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Breakfast Foodservice Trends - US - February 2009

The restaurant industry is no stranger to the recession, and economic woes mean that restaurant patrons are going to restaurants less, going to cheaper restaurants and spending less. However, eating out is still considered the primary way consumers spend extra money, and the breakfast daypart is ready to serve with a more economical solution to the eating out dilemma.


While convenience remains at the core of importance for time-harried weekday breakfast, three distinct rallying calls are being heard: value, health and expanded hours of service.


This report details how to heed those calls as well as:

  • Which breakfast patrons are most affected by the faltering economy and what it will take to continue to lure them in
  • The demographics that are “ripe fruit,” and what they want to see on menus
  • Menu items that are leading the call to battle and differentiating from the “same old, same old”
  • How major chains are “taking the reins” and driving efforts that send ripples across the industry

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • The bad news first…
                      • …and then the good news
                        • What will it take to keep them coming?
                          • Innovations and strengths
                            • Restaurant analyses:
                              • Brand analysis: McDonald’s
                                • Advertising is a “breakfast eat breakfast” world
                                  • The Consumer section in brief
                                    • Fast food the weekday leader
                                      • Spending is down
                                        • Convenience, quality and cost hold the trump cards during the week
                                          • Weekends are about leisurely breakfast out
                                            • How to steal customers
                                              • What consumers want to see more of
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Breakfast’s value proposition
                                                    • Figure 1: Incentives to dine at restaurants, by age, November 2009
                                                  • Give them the menu items they want
                                                    • Figure 2: Change in restaurant breakfast menu items versus consumer interest in menu items, by type of item, 2009
                                                  • Give them a customizable menu
                                                    • Light is right…
                                                      • Figure 3: Attitudes regarding healthy eating, 2003-08
                                                    • Wooing the breakfast skipper means expanding hours
                                                      • Luring in the family
                                                        • Continue promoting the importance of breakfast
                                                          • If it isn’t easy, they won’t come
                                                          • Inspire Insights

                                                              • Alpha Mom’s
                                                                • What's it about?
                                                                  • What we've seen
                                                                    • Breakfast with an Alpha Mom
                                                                      • Implications for restaurant breakfast purveyors
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Traffic bleeding from restaurants to the kitchen table
                                                                              • Figure 4: Ways consumers have cut down on restaurant spending, November 2009
                                                                            • Keeping customers out of their kitchens
                                                                              • Figure 5: Prices for breakfast at home versus out, for one and four, 2009
                                                                            • Meals eaten away from home enhance their price-competitiveness
                                                                              • Keep an eye on at-home breakfast trends
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Strong historical growth, but a tempered future
                                                                                      • Figure 6: Expenditures for breakfast and brunch purchased at restaurants and carry-out venues, 2003-13
                                                                                      • Figure 7: Expenditures for breakfast and brunch purchased at restaurants and carry-out venues, limited service and full service, 2003-08
                                                                                    • Sales by daypart
                                                                                      • Figure 8: Full-service versus limited-service restaurants, percentage of sales, by daypart, 2008
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Restaurant breakfast takeaways
                                                                                        • Today’s forecast: Lots of rain and clouds
                                                                                          • Bottom line—restaurant industry in recession
                                                                                            • Figure 9: Restaurant Performance Index, current situation, and expectations, November 2007-October 2008
                                                                                          • Consumer reaction to recession impacts restaurant breakfast spending
                                                                                            • Rapidly changing commodity prices provide added strain for restaurants
                                                                                              • What this means for restaurants
                                                                                                • Figure 10: Producer Price Index, key farm products, January 2004-November 2008
                                                                                              • All aboard the CPI rollercoaster!
                                                                                                • Implications for restaurants
                                                                                                  • Figure 11: Consumer Price Index, key consumer items, January 2004-November 2008
                                                                                                • Consumer debt overload
                                                                                                  • Implications for restaurants
                                                                                                    • Figure 12: Consumer credit outstanding, dollar change, by quarter, 2007-08
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Consumer credit outstanding, percentage change, by quarter, 2007-08
                                                                                                  • Falling home values and equity values create negative spending outlooks
                                                                                                    • Implications for restaurants
                                                                                                      • Figure 14: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, January 2004-October 2008
                                                                                                    • Despite economic woes, dining out remains a shining light for some
                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Where consumers spend their “extra” money, July 2008
                                                                                                    • Healthy eating habits a boon and a bust
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Breakfast usage, usage frequency, and mean weekly use, September 2008
                                                                                                  • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Spinning value
                                                                                                        • Menu innovations
                                                                                                          • Thinking outside the protein box
                                                                                                            • Morning drinks with a twist
                                                                                                              • Enticing customers with breakfast offerings beyond the “same old, same old”
                                                                                                                • Ethnic influences
                                                                                                                  • Health innovation
                                                                                                                    • Breakfast sandwiches
                                                                                                                      • Smaller portions for smaller appetites
                                                                                                                        • Full-service quality with fast-service convenience
                                                                                                                          • Extending/modifying length of daypart
                                                                                                                            • Comfort food makes everything seem okay
                                                                                                                            • Restaurant Analysis: Hardee’s

