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Restaurant Breakfast and Brunch Trends - US - September 2019

Covered in this report

This report will cover consumer attitudes, perceptions and behaviors surrounding breakfast and brunch in the foodservice industry. In this report, “breakfast” can either refer to the morning dining occasion as well as a type of food that may or may not be consumed in the morning (eg pancakes for dinner). Likewise, “brunch” refers to an actual occasion (a meal between breakfast and lunch) as well as the foods commonly associated with brunch. While consumer attitudes/behaviors regarding breakfast foods from retail (ie food purchased from a grocery store) will be discussed briefly, retail breakfast foods are not covered in depth.

For information on retail breakfast foods please see: Frozen Breakfast – US, July 2019, Breakfast Foods – US, July 2018.


"Restaurant breakfast and brunch visitation is on the decline, driven by the proliferation of premium breakfast retail options coupled with consumers’ lowered perceptions of breakfast as an important meal occasion. Operators should concentrate on expanding coffee beverages and nontraditional breakfast offerings including global flavors, snackable options and plant-based ingredients to attract customers back to the morning occasion."

- Hannah Spencer, Foodservice Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Breakfast continues to decline in importance
  • Americans are dining out less often for breakfast and brunch
  • Retail remains restaurant breakfast’s biggest competitor

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Key takeaways
          • The issues
            • Breakfast continues to decline in importance
              • Figure 1: Meal statements – Any agree, 2014 and 2018
            • Americans are dining out less often for breakfast and brunch
              • Figure 2: Breakfast and brunch visitation, April 2018 and July 2019
            • Retail remains restaurant breakfast’s biggest competitor
              • Figure 3: Purchase by menu item type and location, July 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Coffee brings in breakfast customers
                • Figure 4: Breakfast and brunch statement agreement, by parental status and gender, July 2019
              • Consumers are looking for variety
                • Figure 5: TURF Analysis – Breakfast/brunch menu item interest, July 2019
              • Hispanics are key breakfast and brunch diners
                • Figure 6: Breakfast and brunch statement agreement, by Hispanic origin, July 2019
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Retails takes a cue from foodservice
                • Breakfast is losing its importance
                  • Gen Z and Millennial generations are increasingly diverse and important to breakfast and brunch growth
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Retail remains consumers’ top breakfast and brunch purchase location
                      • Figure 7: Breakfast and brunch purchase, by location
                    • Retail brands take inspiration from foodservice
                      • Figure 8: Foodservice-inspired retail options
                      • Figure 9: Devour brand Double Sausage & Bacon Loaded Tots
                      • Figure 10: Mush Coconut Cold Brew Overnight Oats
                      • Figure 11: Kodiak Cakes Cinnamon & Maple Flapjack Cup
                  • Market Factors

                    • Breakfast falls in importance
                      • Figure 12: Meal statements, 2014 and 2018
                    • Hispanics, Asians are key breakfast and brunch customers
                      • Figure 13: Percentage of population, by Hispanic origin, 2014-24
                      • Figure 14: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2014-24
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Global flavors proliferate on breakfast and brunch menus
                      • McDonald’s shrinks its all-day breakfast menu
                        • Protein options expand to include more plant-based and seafood ingredients
                          • Emerging family dining chains find success
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Global influence on the menu
                              • Figure 15: Breakfast and brunch menu incidence growth, by menu item cuisine type, Q2 2016-Q2 2019
                            • Coffee options grow beyond the coffee shop
                              • Figure 16: Change in incidence of coffee drinks on menus, by segment, Q2 2016-Q2 2019
                          • What’s Struggling?

                            • McDonald’s rolls back its all-day breakfast menu offerings
                              • Legacy family dining chains left in the dust by regional emerging brands
                              • What’s Next?

