A brief, concise, easy-to-read newsletter with news on breakfast trends


Vol. 31 | December 2015

A.M. Eats: San Francisco

Sunny days, crashing surf, and the easy availability of fresh produce and seafood of every variety create the spirit of West Coast dining. Add in the infuences of Asian and Hispanic populations and you have what is known as California cuisine. Examples found in San Francisco illustrate better-for-you breakfasts with indulgent twists:

    San Francisco Family
  • Open Faced “Gumbo” Omelette: with grilled shrimp, andouille sausage, red & green bell peppers & Asiago cheese (Ella’s)
  • Smoked Salmon Pizza: with crème fraîche & scrambled eggs (Rose’s Café)
  • California Breakfast: poached eggs on ham, toast with lemon herb butter sauce, served with home fries & grilled tomatoes (Bette’s Oceanview Diner)
  • Shrimp & Goat Cheese Omelette: with caramelized onions & topped with tomato-bacon relish (Brenda’s French Soul Food)
  • Migas Con Huevo: soft scrambled eggs, chicken-jalapeño sausage, yams, kale tortilla chips & fresh roasted tomatillo salsa (Olea)
  • Poached Eggs & Butternut Squash Cornbread: with maple sausage gravy, caramelized onion & chicory salad (Universal Café)

Great reasons to go out for breakfast!

An Incredible Effect

Egg-topped dishes seem to be everywhere these days. Side dishes, pastas, pizzas – everything benefits from a crown of eggs.

Salads and eggs have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship forever, but there’s exciting news on that front: recent research shows that cooked whole eggs improve nutrient absorption from a salad’s raw ingredients.

An Incredible EffectPublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study was led by Wayne Campbell, a Purdue University professor of nutrition science who focuses on understanding how dietary protein and exercise influence health as adults age. His team found that adding whole eggs to salads made of raw vegetables improves the absorption of carotenoids, fat-soluble antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.

Participants ate mixed-vegetable salads with no eggs; 1½ eggs; and 3 eggs. Absorption of all carotenoids was 3.8X higher when the salad included three eggs versus no eggs. Absorption of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids contributing to eye health and guarding against age-related macular degeneration, was shown to be 4-5X higher.

Eggs: better for you and taste good too!

Ethnic Wins Again

In September of 2015 the National Restaurant Association surveyed nearly 1,600 American Culinary Federation chefs to predict 2016 trends in food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes. The survey asked chefs to rate a list of 221 items to determine which ones would be hot trends in the coming year.

ShashukaThe biggest influences on breakfast trends centered on ethnic flavors. Ethnic condiments and spices like sriracha, harissa and chimichurri were clear winners, having gone from 83rd place in 2014, to 47th in 2015 and landing at #11 in 2016.

Ethnic-inspired breakfasts popped into the top 20 hottest trends in 2011 and have remained there for the past 4 years. African and Middle Eastern flavors were rated as the hottest 2016 flavor trends, putting items like Portland’s Tasty N Sons’ Shakshuka, a baked egg and tomato stew with merguez sausage, cumin and harissa, right on trend. The Breslin in NYC has been ahead of the curve for years by offering its popular Poached Eggs with curried lentils, yogurt & cilantro.

Eating Globally

McEggA majority of consumers are more interested in the food they eat than ever before. Diners search for new flavors and ingredients, often trying them for the first time in familiar formats like sandwiches or burgers.

International chains have ready-made forums for cross-pollinating popular culinary preferences from their U.S. to their foreign operations, and vice versa. McDonald’s is one chain that’s adapted well to foreign markets, offering items unlike any found here. The following shows how the chain speaks to local breakfast consumers:

  • Sausage N’s Egg Twisty Pasta: sausage, poached egg and noodles in chicken or tonkotsu broth with greens (Hong Kong)
  • Chicken McMuffin® with Egg Spicy: spicy herbed chicken patties, steamed egg, Cheddar and mayonnaise in a toasted English muffin (Egypt)
  • McCriollo: scrambled eggs with corn and tomato, arepa (corn cake), sausage and hash browns (Columbia)
  • Turkish Breakfast Platter: platter with open English muffin, omelet, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, feta and kalamata olives (Turkey)
  • McEgg: steamed egg, classic mayonnaise, chopped onions and “magic” masala on a toasted bun (India)

Coming to a menu board near you?

Chain News

Chain News
Taco Bell promo: a free A.M. Crunchwrap if any player stole a base during the World Series in its “Steal a Base, Steal a Breakfast.”
Chain News
Chains offered free meals to veterans and active military on Veteran’s Day.
- White Castle: Breakfast Slider and beverage
- Bob Evans: choice of 5 breakfasts throughout the day
- Friendly’s: breakfast, lunch or dinner
Chain News
California Pizza Kitchen launch: Sunny-Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza adds shaved fingerling potatoes, caramelized leeks, Parmesan and mozzarella, and two sunny-side up eggs.

Chain News
Jack in the Box LTO: Jalapeño Bacon Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, pepper jack, hash browns, chipotle sauce and Jack’s Fire Roasted Salsa.
Chain News
Dunkin’ Donuts LTO: Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, topped with egg and American cheese.
Chain News
Taco Bell tests: Loaded Breakfast Bowls with bacon or sausage over egg, hash browns, cheddar and pico de gallo; and Croissant Tacos, with sausage or bacon and filled with eggs and cheese.

Chain News
Peet’s test: all-day warm breakfast in Chicago, expanding to several other markets in early 2016; planned national roll-out.

Data Digest

  • Breakfast sandwiches are found on 61% of U.S. menus.1
  • The number of U.S. breakfast items being menued increased 27.7% between 2010 and 2015.2
  • Turkey bacon was used on 37.5% more handheld breakfast items in 2014 than in 2010.1
  • Terms like natural, local, seasonal and sustainable are 4X more likely to appear on non-breakfast items than on breakfast ones.3
  • Leading chefs rate ethnic condiments/spices (#11), authentic ethnic cuisine (#12) and ethnic-inspired breakfast items (#16) as being in the top 20 culinary trends in the U.S.4
  • 40% of consumers say they are more willing to visit a restaurant that offers new and/or innovative flavors.5


  1. Datassential MenuTrends, Breakfast Handheld Overview, 2015
  2. Technomic MenuMonitor, Breakfast Grab-N-Go, 2015
  3. Packaged Facts, Culinary Trend Tracking Series: Sandwiches, July 2015
  4. National Restaurant Association, What’s Hot in 2016, November 2015
  5. Technomic, 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report


Egg facts


Shrimp Vindaloo Deviled Eggs