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

Relax: Eggs Meet that Market Niche

Culturally, America’s eating habits are changing. It's a constantly shifting landscape for food manufacturers when seemingly every age group, gender or subsection of the population is shopping and dining according to its own unique set of rules.

We are snacking more often, grabbing food on the fly and frequently dining alone. When we dine together, family members might opt for separate meals selected according to individual lifestyles such as vegan, gluten-free or paleo, according to a Hartman Group study, “Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors.”

In what the Hartman Group has coined the Roadside Pantry Effect, consumers compose meals with individual elements rather than cooking meals the traditional way, combining perhaps one take-out item with a fresh vegetable or fruit alongside a frozen side dish or entrée. The fact the meals are combined is key, because on all eating occasions the group analysis shows, 77% involve some sort of prepared food.

In these situations a food manufacturer’s best bet is a multi-functional, cross-generational ingredient that happens to comfortably fill almost any type of niche dining listed. Eggs help create a better texture and better tasting gluten-free foods, enabling formulators to overcome the difficulties created when wheat gluten is removed from breads, cookies, muffins and other baking goods. As a highly bioavailable protein, egg ingredients are one of the more important components of a paleo diet. And many vegetarians will accept eggs as or within a meal component.

Egg ingredients can star as the main attraction, such as preformed egg patties designed for grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches or stay in the background, performing one or more of their twenty-plus functional attributes.  From mainstream to market niche, egg ingredients contribute timeless functionality that helps your products move with the times and remain in tune with cultural shifts.

2014-08-18 17:09:15

Time for Some Egg-ucation

The National Egg Products School (NEPS) is a three-day, hands-on course for food formulators that explores the incredibly functional egg and its role in food product development.  NEPS is only held every other year, hosted by Auburn University in Auburn Alabama with the next event scheduled September 15 to 17, 2014.

The course brings together the brightest minds dedicated to poultry science and egg functionality from major universities such as Purdue, Texas A&M, and North Carolina State University. It is designed to give participants—food formulators, chefs and egg industry professionals—a thorough introduction to eggs and egg products from their initial formation through the packaging of liquid and dried egg products for industrial use. This “farm to fork” review includes side excursions into molecular structure, safety, microbiology and the latest research on egg nutrition.

Alongside the educational lectures and presentations, the program incorporates four laboratory sessions in the Auburn University applications lab/kitchen where participants use a variety of egg ingredients to create angel food cake, ice cream, mayonnaise and custard. The intent is to demonstrate the functional characteristics egg ingredients supply to these applications, investigate the scientific principles behind the functionality, and then taste the results.

Participants can apply for continuing education credits awarded by Auburn University to organization such as the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Research Chefs Association (RCA).

American Egg Board consultant Chef Walter Zuromski, CEC, CCE, Chef Services Group, Boston, MA, and founding member of RCA, is one of the presenters for this year’s program. Zuromski will conduct demonstrations including product tasting, to highlight the culinary side of egg ingredients, focusing on desired functionality coupled with sensory needs, including taste. “Because at the end of the day, its all about food,” he says. 

Zuromski participated in NEPS as a student and said he believes it made him a better chef. “I’d like to see more chefs participate in this school,” says Zuromski. “Pastry chefs of course, but any chef can benefit because eggs fit into every daypart of the menu.”

In addition to providing instructors and program materials, American Egg Board is a major sponsor of the school. Real foods such as eggs not only nourish the body, scientific and practical evidence over the course of decades prove its worth as principal ingredients in multiple applications. They can provide functional benefits like aeration, binding, humectancy and emulsification. Real egg ingredients create better products in appearance, texture and taste. This school will help participants see the value egg ingredients contribute to formulations. For more information click on