                                • Breakfast operators cater to diners’ interest in plant-based options
                                  • Seafood spices up breakfast and brunch menus
                                    • Figure 17: Menu incidence growth of select seafood ingredients on breakfast and brunch menus, Q2 2016-Q2 2019
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Breakfast and brunch visitation is in decline
                                    • Gen Z and Millennials as well as parents, Hispanic and Asian consumers are key to category growth
                                      • Health is important to morning diners
                                        • Parents prioritize coffee and convenience
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Visitation

                                          • Most have dined out for breakfast or brunch but visitation trails lunch and dinner
                                            • Figure 18: Breakfast and brunch visitation, July 2019
                                            • Figure 19: Breakfast and brunch visitation, April 2018 and July 2019
                                          • Younger generations are key breakfast and brunch diners
                                            • Figure 20: Breakfast and brunch visitation, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Almost two thirds of dads dine out for breakfast and brunch
                                            • Figure 21: Breakfast and brunch visitation, by parental status and gender, July 2019
                                          • Breakfast and brunch is popular for Hispanic and Asian diners
                                            • Figure 22: Breakfast and brunch visitation, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2019
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Visitation by Location

                                          • QSR visitation high for breakfast, while FSR visitation is high for brunch
                                            • Figure 23: Breakfast and brunch visitation, by location and occasion, July 2019
                                          • Two thirds of Gen Zers have visited a QSR for breakfast
                                            • Figure 24: Breakfast and brunch visitation by location – NET – Any breakfast/brunch occasion, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Hispanics are key full service chain customers
                                            • Figure 25: Breakfast and brunch visitation by location – NET – Any breakfast/brunch occasion, by Hispanic origin, July 2019
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Menu Item Interest

                                          • Diners want more seasonal fresh fruit on menus
                                            • Figure 26: Breakfast and brunch menu item interest, July 2019
                                          • Parents overindex for coffee options
                                            • Figure 27: Breakfast and brunch menu item interest, July 2019
                                          • Menu innovation appeals to younger generations
                                            • Figure 28: Breakfast and brunch menu item interest, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Variety is important to consumers
                                            • Figure 29: TURF Analysis – Breakfast/brunch menu item interest, July 2019
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Menu Item Desired Attributes

                                          • Health is top priority
                                            • Figure 30: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired attributes, July 2019
                                          • Healthful dishes may attract more female consumers
                                            • Figure 31: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired attributes, by gender, July 2019
                                          • Millennials desire vegetarian and vegan options
                                            • Figure 32: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired attributes, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Younger generations are more interested in all-day breakfast
                                            • Figure 33: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired attributes, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Dads want on-the-go options
                                            • Figure 34: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired attributes, by parental status and gender, July 2019
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Menu Item Desired Healthy Attributes

                                          • Protein is important to healthy diners
                                            • Figure 35: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired healthy attributes, July 2019
                                          • Fast casual diners seek a wide range of natural ingredients
                                            • Figure 36: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired healthy attributes, by restaurant segment, July 2019
                                          • Diners do not want to trade off protein content in plant-based dishes
                                            • Figure 37: Breakfast and brunch menu item desired healthy attributes, by breakfast and brunch menu item interest, July 2019
                                        • Breakfast and Brunch Statement Agreement

                                          • Breakfast and brunch is almost one third of diners’ favorite meal
                                            • Figure 38: Breakfast and brunch statement agreement, July 2019
                                          • Younger generations skip breakfast and snack more
                                            • Figure 39: Breakfast and brunch statement agreement, by generation, July 2019
                                          • Parents prioritize coffee quality
                                            • Figure 40: Breakfast and brunch statement agreement, by parental status and gender, July 2019
                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                          • Data sources
                                            • Consumer survey data
                                              • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                      • Figure 41: Households with related children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2018
                                                      • Figure 42: Table – TURF Analysis – Breakfast/brunch menu item interest, July 2019
                                                    • Methodology

                                                    Restaurant Breakfast and Brunch Trends - US - September 2019

                                                    £3,435.47 (Excl.Tax)