Five Trends in Breakfast

February 1, 2016
Consumer Flavor Ingredients Trends
With a consumer base that continually changes how, when and what it eats, “the most important meal of the day” is going through an evolution as well. The desire for convenience and flavor customization is stronger than ever while functional ingredients and nontraditional products are gaining ground. Even the time of day is changing, with breakfast food becoming the newest anytime snack. Here’s a look at five breakfast trends we’re tracking.

For the full report, click here! 

1. Fast and Functional

More and more, convenience and speed are key for consumers in their breakfast choices. Constantly on the go, most breakfast consumers are still going to their pantries for the first meal of the day. Even when pressed for time in the morning 68% of breakfast eaters polled by Instantly said that they usually grab something from home before heading out. And typically what they grab needs to be packed with functional ingredients or having perceived healthy ingredients like ancient grains. Mintel data shows that 38% of cereal consumers say high protein is an important nutritional factor in cereal, while 52% say the same about high fiber. As a result, companies are starting to provide more functional ingredients across the spectrum of breakfast foods—all while keeping portability in mind.

Products of Note

  • New Kellogg’s To Go Breakfast Mix combines cereal with nuts, according to a company press release. They are made for the on-the-go consumer and are “to be enjoyed without milk.” The resealable pouch was designed to fit into a car’s cup holder. Flavors include Salted Caramel and Praline Almond, and Cinnamon Roasted Candied Pecan.

  • Nature Valley Crunchy Crunch Apple Granola bar is made with wholegrain oats and baked until crispy. It is described as an on-the-go product that provides “essential energy for modern busy people and can be consumed at any time, and anywhere.”


Breakfast, Delivered

Indian company The Breakfast Box provides convenient on-demand breakfast for its customers, who receive meals delivered when and where they want them. In the first four months of business, the company delivered thousands of nutritionist-approved boxes across Pune city.


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Click here for the full report!

2. Hot Cereal, Yogurt and Bars Gaining Ground

Alternatives to the traditional cold cereal breakfast are taking off. Hot cereal sales have seen a steady increase since 2010 and Mintel forecasts the growth will continue through 2020. This rise can be attributed to the perception that hot cereal is more nutritious and filling than other options. In addition to hot cereal, more consumers are making a breakfast out of yogurt and snack, nutrition and protein bars than ever before. About 38% of yogurt consumers buy it for breakfast, with perceived “higher protein” given as a reason. Over a quarter of consumers polled said that “ideal bar” would replace breakfast. Of those who eat snack, nutrition and/or protein bars, 33% said they look for products that are high in fiber, and 32% said they look for products that are high in protein.

Product of Note:

  • Snyder’s-Lance launched new additions to its successful series of Quick Starts Breakfast Biscuits. According to a company press release, all eight products provide good sources of fiber and B vitamins, with 13 grams of whole grain and 3 grams of protein per serving. New flavors include Raspberry Greek Yogurt and Everything Bagel, among others.


Want to hear more, including how the yogurt market is faring in China? Click here! 

3. Breakfast Anytime

Breakfast isn’t just for the morning hours anymore.  More consumers are eating frozen breakfast foods and cereal as a snack or as later meal. According to Mintel, 87% of cereal consumers say cereal can be consumed at any time of the day, and 75% say it makes a great snack. The trend is cross-generational and doesn’t just apply to cereal — a quarter of consumers eat frozen breakfast foods as a snack, while more than one in five eat them for a different meal than breakfast. Technomic sees a similar trend, reporting that 48 percent of consumers enjoy breakfast foods at nontraditional times.

All Day at McDonald's

McDonald’s launched all-day breakfast nationwide last October after popular demand. As a result, the company saw U.S. sales rise in the third quarter for the first time in years, according to the Chicago Tribune.


4. Personal and Personalizable

From customizable flavors and add-ins to products evoking a memory, consumers want breakfast food to be personalized. About 29% of cold-cereal eaters want to be able to add ingredients like nuts, fruit and flavor packets to their cereal, and 31% of hot cereal eaters said the same. Consumers not only want something that suits their personal taste, but also their personal experience. Younger cereal consumers still think about brands from their childhood, with 68% of Millennials who eat cereal saying the brands they loved as kids are still their favorite, suggesting a possible interest in classic cereals. But they’re not the only generation craving nostalgic breakfast foods. Feeling the same need are 54%, 44% and 37% of Generation Xers, Baby Boomers and Swing Generation members.

Product of Note

Dole Fruit & Oatmeal Apples & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal includes a fruit packet to mix in. Product claims include being a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Click here for the full report, including details on General Mills tapping into nostalgia with retro packaging.

5. Restaurant Menus See Ethnic Breakfast Offerings

About 68% of chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association cite ethnic-inspired breakfast items as trending for 2016. Items like Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes, are considered “ethnic-inspired” according to the report. In fact, both “ethnic-inspired breakfast items” and “traditional ethnic breakfast items” are included in the top five trends for breakfast overall.

Menu offerings:

  • Catch 35 in Chicago serves chorizo and egg breakfast tacos with avocado and Spanish rice on their breakfast menu.

  • The breakfast menu at Japanese restaurant Anzu in San Francisco includes a diced tofu and ginger scrambled egg dish.


For even more details about these breakfast trends, download the full report here! 

Sources:PRNewswire, Mintel GNPD, Mintel Reports, Mintel Menu Insights, Chicago Tribune,,,,,,



Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way.

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