Technomic finds ample growth opportunities for restaurants serving the first daypart.
While breakfast sales have grown steadily for restaurants, retailers and suppliers over the past few years, consumer data shows that the market is not yet saturated and there are still plenty of opportunities within this category. Technomic estimates the breakfast segment accounts for 12% of the total restaurant industry, generating around $42 billion in annual sales.
Breakfast patronage is up at foodservice locations, particularly fast-food restaurants, where 46% of 1,500 consumers surveyed now occasionally purchase weekday breakfasts compared to just 33% in 2009.
“Breakfast is a very dynamic segment in which consumers are looking for healthier options and place a premium on convenience,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Chicago-based Technomic. “Our busy lives and weekly routines drive the need for fast, convenient options in the morning. When consumers don’t have convenient options, they’re increasingly bringing breakfast from home to eat elsewhere.”
Interesting findings in Technomic’s “Breakfast Consumer Trend Report” include:
- Consumers generally place greater importance on convenience and speed of service than price for breakfast occasions, indicating that consumers are willing to pay more for a morning meal that saves time and fits their daily routine. About 75% of consumers surveyed agree that a convenient location is important when purchasing a breakfast item from a restaurant or other foodservice location during the week.
- Coffee is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ breakfast-purchasing decision: 33% of consumers who drink coffee at breakfast indicate they are loyal to a coffee brand or restaurant that serves their preferred coffee, up from just 25% of consumers who said the same in 2009.
- Consumers say full-service restaurants excel at providing kids’ options, and signal opportunities for full-service-restaurant operators to boost breakfast sales through portable breakfast options.
- Over the past two years, limited-service restaurants have added more than 230 new breakfast items, illustrating that breakfast remains a growth category for limited-service operators.
- Health is a top trend to watch. Beyond lowfat/nonfat ingredients, whole grains and multigrain items are a way to signal health. Oatmeal is booming and will continue to be prevalent on breakfast menus.
Photo: Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict served at Wild Eggs, Louisville, Ky., is a top-seller.