Bacon makes a breakthrough

by Joel Crews
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Quick service chains like McDonald's are moving to all-day breakfast, fueling shipments of bacon.

CHICAGO – Based on a new report from The NPD Group, it should come as no surprise that chains such as McDonald’s, White Castle, Jack in the Box and Golden Corral are shifting to breakfast-anytime menus. For the year ending June 2015, breakfast and morning meal visits at foodservice outlets increased by 5 percent versus 2 percent growth during the same period the previous year. According to NPD’s CREST research findings, quick-service and retail foodservice fueled most of the growth as shipments of bacon, eggs and pancakes from broadline distributors to their customers.

NPD reported that while grab-and-go style products, including breakfast sandwiches, showed healthy sales increases, non-portable items, including pancakes also grew substantially.

According to NPD’s SupplyTrack, distributors reported a 7 percent increase in case shipments of bacon to their foodservice customers as of the year-ending June 2015. Meanwhile, shipments of eggs and pancakes each posted increases of 5 percent, NPD indicated.

“Growth at the breakfast daypart has been good for the foodservice industry and also led to an increase in distributor sales within key breakfast operator segments,” says Annie Roberts, vice president of NPD’s SupplyTrack. “As breakfast traffic continues to grow, competition in the breakfast space will require distributors, manufacturers, and operators to become innovative in providing quality and value at breakfast.”

Leading the surge for breakfast diners, bacon ordered at restaurants and foodservice outlets accounted for 1.1 billion servings during the year, representing a 2 percent increase this year compared to a 6 percent increase in the prior year, ending in June 2014. Orders of pancakes, on the other hand jumped 7 percent to 816 million servings in 2015 while breakfast sandwich servings increased by 3 percent, or a total of 3.6 billion servings, which NPD categorized as flat growth.

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