From the popularity of McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu to the rise of hipster-baiting cereal cafés, restaurants nationwide are catering to consumers’ free-form dining habits with menus adaptable across mealtimes, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the new report “Breakfast and Breakfast Foods All Day: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.”
“This is an age of all-day breakfast selections that can shape-shift their way through the day, multi-purposing for breakfast, lunch, post-work drinks and takeout, dinner, and midnight snacks,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “Breakfast food menus and retail products can appeal to all budgets, all levels of appetite, and all food preferences and dietary requirements.”
With the erosion of three squares a day and without a clear distinction between light meals and heavy snacks, the percent of U.S. adults who agree that breakfast is the most important meal a day has notched down somewhat from 57% in 2007 to 52% in 2017, according to data published in the report. Even so, breakfast still beats the pancakes out of lunch (18%) or dinner (19%) by this measure.
Beyond eggs, bacon, and toast, new incarnations of biscuits, donuts, and batter dishes such as waffles and pancakes have all hit the big time, born again as artisanal expressions of a new generation’s creativity. There are also specialty functional juices, signature breakfast sausage sandwiches, and fruit/grain food bowls to quell thirst or hunger any time of day.
At the same time a widening range of global breakfast specialties continue to hit the trendwaves: Asian heritage bao, breakfast versions of banh mi, and congee; spicy Mexican chilaquiles and migas; Italian-style fritatas; and Middle Eastern shakshuka.
These drivers align with core consumer values to be tapped for menu and new product development, Packaged Facts noted.