Consumers find breakfast fare comforting and many, especially women, wish they could eat it at any time of the day. A new study by foodservice industry consultant Technomic finds that nearly half of consumers surveyed (46 percent) say they would like to see full-service restaurants offer breakfast throughout the day.
About a third of consumers (32 percent) would like breakfast offered all day in limited-service restaurants. In both cases, females were significantly more interested in breakfast items for lunch or dinner than were males.
'Operators looking to expand breakfast into other dayparts should be mindful of their customer base and develop new offerings accordingly,' says Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic. 'Understanding the general flavor, ingredient and preparation preferences held by female consumers can help operators and suppliers introduce the most appealing breakfast options beyond morning hours for these guests.'
The findings are part of Technomic's new Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, designed to help restaurant operators and suppliers understand consumer attitudes, preferences and dining behavior associated with breakfast. Other interesting findings include:
• One out of four consumers (25 percent) often treat themselves to a large, traditional breakfast on the weekend.
• Four in ten (43 percent) say they visit their preferred restaurant for weekend breakfasts because the food tastes really good, while weekday breakfast visits are driven by inexpensive offerings (45 percent) and convenience of location (38 percent).
• More than three in five consumers (63 percent) say they expect their breakfast purchases at restaurants and convenience stores to remain about the same in the coming year.
• Consumer interest in breakfast sandwiches has grown since 2007. More than three-quarters of today's consumers (77 percent) purchase breakfast sandwiches sometimes or often during weekdays, compared to 73 percent in 2007. Breakfast sandwiches fared even better on weekends, increasing from 61 percent two years ago to 70 percent today.
• Consumers report an increased interest in premium coffee. Roughly a third of today's consumers (34 percent) prefer premium coffee as compared to 29% of consumers surveyed in 2007.
• Fast-food restaurants have improved in consumers' perception of healthy food offerings. Only a third of consumers (35 percent) say they would like fast-food establishments to offer more healthy options, down from 43 percent in 2007.
• Leading fast-casual restaurant chains are adding new entrees and side items to their breakfast menus faster than any other restaurant subsegment.
Consumer analysis found in the Breakfast Consumer Trend Report is based on recent online surveys with 1,500 U.S. consumers about their consumption behavior, attitudes and preferences for breakfast. The Menu Insights section, derived from Technomic's proprietary MenuMonitor database and primary and secondary industry data, provides an in-depth look at how leading, emerging and independent restaurant chain operators are menuing breakfast. Additionally, menu and consumer data from Technomic's 2007 edition of this report is discussed and compared to current findings. Appendices include detailed profiles of 15 innovative and emerging breakfast concepts, and menu listings of new, limited-time offerings and deleted breakfast foods and beverages.