Description

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Frozen Breakfast market including US Frozen Breakfast market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Frozen Breakfast market in the US.

Current market landscape

Three quarters of US households eat frozen breakfast foods, making them a wide favorite. Even more notably, the category is a parental favorite, with products appearing in the freezers of 92% of households with kids under age 18.

Despite the fact that prior to the pandemic most consumers already ate breakfast at home, the category found strong dollar sales growth in 2020-21 from the disruption the pandemic triggered: including a growth in meals prepared and eaten at home, an increased dependence on foods with longer shelf lives – including frozen – and the pursuit of kitchen support from prepared foods and meal helpers.

Future market trends in the US frozen breakfast industry

While the value and convenience of frozen breakfasts will continue to be selling points beyond the pandemic, frozen breakfast players will need to contend with the return to foodservice, as well as a return to more frequent shopping trips, which reduces the need for long shelf-life offerings.

The draw of convenience is clear with the continued dominance of handhelds, but the gains made by entrées on consumer-favorite waffles of late points to consumers looking for full breakfast solutions and not just easy, occasional toaster-ready add-ons. Variety and portability will be important selling points moving forward, with consumers looking for options to support expanded work from home and hybrid working environments.

Read on to discover more about the frozen foods market and US frozen foods market size, read our US Breakfast Foods Market Report 2020, or take a look at our other Meal Occasions Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the frozen breakfast foods market.
  • Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods over other breakfast options.
  • Barriers to more regular breakfast food purchase.
  • Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Tyson, General Mills, Jimmy Dean, Eggo, Red’s Meat Lovers, Sweet Earth, Tattooed Chef, Kidfresh, Member’s Mark, Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin, State Fare, Bountiful Life, Kodiak Cakes, Wild Harvest, Kashi, Julian’s, Bantam Bagels.

Included in this report: Frozen breakfast entrées (eg breakfast bowls, pancakes), frozen breakfast handhelds (eg burritos, sandwiches, toaster pastries, French toast sticks) , frozen waffles.

Not included in this report: Frozen and refrigerated breakfast meats (eg bacon, sausage), refrigerated breakfast entrées and handhelds, breads and pastries (including shelf-stable, fresh, refrigerated and frozen donuts, muffins, bagels, coffeecakes, snack cakes, Danishes, pastries and mixes to make such products).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Beth Bloom, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Frozen breakfast players have many paths moving forward: leaning into occasional indulgence will bring satisfying variety to at-home routines; a play for portability can lessen the blow of the return to on-the-go occasions that might otherwise be lost to foodservice; improving natural positioning and nutritional value can strengthen health cred to make the category a go-to for more frequent meals and snacking for adults and kids.

Beth Bloom, Associate Director – US Food and Drink Reports
Beth Bloom
Associate Director US Food and Drink Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of frozen breakfast foods, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on frozen breakfast foods
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on frozen breakfast foods, November 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • There’s more to winning breakfast than convenience
      • Figure 3: Attributes sought by occasion – Morning meal, 2020
    • Processing perceptions weigh down the category
      • Figure 4: Frozen breakfast food barriers, 2021
    • High protein and natural ingredients entice widest range of consumers
      • Figure 5: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, by frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
    • Frozen breakfast snacks
      • Figure 6: Attributes sought by occasion – Morning snack, 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Pandemic sweetheart status predicted to thaw
    • Frozen handhelds represent nearly half of sales, entrées gain on waffles
    • Category players must look beyond supermarkets
    • Frozen breakfast has what it takes to satisfy hybrid work
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Category will see net pandemic gains, but sales activity projected to slow
      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of frozen breakfast foods, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of frozen breakfast foods, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on frozen breakfast foods
  5. Segment Performance

    • Handhelds reign; entrées gain on waffles amid pandemic
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen breakfast foods, by segment, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Other channels tighten retail race
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of frozen breakfast foods, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
    • A third of shoppers anticipate shopping for frozen foods online post-pandemic
      • Figure 11: Shopping for major categories – Online versus in-store, January 2021
  6. Market Factors

