Incredible Breakfast Trends

Boomers on a Mission

Baby Boomers: they’re not your father’s Gramma and Grampa. They may be retired, but as a group, they are anything but retiring. Generally seen as the most active, well-educated and health conscious generation, Boomers are just as likely to be skiing or running for office as babysitting the grandkids. They tend to be physically active, nutritionally savvy and interested in gathering new knowledge and skills. Boomers are often more affluent, more open-minded and more open to change than their predecessors. “Today’s seniors are living longer, are more diverse, tech savvy, and lead a more active lifestyle than they did a few decades ago,” says Fiona O’Donnell, Mintel’s senior lifestyles and leisure analyst.

According to the newest population projections, 2015 is the year Millennial are expected to squeak past Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Still, Boomers can take comfort in knowing their current spending power of $2.1 trillion dollars easily trumps the younger generation’s $170 billion.

This is the generation that backpacked its way across Europe and volunteered for the Peace Corps, gaining an appreciation for new foods and other cultures. Their relationship with food continued to be more exploratory than that of previous generations. As they began to experience the pains of aging, many have made nutrition education a priority and view foods as a part of a holistic treatment for aging. Foods promising wellness and anti-aging benefits, like whole grains, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetarian proteins, and nutrient-dense eggs and yogurt are on their shopping lists.

This has led to a change in Boomers’ food shopping habits. The global market for functional foods or super foods is expected to reach $130 billion in 2015, driven by health conscious Boomers. Given the prevalence of heart disease, a continuing parade of new items claiming to be “heart healthy” or containing the latest super food is a given. Euromonitor International predicts advances in ingredient technology will soon allow foods to be fortified with minimal effect on taste and texture.

Boomer restaurant visits are trending up, with an increase of 8.6 percent between 2009 and 2013. These people have both the will to dine away from home and the resources to do it. Nutrition is important but the opportunity to try new foods and flavors is also embraced enthusiastically. One unkind aspect of aging is that taste and smell receptors diminish, which means bigger, more robust flavors are a win with this group. Spices, sauces and add-ins that are so integral to popular Latin and Asian cuisines are a natural draw.

In its 2014 The Generation Consumer Trend Report, Technomic notes that breakfast matters a great deal to Boomers and they spend more away-from-home dollars on breakfast than any other generation. This ties in nicely with the ethnic flavors and increased heat currently trending on breakfast menus. The Breakfast Bánh Mì at Myers + Chang in Boston, made with soy-glazed bacon, soft sunny-side up eggs, shredded pickled carrot and daikon, pickled jalapeños, cilantro sprigs and sriracha aioli is one example of dishes that appeal to both the health needs and the taste desires of this group. For a simpler, yet still exotic breakfast, Elizabeth Street Café in Austin makes Sticky Rice With Ginger Sausage & Poached Eggs with herb salad, sriracha and hoisin, and for something more traditional with a kick, the Avocado Scramble with melted Monterey Jack, cornmeal fried avocado and a spicy Creole mustard hollandaise and chopped green onions at The Porch Restaurant and Bar in Sacramento should keep to a diet but open some eyes.

More than 25 percent of Boomers say they are on a diet. But for this group, the word “diet” means much more than foods reduced in fat or sugar, as they also demand the extra benefits of nutrient density, found in foods like whole grains, fruits and eggs. Today’s Boomers are searching for the fountain of vitality. In the words of Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst, “Some of it comes down to attitude. The Boomers happen to be very different than their predecessors. They act younger. They eat younger. They want to live forever.”


Make Room for Veggies

Breakfast with Asian Appeal

Put An Egg On It

All Day Breakfast

Multicultural Cuisines

Evolution of Healthy

Indulgent Comfort

New Competition

New Behaviors

Regional Breakfast Menu

Comfort Foods with Flair

Clockless Dining

Simply Nutritious

The New Consumer

Breakfast Influencers