2014-08-18 15:05:45

Don't Abandon "Natural" Too Quickly

Who ever could have imagined the word “natural” could provoke such controversy? A flurry of lawsuits caused many companies to back away from use of the word on product labels. However, the quest for natural hasn’t ceased. In fact, it’s gathering momentum. Research shows consumers want natural, clean label ingredients in their foods and beverages while at the same time demanding authenticity from food manufacturers. 
A national survey released by Consumer Reports in June reveals consumers want natural labels but have a certain level of expectations from the manufacturers in return. A total of 59% of consumers check to see if the products they are buying are “natural.” Among the findings 87% of consumers believe a food with a natural label should not include artificial ingredients. 
Fortunately, manufacturers can turn to natural ingredients like REAL eggs. Eggs supply valuable, beneficial functional and nutritional qualities appreciated by formulators and consumers alike.  Eggs are simply listed as “eggs” on the label – a clear choice for manufacturers that want to create clean, natural products. 
The ingredients listed on the nutrition deck in the back can boldly declare your product intentions. Discover the benefits REAL eggs can provide for your formulation. 
2014-08-04 13:24:32

Eggs in Formulation Create a Sweet Ending for Dessert Category

Dessert. While the vision this word conjures for each individual will differ (chocolate cake? Bread pudding? Éclairs filled with custard?) certain adjectives universally apply, such as rich, luscious or decadent. Regardless of the improved health consciousness among Americans, consumers still enjoy a little tidbit of indulgence and are not ready to give up dessert.

One way to control calories while still enjoying dessert is on-the-go snacking options with single serve portions. Other manufacturers find creating mini-portions of favorite treats will help satisfy a sweet tooth without causing undue guilt. Whatever the method employed, the number of desserts introduced for 2013 which included eggs as ingredients rose sharply compared to previous years dating back to 2008, which measured segments containing dessert type products, as collected by Mintel in the GNPD database. A dessert could include any type of sweet baked goods such as cakes or pastries, cookies or ice cream, included under dairy-based frozen products.

Cakes, Pastries and Sweet Goods as a category, rose an amazing 65 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 figures. Cookie introductions containing egg ingredients went up 27 percent and dairy-based frozen products rose an astounding one hundred twenty-three percent for 2013 compared to product introductions in 2012. The number of “Other Frozen Desserts,” which would fall outside of the dairy category, doubled, with twice the number of new product introductions including eggs for 2013 compared to 2012 according to Mintel data.

The overall category of retail packaged sweet baked snacks and desserts stood at $12.7 billion in 2012 with a slow but steady CAGR of 2.5 percent since 2008.

One way to help continued growth within this category is to provide sweet indulgence with real, natural ingredients that consumers can trust, such as eggs. Egg ingredients help cakes remain moist and egg whites help aeration and rise. In cookies eggs can help bind other ingredients together and of course, the rich, smooth creamy texture of ice cream is due to the yolk. Egg ingredients come in convenient forms from powders to liquid or frozen, to suit any dessert manufacturing facility’s operational needs.

2014-05-19 13:12:31

Prepared Meals for 2013 See Egg Usage Increase

Home cooking isn’t necessarily a thing of the past, but with increasingly tighter schedules, many consumers rely on prepared meals, or frozen meals requiring assembly, for some of their daily meal staples. In fact, according to Packaged Facts, in 2013 with growing volume and increased unit prices, retail value “saw its best year of growth since 2009” for ready meals sold in the U.S.

Prepared meals can include trendy breakfast bowls or handheld sandwiches, designed for convenience and portability, or a complete dinner ready to be reheated at home. Mintel GNPD data shows within the Prepared Meals category, the number of new product introductions including eggs took a dramatic leap last year, increasing 85% when comparing 2013 figures to 2012. New product introductions in that category had held steady for almost five years prior to this, however all analysts point to the breakfast segment in particular as a prepared meal phenomenon.  Eggs and egg ingredients supply an affordable, nutrient-rich protein source for bowls; wraps and handheld sandwiches and consumers look for these attributes in the products they buy.

According to Wade Hanson, Technomic Inc., Chicago, as quoted from Food Business News a year ago, “consumers basically say breakfast sandwiches take shape as the perfect breakfast food.” He attributed this attributes such as affordability, portability and the fact sandwiches are easy to eat without making a mess. Other reports indicate consumers are beginning to understand the value of including a high-quality protein in the breakfast meal and eggs offer a protein choice for consumers seeking meatless options that still offer great flavor.

While breakfast sandwiches might have started in foodservice, they now occupy a good portion of the breakfast section in the frozen case. ConAgra stated in an analyst’s call in 2013 that its consumer food segment’s frozen breakfast products have increased around 30% over the last five years. Another major food giant Tyson jumped into the frozen handheld breakfast category late in 2013 and the company has estimated the frozen handheld breakfast category grew by $1 billion in a one-year period.

