Breakfast is shifting from being the most important meal of the day to the most popular. Breakfast foods are increasingly being eaten more than just in the morning hours, and restaurants and analysts have begun to take notice.
Breakfast grew at the fastest pace among all meals in the year ending May 2015, with a 4% jump at all foodservice outlets, according to The NPD Group. Quick service restaurants were responsible for most of the visit gains at breakfast, and although overall visits declined at midscale/family dining restaurants, breakfast traffic for the segment held steady. Breakfast sandwiches, in particular, can now be found on 61% of all restaurant menus, up 5% from 2010, according to MarketResearch.com. Restaurants are also experimenting with different breakfast sandwich ingredients, highlighting ethnic flavors to draw in foodies and loyal customers.
Back in April, I noted that breakfast holds a lot of potential for restaurant chains, and companies like McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Bob Evans are all shifting their focus to the meal. At that time, McDonald's was still working on rolling out its all-day breakfast concept to all locations, aiming to appease the many fans who requested the change. Now, the chain is finally responding to its "number one request" and offering breakfast foods past 10:30 a.m. It will offer only a limited breakfast menu, including some of its more popular items like McMuffin Sandwiches, Hotcakes, and Sausage Burritos.
This may be great news for Egg McMuffin fans, but it could have some not so positive repercussions across the food industry. Analysts are worried that the menu change will exacerbate the existing egg supply issues in the U.S. and may raise prices for consumers. Food companies are already struggling to source eggs after the huge avian flu outbreak earlier this year depleted flocks, and Technomic's Darren Tristano says prices are set to rise even more as consumers stock up for the holidays. This means with McDonald's expansion of its breakfast offerings, the strain on the egg supply will be even more noticeable. It may seem hasty to assume one menu change at McDonald's will make such waves in the whole industry, but this is not the first time such a thing has happened. When the chain decided to bring back its chicken tenders earlier this year, it helped the poultry industry avoid a product surplus. Also, when it started offering apples with its kid's meals in 2000, it became the country's largest buyer and seller of the fruit.
Although the menu expansion is expected to increase McDonald's sales by as much as 2.5% a year, it still remains to be seen whether it can dig the company out of its slump.
While Whole Foods is gaining ground in the grocery market, it’s taking longer than expected, as the grocer has to overcome its pricey reputation, among other barriers, before seeing real impact.read more
Grocery apps are some of the fastest-growing in the U.S., according to eMarketer. In 2018, 18 million U.S. adults will use a grocery app at least once a month, up 49.6% over 2017. By 2019, the firm predicts more than one in five adult smartphone e-commerce buyers will use a grocery app to order food.read more
Jennette has been with The Food Institute since 2013. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for promoting all Food Institute books, seminars and webinars, as well as writing and editing the Food Institute’s annual publications, such as Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions, The Food Industry Review and The Almanac of the Canning, Freezing, Preserving Industries. Additionally, she writes for and edits the daily news update, Today in Food, and contributes to the weekly Food Institute Report. She has a background in non-profit and environmental marketing, programming and writing, and graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies.
There are no comments, yet. Why don't you add one?
10 Mountainview Road
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Food Institute reps are available to answer your questions
BECOME A MEMBER
For close to 90 years, The Food Institute has been the best "single source" for food industry executives, delivering actionable information daily via email updates, weekly through The Food Institute Report and via a comprehensive web research library. Our information gathering method is not just a "keyword search."