the go. This can be seen in the resurgence of the breakfast sandwich, many of which are now being sold on all-day breakfast menus across Canada and the United States. 680 NEWS business editor, Richard Southern stated in a 2017 article that all-day breakfast is a big hit in Canada since McDonald's and A&W both launched their all-day breakfast menus in February 2017. The article goes on to state that:
Also, a recent article written by the Canadian Press titled, Ova the top: Breakfast sandwich popularity fuels higher demand for Manitoba eggs, stated that "the rising popularity of the breakfast sandwich has been fueling the demand for eggs from the province of Manitoba". In the article the group Manitoba Egg Farmers stated that, “retail egg sales have increased 30 per cent over the last 11 years and rose 5.5 per cent over a recent 52-week period.”
Foodservice analyst Robert Carter of NPD Group in Toronto also stated in the same article that, “When we look at the consumption of breakfast sandwiches through the restaurant channel over the last five to seven years, the growth has been very steady year over year”. Carter also said, "egg producers can thank the breakfast sandwich for most of the increase".
Recently Canadian coffee and donut chain, Tim Hortons took the breakfast sandwich craze to a whole new level with the one day launch of their Honey Dipped Donut Breakfast Sandwich. The one day only menu item was a combination of a breakfast sandwich and a sweet honey glazed donut. The Canadian chain did not release any sales figures but the one day promotion took place on National Donut Day, June 1, 2018, and shows that chain operators are still using innovative breakfast item mashups as a valid way to generate sales, HERE.
Menu Innovations are Changing What You Eat for Breakfast
A new report by Package Facts stated that, “adults who agree that breakfast is the most important meal a the day has notched down somewhat from 57% in 2007 to 52% in 2017,” however the report also stated that “breakfast still beats the pancakes out of lunch (18%) or dinner (19%) by this measure”.
The all-day breakfast trend has given new life to the breakfast daypart as foodservice operators scramble to innovate the next hot breakfast menu item. Recently, a press release by research firm Package Facts highlighted the importance of eggs and the growing breakfast daypart. The report highlights nine ways eggs are being reinvented on menus to help drive the popularity of the breakfast daypart within foodservice and restaurants in the U.S. Here are a few examples from the press release:
The release shows that breakfast is no longer limited to the traditional eggs, bacon and toast we all love; as changing consumer tastes and habits are pushing the breakfast menu into parts unknown, HERE.
Innovative foodservice operators with the help of ethnic flavors and recipes are reinventing breakfast into tasty menu items such as Asian heritage bao, breakfast versions of banh mi, and congee; spicy Mexican chilaquiles and migas; Italian-style fritatas; and Middle Eastern shakshuka, according to Packaged Facts. There are also specialty functional juices, signature breakfast sausage sandwiches, and fruit/grain food bowls to quell thirst or hunger any time of day or night, HERE.
Millennials are also being lured in by new breakfast only popups, restaurants, cafes and boutique locations that caters to the millennial's kid at heart. Ferrero, (the maker of Nutella) recently announced it will be opening a second Nutella Cafe in New York, by the end of 2018. the Nutella Cafe New York will feature a Nutella-inspired cafe menu and specialty espresso beverages. The first Nutella Cafe opened on May 31, 2017 in Chicago, HERE. Also, in April 2018, Nespresso announced the grand opening of a new coffee boutique in Vancouver. The boutique aims to continue Nespresso's tradition of offering exceptional quality products to coffee lovers, HERE. These locations are just a few examples of how food and beverage manufactures are also getting in on the breakfast craze by innovating new ways for consumers to interact with their products.
Can Breakfast Help Your Foodservice Business?
Breakfast ingredients can be bought fresh and made into beautiful from scratch dishes fairly easily and with little or no increase in your labour or food costs. This makes the breakfast daypart a great addition to any foodservice menu. However, operators wanting to add an all-day breakfast menu should keep in mind that breakfast shouldn’t be limited to just eggs, bacon and toast. A successful all-day breakfast menu will feature items that can be eaten on the go and can easily transfer through the other 3 dayparts. If executed correctly an all-day breakfast menu can help to create opportunity for foodservice operators who are looking to increase average cheque sizes or drive foot traffic, even if it's just for one day as demonstrated by Tim Horton's breakfast sandwich and donut mashup.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe so give them the goods!
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
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