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Breakfast Restaurant Trends - US - January 2015

“There is still room for expansion and improvements in the breakfast segment. Some of the biggest names in foodservice breakfast are still pushing the envelope in terms of beverages and food innovation. The biggest hurdle for operators is to keep up with the fast movement of the segment. Brands that can innovate and keep prices at a reasonable “sweet spot” will more than likely do well in the future.”
– Katrina Fajardo, Foodservice Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Can beverages become a viable driver of breakfast visits?
  • Consumers are price-sensitive during breakfast
  • Consumers want a little bit of everything in the morning

The breakfast daypart has enchanted, and disheartened, many operators, as some brands succeed in the very profitable daypart, and some falter. Due to consumers’ demands for affordable options with quality ingredients and more beverage options, the breakfast market still has room to grow. Yet operators often struggle to find the “sweet spot” of menu mix and pricing. This report explores the breakfast landscape, consumer desires, and how brands can better compete against other operators, as well as in-home breakfast options.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel defines the breakfast restaurant market as self-reported expenditure for “breakfast / brunch,” as well as traditional breakfast foods consumed during different dayparts. Expenditures at employer and school cafeterias, college boarding plans, and catered meals are excluded from the definition. 

 

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                      • The market
                        • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Market drivers
                        • Consumer confidence
                          • Unemployment
                            • Millennials are the new core consumer
                              • The consumer
                                • Opportunities lie within breakfast beverages
                                  • Figure 2: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, October 2014
                                  • Figure 3: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, October 2014
                                • Price, quality, and convenience are the major attributes that drive breakfast visits
                                  • Figure 4: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, October 2014
                                • Hispanics are a core demographic in breakfast
                                  • Figure 5: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                    • Can beverages become a viable driver of breakfast visits?
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • Consumers are price-sensitive during breakfast
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                                • Consumers want a little bit of everything in the morning
                                                  • The issues
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • Trend Application

                                                        • Trend: The Nouveau Poor
                                                          • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                            • Trend: Slow it all Down
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Sales and forecast of market
                                                                  • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                  • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Segment overview
                                                                    • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, by venue, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                    • Figure 10: Total US sales of breakfasts at restaurants and other eating places, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                  • Full service restaurant segment performance
                                                                    • Figure 11: Total US sales and forecast of breakfasts at full service restaurants, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                    • Figure 12: Total US sales and forecast of breakfasts at full service restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                  • Segment fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Figure 13: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of breakfasts at full service restaurants, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                  • Segment performance – QSR/other eating places
                                                                    • Figure 14: Total US sales of breakfasts at QSR/other eating places, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                    • Figure 15: Total US sales of breakfasts at QSR/other eating places, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                  • Segment fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Figure 16: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of breakfasts at QSR/other eating places, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Consumer confidence
                                                                      • Figure 17: Consumer Confidence Index, January 2004-November 2014
                                                                    • Unemployment
                                                                      • Figure 18: US unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-November 2014
                                                                    • Chicken is the new bacon in breakfast
                                                                      • Figure 19: Consumer Price Index – Average price data: beef and chicken, January 2007-October 2014
                                                                    • Hispanics are a huge opportunity for foodservice during morning meal
                                                                      • Figure 20: Total US population growth trends, by race and Hispanic origin, 2009, 2014, and 2019
                                                                    • Millennials are a consumer powerhouse
                                                                      • Obesity rates
                                                                        • Figure 21: American adults, by weight category, as determined by Body Mass Index (BMI), 2008-14
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Retail food offers same attributes consumers seek at restaurants
                                                                          • At-home coffee technology competes with foodservice
                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                            • Overview
                                                                              • Coffee menus are expanding to attract beverage-driven breakfast visits
                                                                                • Chick-fil-A sources coffee from THRIVE
                                                                                  • Bruegger’s Bagels celebrates coffee
                                                                                    • Rotating breakfast menus fall in line with seasons
                                                                                      • Summer
                                                                                        • Fall
                                                                                          • Winter/holiday
                                                                                            • Starbucks is taking speed to a new level
                                                                                              • Breakfast offerings are changing menu norms
                                                                                                • Food trucks are expanding ethnic flavors to morning meals
                                                                                                  • Taco John’s promotion for its meat and potato breakfast burrito
                                                                                                    • Taco Bell’s successful breakfast launch
                                                                                                      • Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks test alternative dairy
                                                                                                        • Dunkin’ Donuts debuts Angus steak breakfast items
                                                                                                          • Health and indulgence have customers battling the breakfast angel and devil on their shoulders
                                                                                                            • Convenience stores are becoming known for breakfast
                                                                                                              • 7-Eleven celebrates 50 years of fresh coffee
                                                                                                                • Free breakfast tacos
                                                                                                                • Menu Analysis and Breakfast Sandwich Topping Desires

