Millennials Primed to Influence Breakfast Segment

The latest Incredible Breakfast Trends from the American Egg Board chronicle Millennials, Daypart blurring and Creativity, exploring their effects on morning fare. Here’s what’s driving breakfast options:

The Millennial generation is pushing its way to dominance as the most important consumer group influencing foodservice. Eighty million strong, Millennials differ from previous generations in their attitudes about food:

  • Whole foods are preferred over processed foods
  • 80 percent want to know more about how their food is grown
  • Food is seen as an opportunity for exploration
  • Customizing food options is seen as a need, not a luxury
  • Value is very important to them, yet it includes factors beyond cost
  • Where they eat is a reflection of who they are

With breakfast as the only daypart that’s currently growing, operators are scrambling to maintain market share against a backdrop of intense competition. At the same time, they’re trying to retain the attention of Millennials whose habit of eating whatever/whenever they want is eroding daypart boundaries. One current trend is to mix up proteins by introducing pulled pork, prosciutto or even lobster alongside eggs in the breakfast segment. Yet at the same time, eggs are migrating beyond traditional breakfast offerings onto burgers, sandwiches and even pizzas, which are suitable for serving any time of day.

Another winning equation for anytime dining is the breakfast sandwich. Its easy to follow pattern—egg, cheese, secondary protein option and bread—leaves plenty of room for creativity with unexpected ingredients or popular sauces like Sriracha. The blending of favorite breakfast and traditional lunch/dinner foods creates new and exciting meals, and is well suited to today’s lifestyles.

A huge factor in consumers’ choice of restaurants is the ability to customize their food. According to Mintel, this is true for more than 80 percent of all consumers and 85 percent of Millennials. That feeling of control comes with a certain satisfaction and makes consumers less price-sensitive.

Breakfast sandwiches handed through a drive-thru window are already customized. If guests can order an egg/cheese/sausage biscuit or an egg/cheese/bacon biscuit, why can’t they have an egg/cheese/sausage and bacon biscuit for an extra charge? Or why not add pickles or a squirt of Sriracha? Maybe a vegetarian would like a double egg and cheese? Creativity can pay off.

“The beauty of using real eggs in breakfast menu items is in their versatility and compatibility,” notes Chef Walter Zuromski, CEC, CCE. “There are so many ways to cook eggs, but they also blend well with other ingredients, opening up vast opportunities for creative expression. Plus, eggs give chefs a natural functionality—an invaluable asset in the back of the house.”

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