Mintel Breakfast and Potato Trends Study: August 2014 Analysis

According to the latest data from Mintel Oxygen Consumer Insights, consumers continue to look for shortcuts when it comes to healthy, satisfying breakfasts. With hectic schedules gobbling up time, 63 percent say they feel low on energy in the morning but only 48 percent eat breakfast every day. This amplifies the need for speed, convenience and portability. 

While only 22 percent of respondents eat frozen entrees for breakfast, more than half of the consumers surveyed, or 53 percent, said they would like to see more frozen/refrigerated breakfast entrees in the grocery store. It appears the desire to see more frozen/refrigerated breakfast options is higher than purchase of current retail selections.

This dovetails with another question that revealed 50 percent of consumers believe there are more breakfast options in restaurants than in grocery stores. However 52 percent of consumers are trying to save money by cutting back on the number of times they eat out for breakfast. 

“A summary of those survey results highlights great opportunities for food formulators and manufacturers. Consumers appear to be saying they are inclined to purchase breakfast more often from retail operations in order to save money. What they want is a better selection of flavorful, innovative frozen and refrigerated breakfast options. This is something manufacturers can provide with the right ingredients as the basis for flavor functionality and consumer appeal — ingredients like REAL eggs.”

Mintel analysts said the market holds room for more vending concepts that allow commuters to grab an affordable breakfast while on the go. Due to hectic schedules, consumers are more likely to eat convenient breakfast foods on weekdays, specifically microwaveable, portable options such as bowls or handheld sandwiches and wraps.

This doesn’t impact breakfast sales alone. While the majority of breakfast handheld products are consumed for the morning meal, 46 percent of consumers eat them for lunch, 30 percent for dinner and at least 20 percent as a snack. This illustrates a recent foodservice trend of burring dayparts. The Mintel analysts said due to the fact that consumers are eating breakfast handheld foods throughout the day, “keeping the focus on the high protein content and feeling full could help to drive consumption during non-breakfast periods,” according to the report. 

“REAL eggs offer formulators a filling, nutritious breakfast protein choice,” says Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing. “Consumers are already familiar with eggs, in fact, 94 percent of them have eggs at home. Multiple studies confirm the fact that egg protein is filling and helps with satiation. Finally, further processed egg ingredients are available in premade patties so food manufacturers can easily pair them with spices and sauces, whole grain breads and other flavorful accompaniments to create innovative bowls or handhelds in the retail case.” 

We take the pulse of breakfast trends around the country and give you updates once per quarter. Click on for the latest news. 

2014-09-29 09:21:53

A.M. Attitudes: Breakfast Trend Influencers

The new rule for breakfast is to expect the unexpected as day parts blur and customization reigns. This spurs breakfast on to new heights as it charts vigorous growth compared to other day parts. As one example, representative of industry success with handheld breakfast fare, Starbucks stated during a recent call with financial analysts that its new breakfast sandwiches delivered 40% growth in the third quarter. Two of its four sandwich introductions feature eggs.

We continue to examine societal and market trends influencing the breakfast sector, due to their impact not only on foodservice but also on food manufacturing as everyone scrambles to capture their share of the business. The latest trends we’re tracking:

Millennials: Taking over

The Millennial generation is slowly pushing its way to dominance as the most important consumer group influencing food marketers. Eighty million strong, Millennials differ from previous generations in their attitudes about food:

  • Whole foods are preferred over processed foods
  • 80 percent want to know more about how their food is grown
  • Food is seen as an opportunity for exploration
  • Customizing food options is seen as a need, not a luxury
  • Value is very important to them, yet it includes factors beyond cost

Daypart blurring proteins

The Millennials’ habit of eating whatever/whenever they want is eroding daypart boundaries. One current trend is to mix up proteins and introduce pulled pork, prosciutto or even lobster alongside eggs in the breakfast segment. Yet at the same time, eggs are migrating beyond traditional breakfast offerings onto burgers, sandwiches and even pizzas, which are suitable for serving any time of day.

Another winning equation for anytime dining is the breakfast sandwich. Its easy to follow pattern—egg, cheese, secondary protein option and bread—leaves plenty of room for creativity with unexpected ingredients or popular sauces like Sriracha. The blending of favorite breakfast and traditional lunch/dinner foods creates new and exciting meals, and is well suited to today’s lifestyles.

Creativity makes economic sense

A huge factor in consumers’ choice of restaurants is the ability to customize their food. According to Mintel, this is true for more than 80 percent of all consumers, and 85 percent of Millennials. That feeling of control comes with a certain satisfaction and makes consumers less price sensitive.  Getting creative with options for customizing breakfast gives consumers the choices they crave and avoids taste fatigue.

Eggs’ versatility makes them the ideal ingredient to pair up with other proteins, trendy sauces or even exotic spices. This meets the demand for blurred daypart meals and appeal to the Millennials’ desire for customization. According to Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing, “This versatility isn’t limited to the foodservice sector. Eggs allow for unlimited creativity in freezer case handheld sandwiches, convenient breakfast bowls and other creative approaches to quick yet nutritious breakfast offerings with broad market appeal.”

2014-09-16 00:33:21

Protein's Sunny Side

Protein is grabbing headlines on packages from every corner of the supermarket and is spotlighted on restaurant menus. Multiple studies confirm consumers are sold on protein-fortified foods and the benefits protein supplies to a healthy diet.

However, formulators are left with the puzzle of fitting extra protein into foods that still need to achieve target goals for structure, taste, appearance and texture. The “sunny side” of egg protein is that it supplies both nutritional and functional benefits for food formulators.

Eggs contain the highest-quality protein against which all other proteins are measured. Equally important, egg ingredients supply critical functional properties, an agreeable flavor profile and also enjoy a high degree of familiarity and acceptance among consumers.

Egg ingredients can supply more than 20 functional benefits to food applications, among them foaming and aeration, coagulation, gelation and shelf life extension. The protein component bears responsibility for many of these functional attributes.                

REAL eggs might possess one of the best reputations among proteins as well, when it comes to consumer sentiment. A recent NPD study* indicates 78 percent of consumers agree with the statement that protein contributes to a healthy diet. Within the protein category, one of the top three consumer picks is the egg. When asked which protein they are consuming more today than in the past, 55 percent of respondents said they are eating more eggs.

This increased egg consumption bodes well for food formulators’ use of eggs when it comes to label concerns. A consumer increasing at-home consumption of eggs will be comfortable with eggs on a product label.

As a final note, the protein contained in REAL eggs is easily digestible and readily available. This helps create nutritious foods consumers will find filling, tasty and satisfying. In future blog posts, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the functional aspects of proteins found in both egg white ingredients and the egg yolk, but for now, rest assured egg protein helps achieve your target product goals for fortification, flavor, functionality and familiarity. 


*“Protein Perception and Needs,” The NPD Group, 2014.

2014-09-01 15:37:00