What’s in a breakfast?

I hope you said protein. The morning daypart can be a demanding one in today’s on-the-go society. For this reason, breakfasters are often in a post (or even pre) dawn rush, in need of a quick meal that will fill them up and sustain them through their morning until they can find the time to break for lunch. According to Technomic’s recent Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, a majority of consumers say a breakfast item’s ability to satisfy them until their next meal (75%), how filling the item is (70%) and its ability to energize them (56%) are highly important. A majority (64%) also say that they are more willing to purchase a high-protein breakfast item; 44% will even pay more for them. For this reason, we expect the trend of introducing and marketing high protein breakfast fare to continue in order to satisfy demand for functionality.

Historically, protein has been associated almost exclusively with meat, but as special diets proliferate, more attention is being paid to myriad sources of protein. Prior Technomic research even shows that about half of breakfast consumers surveyed (49%) want to see more chain restaurants offer non-meat proteins on the menu. Falling right in line is the increasing appeal of Greek yogurt. The Breakfast Consumer Trend Report shows that, compared to 2013, more consumers strongly agree that they prefer Greek yogurt over regular yogurt. If there’s one thing Greek yogurt is known for (beyond its texture and tartness), it’s high protein content. Consumers are likely seeing it as an option that packs more punch than its more traditional counterpart.


Meat, of course, is still the preferred source of protein for breakfast, with eggs, sausage and bacon among the most preferred breakfast offerings. But as demand for alternative sources of breakfast proteins grows, we expect that many vegetarian ingredients, including soy, tofu, beans, lentils, seeds, cereal grains, whole grains and ancient grains, will all grow on breakfast menus, particularly at LSRs in convenient formats. Look for the growth of housemade breakfast bars; seeds (e.g., chia) and grains (e.g., quinoa) to emerge in yogurts, cottage cheeses, smoothies and breakfast puddings; and more polenta, grits, oats and seitan at breakfast, overall.


Deanna Jordan

Deanna Jordan is Manager of Consumer Insights at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. She works on the firm’s Consumer Trend Reports, a series of annual studies that provides operators and suppliers with a comprehensive guide to the menu and consumer trends impacting various restaurant segments and menu categories in the U.S., Canada and U.K. She also contributes to the Consumer Food Trends newsletter, which explores the latest in foodservice and consumer trends.

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  1. Breakfast is a must and when you get something Indian food is just great! I mostly go to this place call OceanPalate for breakfast and its just yumm

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