Why On-the-go Breakfast Items are Driving Sales For the Daypart


It’s been commonly touted as the most important meal of the day; the one meal you simply can’t afford to miss. However, with the hustle-and-bustle of today’s modern world, many of us skip breakfast — opting instead for an extra cup of coffee or an early lunch.

Those who do make time for an early morning meal are increasingly looking to foodservice operators to provide quality, affordable options that are convenient and easy to fit into a busy schedule. So it’s no surprise the breakfast daypart has grown amongst Canadian consumers. In fact, according to NPD’s CREST foodservice market research, breakfast traffic has grown by nine per cent compared to a year ago. This increase has been driven in large part by QSR and fast-casual operators who have found a way to tap into the minds and wallets of consumers looking for quality breakfast options to start their day of right.

While the overall daypart has experienced strong growth over the last year, there are certain breakfast items that are performing better than others. According to NPD data, breakfast sandwiches are one of the fastest-growing morning-food options, with servings increasing by more than 10 per cent year-over-year. Many foodservice operators are taking advantage of this trend by introducing innovative breakfast sandwich options, which include fresh, quality ingredients that are easy to eat on the go.

Another breakfast favourite that has grown in popularity over the last few years is home fries, or hash browns as they are sometimes called. They are now one of the top five food categories at breakfast. Once again, many operators have taken note of this trend and have introduced homefries to the breakfast menu. In fact, some operators have gone one step further and integrated homefries into other breakfast items, such as breakfast sandwiches with a hash brown layer.

While quality and innovation are key at breakfast time, convenience and portability are perhaps even more critical, especially for busy consumers. Breakfast options that are portable and convenient are becoming more popular with consumers who are timed-strapped and tend to eat in transit.

And while innovation is important, it’s the breakfast staples — breakfast sandwiches, hash browns/home fries, eggs, bacon/sausage and bagels — that remain most popular with Canadian consumers today — so much so that they are ranked in the top five breakfast categories in foodservice, suggesting that winning at the breakfast game is most often a matter of serving up common ingredients in a quick, easy and affordable way.

Volume 46, Number 6
Written By: Robert Carter 

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