Handheld frozen breakfast foods hold profit potential

Price and health not significant factors to most consumers of frozen breakfasts.

A recently published Mintel report predicted a rather stagnant sales market for frozen breakfast foods overall. However, it suggested that handheld options offer profit potential as sales of handheld breakfast items are on the rise. The report attributed the rise to consumers who want meals that are easy to prepare and eat on the run or during transit to work or school.

The push in restaurants for all-day breakfast, the report said, is having an impact on retail breakfast options, enticing consumers to consider them as a meal choice any time of day. Research has also suggested that price and health are not significant factors to most consumers of frozen breakfasts, so the biggest hurdle facing manufacturers is making their frozen breakfast offerings as convenient and portable as possible to compete with foodservice offerings.

The Mintel survey asked consumers to compare their current breakfast buying habits to a year ago. Results revealed that more than half (53%) of respondents are ordering breakfast more from either fast-food or sit-down restaurants. Nineteen percent of respondents said they eat breakfast on the go, while an equal percentage said they eat breakfast foods outside of morning hours.

Compared to all other age groups surveyed, Millennials, in particular, said they don’t think breakfast foods are portable enough. The convenience of breakfast foods appealed mostly to parents with young children, and the more children in the household, the greater the interest in convenience and the desire for easy-to-prepare breakfast foods.

However, the report also implied that there is significant competition with other foods, snacks and even beverages vying for the consumer purchase. As such, it suggested that frozen breakfast foods need to leverage portability and convenience in order to “remain relevant” to consumers with busy lives while focusing on flavor, convenience in preparation and portability.

The American Egg Board (AEB) said egg ingredients work well in a frozen environment and maintain their integrity during microwave preparation, which offers consumers a quick method to heat portable breakfasts such as handheld sandwiches or breakfast bowls.

“One large egg contains 6 g of high-quality protein to help consumers feel satisfied and full — an attribute a large percentage of survey respondents said they think breakfast should provide,” AEB noted. “In addition, eggs pair up well with a wide variety of other ingredients to offer myriad possibilities for formulators looking for unique and fresh breakfast creations to tempt the consumer palate.”

Eggs could be the key to creating successful, portable breakfasts that warm up the frozen food aisle, AEB added.

TAGS: Business
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