Egg product suppliers offer multiple options for food manufacturers including dried, liquid, frozen and even precooked eggs in the form of patties, omelets or scrambles. These are quick-frozen to ensure freshness and easily customizable to include herbs, spices or diced vegetables, according to manufacturer specifications.


2014-05-05 14:21:08

New Bakery Products Using Eggs in 2013 “Rise” in Numbers

Nothing tantalizes the senses quite as much as a freshly baked treat just out of the oven. In-store bakeries on the retail level rely on aroma to draw customers into the department. But whether fresh or packaged, the product’s taste and texture is what brings customers back for more. And eggs supply a critical functional building block that baked goods need to ensure success on multiple sensory and practical levels.

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) has tracked new product introductions since 2008 that included egg ingredients. The top product categories consistently, year after year, include cakes, pastries and sweet goods followed by cookies—all popular bakery items. In the time period of 2008 through 2013 close to 1,000 new products were introduced in those top two categories alone, and this doesn’t account for the many thousands of bakery products already enjoyed by consumers on a daily basis.

In 2013, the category of Cakes, Pastries & Sweet Goods saw 65 percent more new product introductions using eggs as ingredients compared to 2012, while cookies were bit more conservative, although still a respectable 27 percent increase in new products for that same one year time period.

Multiple reasons account for egg ingredient popularity in these categories. First, eggs aerate baked goods naturally due to their ability to form foam and produce a stable structure when heated. Egg whites can be whipped into foam six to eight times greater in volume than the original ingredient. When whole eggs are whipped and used to aerate baked items, this is generally called leavening.

During baking, egg proteins bond with each other and work with the gluten in the flour to create a protein matrix, which consists of air bubbles known as micelles. The proteins form the walls of these cellular structures, which contribute to product height, volume and stability.

As heat is applied, or as the product bakes, the proteins trap air and moisture within the bubbles and this contributes to the baked goods’ humectancy or moistness—a sign the product is fresh and not stale. This characteristic is useful from cakes to cookies and pastries to pan bread.

An egg wash might help brown bread crust or contribute flavor to specialty breads and rolls. In pastries, eggs help emulsify custards or fillings, to create a rich, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. And for baked goods the need to be frozen and shipped or are sold in the freezer case for consumers to prepare at home, eggs contribute all the functionality already mentioned, in addition to helping retard crystallization. Eggs ensure consumers can enjoy a fresh-baked sensory experience in almost any type of baked product.

2014-04-23 15:40:40

Egg White Products

Egg white, also known as albumen, contains 56% of the whole egg’s total protein along with the majority of the egg’s niacin, riboflavin, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur. Alone, egg whites are about 88% water and 10% protein. They are virtually free of fat and cholesterol, making them a nutrition powerhouse, as egg white proteins play an important role in the body since they have a high biological value. In recent years, egg whites have been used to increase the protein levels in nutritional bars and sports energy products.

Egg whites also possess important functional properties that assist product developers with formulating all types of foods — from mainstays such as canned chicken noodle soup to on-trend appetizers such as frozen crab rangoon and hand-held stuffed sandwiches. Egg white proteins provide structure and coagulative properties to noodles, which is especially important for cooked noodles held in a liquid or high-moisture frozen medium. Frozen appetizers rely on egg whites to prevent ice crystals from forming. When combined with other ingredients such as water or milk, egg whites create the perfect glaze for sealing breads, rolls and pocket-style sandwiches. The glaze helps prevent the crust from drying out and becoming tough. It creates a desirable transparent shiny surface on breads and rolls and can act as an adhesive for holding topical ingredients such as nuts and seeds.

But what whites are best known for is producing high-volume foams, which serve to leaven soufflés, meringues, angel food cakes, frostings and candies. They also provide leavening to increase volume and lightness in cakes.

Egg white products come frozen, dried and in refrigerated liquid form. Dried egg white products can be spray-dried, pan-dried and instant-dissolving, with each form possessing unique functionalities that make them particularly well suited for specific applications.

2014-03-03 05:00:56