Trendsights: Powering the Day & Bottom Line With Breakfast
U.S. consumers have fully embraced the age-old wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The breakfast occasion, whether coming from home or away, is a stable part of our routine 310 days per year. We’re skipping fewer breakfasts than we did a decade ago, and with younger consumers like Gen Zs and millennials embracing breakfast, we forecast the occasion to grow by 10 percent over the next several years.
Breakfast is also the only foodservice daypart that has consistently grown, and not only do consumers enjoy breakfast foods in the morning, but they also like them all throughout the day. Suffice it to say, we like breakfast.
Consider these numbers:
- Visits to convenience stores at breakfast and AM snack time increased by 3 percent in the year ending June 2017 compared to same period a year ago, according to NPD’s CREST foodservice market research. This compares to only a 1-percent morning meal traffic gain for total foodservice in the same period.
- Morning meal represents 33 percent of all convenience store traffic.
- The typical consumer uses a restaurant for breakfast five more times annually than he or she did 10 years ago.
- Two out of three restaurant breakfasts are eaten off-premise; both on- and off-premise restaurant breakfasts have increased over recent years.
- More restaurant breakfasts are eaten in the car or at home as a result of the changing workforce.
What’s Driving Breakfast Food Consumption?
It should come as no surprise that breakfast beverages and foods are among the top-growing foods at foodservice. Breakfast-oriented foods represent about 15 percent of all convenience store foodservice orders. Among the top prepared breakfast beverages ordered are specialty coffee, regular coffee, bottled water, hot chocolate, and smoothies. Popular prepared breakfast foods are doughnuts, hash browns, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches.
Breakfast-sandwich servings from convenience stores increased by 9 percent in the year ending June 2017 compared to a year ago, which amounts to 294 million breakfast servings in the period. Breakfast sandwiches are popular because they hit all the key drivers of morning meal consumers, according to NPD’s “Consumption Drivers: How Need Shapes Choices” report. They promise the consumer a satiating, nutrient-packed, protein-filled offering that requires little prep time and is portion-controlled, all of which are in high demand during that daypart.
Morning is a busy time and spending time on food is not the priority at this occasion, but consumers know that eating something at breakfast is important.
When selecting breakfast foods, consumers are most concerned with fueling, wellness and gratifying. They want a simple, healthy start to their day that will give them energy and provide a nutritious foundation for the day.
Trendsights is an exclusive bimonthly feature that appears in Convenience Store News.