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • The big picture
                                                                                                                                  • On-track trend: The comfort food/convenience combo
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Top ingredient claims, Hardee’s
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity: Tweak menu to offer healthy options, all-day breakfast
                                                                                                                                  • Restaurant Analysis: IHOP

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • The big picture
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: IHOP system-wide same-store sales, percentage increase, 2005-08
                                                                                                                                      • On-track trend: Specialty menus
                                                                                                                                        • Healthful choices—and positive spins on less healthful choices
                                                                                                                                          • All-you-can-eat LTO for 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Senior specials
                                                                                                                                              • On-track trend: Reasonably priced comfort food
                                                                                                                                                • On-track trend: Menu items that blur daypart lines
                                                                                                                                                  • On-track trend: The convenience war
                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity: More ethnic choices
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: IHOP demographic profile, January-November 2007
                                                                                                                                                  • Restaurant Analysis: Denny’s

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • The big picture
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Denny’s same-store sales and check averages, growth rate, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • On-track trend: Aggressive advertising
                                                                                                                                                        • On-track trend: Specialty menus
                                                                                                                                                          • Healthy options
                                                                                                                                                            • Senior menu
                                                                                                                                                              • Kids’ menu
                                                                                                                                                                • On-track trend: Angling against QSR convenience and price advantage
                                                                                                                                                                  • On-track trend: Targeting the Hispanic demographic
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Denny’s demographic profile, January-November 2007
                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity: Keeping it in check
                                                                                                                                                                  • Restaurant Brand Qualities: McDonald’s Breakfast Case Study

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Healthy brand equals healthy sales
                                                                                                                                                                        • Leading the charge: McDonald’s sets the bar
                                                                                                                                                                          • For coffee…
                                                                                                                                                                            • For breakfast…
                                                                                                                                                                              • For value…
                                                                                                                                                                                • McDonald’s tries to show it can be “easy being green”
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bottom line: The McDonald’s brand has become synonymous with success
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Recession fuels aggressive comparison advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Giveaways encourage product sampling
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Denny’s takes a “no holds barred” approach
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pitting breakfast out against breakfast at home
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: McDonalds breakfast, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Jack in the Box breakfast, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Value promotions
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: International House of Pancakes (IHOP), 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: McDonalds breakfast, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Real food. Fresh ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: The Original Pancake House, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Denny’s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mini meals
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Sonic, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Breakfast Usage and Mean Use by Location

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Usage overview
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Weekday breakfast usage: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Weekday breakfast usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by location, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Weekend breakfast usage: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Weekend breakfast usage, usage frequency, and mean use, by location, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Restaurant Breakfast Spending Trends

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Restaurant breakfast spending trends: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Restaurant breakfast spending behavior compared to last year, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Restaurant breakfast spending trends: in-depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Restaurant breakfast spending behavior compared to last year, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Restaurant breakfast spending behavior compared to last year, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Restaurant breakfast spending behavior compared to last year, by presence of children, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Most Important Restaurant Breakfast Selection Factors

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors, weekday versus weekend, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors: weekdays
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Most important weekday restaurant breakfast selection factors, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Most important weekday restaurant breakfast selection factors, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors: weekends
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Most important weekend restaurant breakfast selection factors, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Most important weekend restaurant breakfast selection factors, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes Toward Eating Breakfast Out

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward eating breakfast out: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward eating breakfast out: in depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Toward Eating Weekday Breakfast Out

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out: in depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Switching Breakfast Venues

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Switching breakfast venues: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Motivations for switching breakfast locations, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Switching breakfast venues: in depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Motivations for switching breakfast locations, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Motivations for switching breakfast locations, by presence of children, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast Menu Items Consumers Want To See More Of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of: an overview
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of: in depth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Groups: Coffee Drinkers, Breakfast Skippers and Lovers, and Full-Time Employees

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors: weekdays
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Most important weekday restaurant breakfast selection factors, by custom cross-tabs, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors: weekends
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Most important weekend restaurant breakfast selection factors, by custom cross-tabs, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward eating breakfast out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, by custom groups, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Attitudes toward eating weekday breakfast out, by custom groups, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Breakfast menu items consumers want to see more of, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Treaters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Budgeters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Eaters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Breakfast foodservice clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Weekday breakfast usage, by breakfast foodservice clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Weekend breakfast usage, by breakfast foodservice clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Most important restaurant breakfast selection factors, by breakfast foodservice clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Attitudes toward eating breakfast out, by breakfast foodservice clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Breakfast foodservice clusters, by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Breakfast foodservice clusters, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Breakfast foodservice clusters, by HH income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Breakfast foodservice clusters, by race, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Breakfast foodservice clusters, by Hispanic origin, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ABP Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Atlanta Bread Company International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bob Evans Farms Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bruegger's Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • CKE Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Coffee Bean International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Coffee Beanery Limited (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cosi Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Del Taco, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • DineEquity Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Elmer's Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Federal Reserve System
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fresh Express Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • General Mills Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hardee's Food Systems, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International Hotel and Restaurants Association (IH&RA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jamba Juice Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newman's Own Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pepperidge Farm Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Publicis USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Quaker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sonic Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Subway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tim Hortons (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tropical Smoothie Franchise Development Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Breakfast Foodservice Trends - US - February 2009

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