Breakfast may still be the most important meal of the day, but our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles and constant pressure to squeeze more out of every moment has impacted our ability to stop and smell the coffee. While Americans are still eating breakfast, we’re eating much differently than we were just five years ago. Women’s Marketing takes a look at the changing retail landscape in the food and beverage industry and identifies the opportunities and trends in the breakfast food marketplace.
The Breakfast Nook
Formerly the breakfast of champions, ready-to-eat cereal sales have been declining for the past five years. But a slump in the cereal aisle doesn’t mean that consumers are skipping breakfast—they’re not—breakfast food trends are just changing for busy Americans. Sales of frozen, ready-to-eat waffles, pancakes, and French toast jumped 4.5 percent over the past five years to become a $1.2 billion category. Frozen breakfast meals, breakfast sausage, and breakfast-baked goods have also gained share in the food and beverage industry, but the big winner by far is the prepared breakfast sandwich—this $104.7 category grew by almost 8 percent over the past five years. As the data demonstrates, consumers are clearly waking up to convenience in the breakfast category!
Healthier Eating On-the-Go
Millennial Moms in particular want healthy options for her family. Sales of portable breakfast bars and energy biscuits have consistently grown by 4 percent each year for the past five years. Other healthy options, like Greek yogurt and granola bars, have also experienced growth—particularly those offering additional health benefits, such as probiotics and extra protein. Women’s Marketing CEO Andrea Van Dam says, “Products that address health-related concerns, such as gluten-free, non-GMO, and those manufactured without high-fructose corn syrup are also in demand among shoppers. As consumers increasingly migrate towards healthier options in the food and beverage industry, brands competing in the breakfast category will need to innovate by appealing to the consumer’s desire for quick, healthy, and highly functional foods.”
The Incredible, Edible Egg
Even though consumers are eating on-the-go, fresh eggs still remain a breakfast staple. Overall, egg sales were up 7.4 percent in 2014, but branded eggs have seen double-digit sales growth. As consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable, responsibly produced food, breakfast food trends show that sales of organic and free-range eggs will continue to grow.
As consumers continue to lead progressively busy lives, retailers and manufacturers must lead with products that offer convenience and portability and communicate the health benefits of those products in their marketing. Developing targeted media plans that address the changing needs of the American family and reach shoppers where and when they are most receptive is key to getting your product noticed in the crowded food and beverage industry. Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how we can help your emerging brand become a category leader.
Source: Nielsen Insights, 2014 Breakfast Is Still the Most Important Meal of the Day