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Building Breakfast, the Better-for-you Way
May 8, 2012
As more and more consumers get their breakfast from quick-service restaurants, operators looking to add the day part or expand on existing morning offerings are pondering just what to add to the menu. Some are fast finding that to get customers to start their day at their restaurant, one thing is a menu must-have: better-for-you options.
During the last two years, limited-service restaurants added more than 230 new breakfast items, according to market research firm Technomic’s 2011 Breakfast Trend Report. Despite this increase in menu items, consumers aren’t finding as many healthy choices as they’d like. According to Technomic, about a third of consumers who purchase breakfast at limited-service outlets say these restaurants do not offer enough healthy breakfast choices.
Driving the interest in better-for-you breakfast food is the large percentage of morning-meal customers over the age of 50, who tend to be more health-conscious. According to market research firm The NPD Group, the over-50 set—made up of older baby boomers and seniors—has been the top contributor to the growth of the morning meal in recent years.
Also behind the trend is the fact that consumers of all age groups now have an increased knowledge of health, nutrition and wellness, including the benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast. For example, consumers are aware of current research that suggests that those who eat breakfast on a regular basis tend to have a healthier body weight, improved concentration and better energy levels throughout the day. Consumers also are familiar with studies that indicate that a breakfast containing lean protein has a greater satiating effect, leaving those who eat such breakfasts feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Also driving consumers to look for healthier fare on menus is the impending passage of nutritional disclosure laws.
With breakfast accounting for just 12 percent of industry sales, it’s clear that the market is not yet saturated and the morning meal remains a growth area. This represents a huge opportunity to grab market share, especially with those customers who come to quick-service outlets looking for a healthy or light breakfast.
To capitalize on the better-for-you breakfast trend and differentiate their brands from the growing competition, operators need to pepper their menus with a variety of items that consumers perceive to be a lighter, healthier quality of breakfast food. Here are a few ways some successful chains have started to build better-for-you breakfast menus:
While consumers are indeed looking for additional better-for-you breakfast options, they are still time-pressed in the morning and today’s economy has many of them feeling financially strained. So in addition to healthy, they want their morning meal to be convenient, portable and a good value for their money. Restaurants that can deliver healthy breakfast options that consumers can eat with one hand, and for a good price, are the ones that will succeed.