                                                                                                                  • Top breakfast items by segment
                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Top 10 items on breakfast menus, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Top 10 items on breakfast menus, by incidence, quick service restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Top eight items on breakfast menus, by incidence, fast casual restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Top 10 items on breakfast menus, by incidence, full service restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                  • Breakfast sandwiches – menued and desired ingredients
                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Top 25 breakfast sandwich ingredients, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                  • Panelists are looking for new breads for their breakfast sandwiches
                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • The most common cheeses on breakfast sandwiches are struggling
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Egg whites in breakfast sandwiches are on the rise
                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Traditional meats for breakfast sandwiches have declined
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Vegetables and sauces could be where innovation lies in the product
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Omelettes
                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Omelette incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Top 20 Omelette ingredients, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                  • Pancakes and waffles
                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Pancake and waffle incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Top 10 pancake and waffle ingredients, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                  • Coffee
                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Coffee incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Top 10 coffee types, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Top five coffee preparation types, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                • Consumer Data – Overview

                                                                                                                    • Convenience and affordability are important when dining out for breakfast
                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart, October 2014
                                                                                                                      • Opportunities lie among restaurant segments based on food or beverage drivers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, October 2014
                                                                                                                        • Price and quality are top of mind at breakfast
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, October 2014
                                                                                                                          • While a number of consumers are seeking more beverage options in the morning, one quarter are satisfied with what is offered now
                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, October 2014
                                                                                                                        • Consumer Data – By Gender

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Women place higher importance on convenience and affordability
                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • Men are heavier users of restaurants for breakfast visits
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                              • Women are more likely to prefer specialty coffees versus men
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Top three ranks, beverage only, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • Consumer Data – By Age

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Indulgence is very important to younger consumers, while speed matters for those in key workforce ages
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Millennials and Generation X-aged consumers are bigger users of restaurants for breakfast
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers aged 55+ are influenced by quality, while Millennials are influenced by indulgent offerings
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Consumers over 65 rank eggs, brewed coffee high; Millennials more interested in beverages
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Rank one, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Data – By Race

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Blacks more likely to seek customization
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Black and Asian consumers cross-utilize segments for breakfast
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Blacks and Other races interested in more beverages for breakfast
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Data – By Hispanic/Non-Hispanic

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Breakfast is an important daypart for Hispanics
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Hispanics look for inviting ambience when dining out for breakfast
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Hispanics would also like to see more beverage variety on breakfast menus
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Data – By US Region

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • The most important attribute during breakfast is affordability, regardless of region
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Panelists in the Northeast are more likely to frequent coffeehouses for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast sandwiches are most popular in the South
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Rank one, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Data – By Income

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Consumers with household incomes less than $50K are more likely to rank affordability, indulgence, and customization as “very important”
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Households with incomes over $100K less likely to visit QSRs and c-stores for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Price influences panelists with incomes less than $75K, while quality of coffee and cleanliness are top of mind for those with $100K+
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Data – By Restaurant Segment

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Convenience and speed are more important to panelists who visited QSR segments; value is important at full service
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by breakfast visitation by restaurant segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Panelists who visited c-stores for breakfast are looking for more beverage offerings
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by breakfast visitation by restaurant segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Data – By Main Reason for Breakfast Visit

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Food-driven breakfast visitors are more likely to say affordability and value are very important attributes to the dining experience
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Consumer rankings of important attributes by restaurant daypart – Very important, by breakfast visitation by main reason, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Beverage-driven breakfast visits are influenced by restaurants with quality coffee and a nice atmosphere
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by breakfast visitation by main reason, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Main reason for restaurant breakfast visit – Row nets, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Restaurant/Food outlet usage, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Frequency – Dining out plans in 2015, by spend – Dining out plans in 2015, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Breakfast menu items by menu section, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Breakfast sandwich incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Juice incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Top 10 juice types, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Tea incidence by restaurant segment, Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Top 10 tea types, by incidence, total commercial restaurants Q3 2011-Q3 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Gender

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Rank one, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Top three ranks, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Age

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Race

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Rank one, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Hispanic/Non-Hispanic

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By US Region

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by region, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Income

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Rank one, household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Desired breakfast sandwich fillings – Consumers’ total breakfast sandwich filling desires, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 98: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by household income, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Restaurant Segment

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Drivers to visit restaurants for breakfast, by breakfast visitation by restaurant segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Top breakfast items ordered by consumers – Top three ranks, by breakfast visitation by restaurant segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Data – By Main Reason for Breakfast Visit

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Consumer attitudes regarding restaurant beverages at breakfast, by breakfast visitation by restaurant segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                        Breakfast Restaurant Trends - US - January 2015

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