    • Convenience rules at breakfast, but there’s more to winning the occasion
      • Figure 12: Attributes sought by occasion – Morning meal, 2020
    • Frozen loses out to fresh and shelf-stable in the morning
      • Figure 13: Preparation methods by daypart, 2020
    • Portability could be a convenience win for frozen
      • Figure 14: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “convenient,” 2018-21
    • Frozen food outpaces shelf-stable grocery growth
      • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of center-store foods, by segment, at current prices, 2016-21
    • Home-based workforce will be served by variety
      • Figure 16: Work expectations for 2021, 2021
    • Hybrid workers will be the wildcard to focus on
      • Figure 17: Impact of COVID-19 on food/drink choices – At-home meals, I expect to be doing this regularly one year from now, by work expectations for 2021, 2021
    • Frozen breakfast must lean into advantages as foodservice bounces back
      • Figure 18: Sales of food at home and away from home, 2019-21
      • Figure 19: Frozen breakfast food statements – Foodservice – Net – Any agree, 2021
    • Price inflation continues an outsized impact on foodservice
      • Figure 20: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2019-22
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Tyson, Kellogg and General Mills control 69% of category MULO sales
    • Frozen handheld innovation aims to overcome processed perceptions
    • The morning snack occasion presents a strong opportunity
    • Breakfast pizza for the win
  8. Market Share

    • Three companies account for nearly 70% of MULO frozen breakfast sales
      • Figure 21: Perception of Jimmy Dean launches versus all frozen breakfast food launches, 2018-21
    • Eggo brand gives away share to “other” frozen waffle brands, doubles down on parents
      • Figure 22: L’Eggo with Eggo Anthem, April 2021
    • Smaller brands post double-digit gains
    • Private label not owning advantage
      • Figure 23: Share of multi-outlet sales of frozen breakfast foods, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending September 5, 2021
      • Figure 24: Multi-outlet sales of frozen breakfast foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • Handhelds create distance from processed perceptions
      • Figure 25: Leading claims among frozen breakfast handheld launches, 2018-21*
      • Figure 26: Frozen breakfast handheld launches featuring natural and premium claims
    • Entrées look to ethical claims for success; strongest vegetarian action
      • Figure 27: Leading claims among frozen breakfast entrée launches, 2018-21*
      • Figure 28: Frozen breakfast entrée launches featuring vegetarian claims
    • Waffles segment rests on its laurels
      • Figure 29: Leading claims among frozen waffle launches, by segment, 2018-21*
      • Figure 30: Kidfresh waffles, 2021
  10. Market Opportunities

    • Focus on energy and fueling the day
      • Figure 31: Frozen breakfast food launches with energy claims, 2018-21
    • Break into morning snacks
      • Figure 32: Attributes sought by occasion – Morning snack, 2020
      • Figure 33: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “indulgent,” 2018-21
    • Meal helpers and breakfast sides
      • Figure 34: Frozen breakfast food launches, 2018-21
    • Regional dishes diversify home breakfast; breakfast pizza is the way forward
      • Figure 35: Fastest growing breakfast entrées on foodservice menus, Q2 2019-Q2 2021
      • Figure 36: Regional foodservice breakfast items, 2021
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Frozen breakfast foods have wide reach
    • Speed and ease are key advantages; processed perceptions limit use
    • Category shoppers drawn to elements not characteristic of the category
    • Health innovation of interest differs by category shoppers/non-shoppers
  12. Breakfast Consumption Frequency

    • One in 10 US adults rarely or never eat breakfast
      • Figure 37: Breakfast consumption frequency, 2021
    • Men are more devoted to breakfast
      • Figure 38: Breakfast consumption frequency, by gender, 2021
    • Young breakfast skippers can be swayed through morning snacks
      • Figure 39: Breakfast consumption frequency, by age, 2021
    • Parents make time for breakfast; it’s likely not their own
      • Figure 40: Breakfast consumption frequency, by parental status and gender, 2021
  13. Frozen Breakfast Food Purchase

