With a consumer base that continually changes how, when and what it eats, “the most important meal of the day” is going through an evolution as well. The desire for convenience and flavor customization is stronger than ever while functional ingredients and nontraditional products are gaining ground. Even the time of day is changing, with breakfast food becoming the newest anytime snack. Here’s a look at five breakfast trends we’re tracking.
More and more, convenience and speed are key for consumers in their breakfast choices. Constantly on the go, most breakfast consumers are still going to their pantries for the first meal of the day. Even when pressed for time in the morning 68% of breakfast eaters polled by Instantly said that they usually grab something from home before heading out. And typically what they grab needs to be packed with functional ingredients or having perceived healthy ingredients like ancient grains. Mintel data shows that 38% of cereal consumers say high protein is an important nutritional factor in cereal, while 52% say the same about high fiber. As a result, companies are starting to provide more functional ingredients across the spectrum of breakfast foods—all while keeping portability in mind.
Indian company The Breakfast Box provides convenient on-demand breakfast for its customers, who receive meals delivered when and where they want them. In the first four months of business, the company delivered thousands of nutritionist-approved boxes across Pune city.
Photo Credit: TheBreakfastBox.in
Alternatives to the traditional cold cereal breakfast are taking off. Hot cereal sales have seen a steady increase since 2010 and Mintel forecasts the growth will continue through 2020. This rise can be attributed to the perception that hot cereal is more nutritious and filling than other options. In addition to hot cereal, more consumers are making a breakfast out of yogurt and snack, nutrition and protein bars than ever before. About 38% of yogurt consumers buy it for breakfast, with perceived “higher protein” given as a reason. Over a quarter of consumers polled said that “ideal bar” would replace breakfast. Of those who eat snack, nutrition and/or protein bars, 33% said they look for products that are high in fiber, and 32% said they look for products that are high in protein.
Breakfast isn’t just for the morning hours anymore. More consumers are eating frozen breakfast foods and cereal as a snack or as later meal. According to Mintel, 87% of cereal consumers say cereal can be consumed at any time of the day, and 75% say it makes a great snack. The trend is cross-generational and doesn’t just apply to cereal — a quarter of consumers eat frozen breakfast foods as a snack, while more than one in five eat them for a different meal than breakfast. Technomic sees a similar trend, reporting that 48 percent of consumers enjoy breakfast foods at nontraditional times.
McDonald’s launched all-day breakfast nationwide last October after popular demand. As a result, the company saw U.S. sales rise in the third quarter for the first time in years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
From customizable flavors and add-ins to products evoking a memory, consumers want breakfast food to be personalized. About 29% of cold-cereal eaters want to be able to add ingredients like nuts, fruit and flavor packets to their cereal, and 31% of hot cereal eaters said the same. Consumers not only want something that suits their personal taste, but also their personal experience. Younger cereal consumers still think about brands from their childhood, with 68% of Millennials who eat cereal saying the brands they loved as kids are still their favorite, suggesting a possible interest in classic cereals. But they’re not the only generation craving nostalgic breakfast foods. Feeling the same need are 54%, 44% and 37% of Generation Xers, Baby Boomers and Swing Generation members.
Dole Fruit & Oatmeal Apples & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal includes a fruit packet to mix in. Product claims include being a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
About 68% of chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association cite ethnic-inspired breakfast items as trending for 2016. Items like Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes, are considered “ethnic-inspired” according to the report. In fact, both “ethnic-inspired breakfast items” and “traditional ethnic breakfast items” are included in the top five trends for breakfast overall.
Sources:PRNewswire, Mintel GNPD, Mintel Reports, Mintel Menu Insights, Chicago Tribune, FoodNavigator.com, Restaurant.org, TheBreakfastBox.in, McDonalds.com, blog.generalmills.com, SnydersLance.com
Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way.
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