The spread of breakfast

by Erica Shaffer
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More consumers eat breakfast at nontraditional times, according to Technomic.
Breakfast foods will expand into non-tradition dayparts, according to Technomic, Inc.

CHICAGO – Consumers are eating breakfast foods — just not at breakfast time, Technomic Inc. said in its 2015 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report. Technomic is a Chicago-based consumer and food industry research firm.

Fueling the trend are quick-service operators such as McDonald’s that offer all-day breakfast programs, and growing consumer interest in eating breakfast foods at nontraditional times. Technomic found that 60 percent of consumers who now buy breakfast away from home more often than they did a year ago also reported cutting back on other daypart purchases as a result.

To capitalize on the trend, Technomic encouraged the food industry to:
 
• Boost breakfast consumption by marketing breakfast items as ideal for snacks. Younger consumers especially are likely to order breakfast for between-meal occasions, which may drive incremental fare between breakfast and dinner.

• Identify top players, such as QSR and C-store operators. QSRs will continue to add more healthful, responsibly sourced fare to attract the health-conscious consumer, while C-stores will continue to expand and improve upon their menus and new, larger-formats.

• Generate menu innovation by adding vegetables, for example. Vegetables in particular show room for growth on breakfast menus, as do other healthful options including seasonal fruit, grains and cereals. 

“Affordable, lighter options and convenient solutions can broaden appeal among consumers who skip breakfast,” said Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “And before offering all-day breakfast, operators must carefully consider the implications. While it can drive traffic and incremental sales between traditional dayparts, it also creates significant operational challenges and can cannibalize sales of higher-priced lunch and dinner items.”

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