    • Three quarters of US adults purchase frozen breakfast food
      • Figure 41: Frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
      • Figure 42: Change in frozen breakfast food purchase – Net – Any frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
    • Frozen breakfast foods are a parental staple
      • Figure 43: Frozen breakfast food purchase, by parental status, 2021
    • Small formats can be key to enticing kids to eat up
      • Figure 44: Frozen breakfast food purchase, by parental status and age of children, 2021
    • Even non-parents are fans
      • Figure 45: Frozen breakfast food purchase, by non-parents and age, 2021
    • Waffles, burritos meet the needs of lower-earning households
      • Figure 46: Frozen breakfast food purchase, by financial situation, 2021
    • French toast sees the biggest gains, toaster pastries see the largest flight
      • Figure 47: Change in frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
  14. Reasons for Choosing Frozen Breakfast Foods

    • Speed and ease lead reasons for use, kids too
      • Figure 48: Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods, 2021
    • Good taste is the domain of waffles
      • Figure 49: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “tasty,” 2018-21
    • Protein communicates health
      • Figure 50: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “healthy,” 2018-21
    • Convenience cues are a strong sell for women
      • Figure 51: Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods, by gender, 2021
    • Ease of use appeals to older shoppers; affordability key to younger groups
      • Figure 52: Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods, by age, 2021
    • Health and satiety a focus for products serving 6-11 year olds
      • Figure 53: Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods, by parental status and age of children, 2021
    • Variety will be strong selling point for daily breakfast eaters
      • Figure 54: Reasons for choosing frozen breakfast foods, by breakfast consumption, 2021
  15. Frozen Breakfast Food Barriers

    • Processing perceptions limit the category
      • Figure 55: Frozen breakfast food barriers, 2021
      • Figure 56: Frozen breakfast food barriers, by frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
    • On-pack messaging can help with natural perceptions in store
      • Figure 57: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “natural,” 2018-21
    • One in 10 men think frozen breakfast foods involve too much cleanup
      • Figure 58: Frozen breakfast food barriers, by gender, 2021
    • Improve health perceptions to appeal to frequent breakfast eaters
      • Figure 59: Frozen breakfast food barriers, by breakfast consumption frequency, 2021
  16. Breakfast Food Statements

    • Target, seek inspiration from fresh and non-breakfast occasions
      • Figure 60: Breakfast food statements, 2021
    • Health, versatility are the draw for parents
      • Figure 61: Breakfast food statements, by parental status, 2021
  17. Interest in Frozen Breakfast Food Innovation

    • High protein and natural ingredients have the strongest sway
      • Figure 62: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, 2021
      • Figure 63: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, by frozen breakfast food purchase, 2021
    • Women interested in carb-cutting
      • Figure 64: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, by gender, 2021
    • Health innovation draws in older shoppers; younger consumers seek flavor
      • Figure 65: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, by age, 2021
      • Figure 66: Top three frozen breakfast food launches rated as “unique,” 2018-21
    • Serve parents through the ease of larger formats
      • Figure 67: Frozen breakfast food innovation of interest, by parental status, 2021
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of frozen breakfast foods, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen breakfast handhelds, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen breakfast handhelds, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen breakfast entrées, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen breakfast entrées, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen waffles, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen waffles, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 75: US supermarket sales of frozen breakfast foods, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 76: US sales of frozen breakfast foods through other retail channels, at current prices, 2016-21
  20. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 77: Multi-outlet sales of frozen breakfast foods, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 78: Multi-outlet sales of frozen breakfast handhelds, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 79: Multi-outlet sales of frozen breakfast entrées, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 80: Multi-outlet sales of frozen waffles, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021

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