Breakfast Trends - Macphie

Breakfast trends and your market share

Breakfast is the fastest UK growth area in food to go market with all the major players, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger upping their breakfast offer.

According to a recent Mintel Report*, consumers are increasing the frequency of breakfasts eaten out but have very different agendas depending on age demographic and also whether it’s a weekend or during the week.  So if you happen to be between 25-35, you are far more likely to take breakfast either at the desk or on the train during the week, and as an outing to a fast food chain with friends at the weekend. Older consumers in the 35-50 group see breakfast as fuel and tend to be more organised about eating at home, making the exception for an occasional indulgence or emergency during the week.

That said, another important reason for this increase in breakfast sales is thought to be an improvement in the range and types of products available rather than organic growth in demand. It is important to note that many breakfast sales are an extension of a beverage purchase and here consumers are increasingly discerning in their demands. This means that if smaller craft bakeries want to take advantage of this growth market, they will need to invest in a decent coffee machine and some specialty teas as a basic requirement.

Having got the coffee machine, the next decision is what to offer with the temptation to replicate what people eat at home. However, the same report highlights that whilst at home we eat toast, cereals, yoghurt and fruit, when on the go we prefer hot, cooked food and baked goods, either savoury or a sweet indulgence such as a Danish pastry or a muffin.  These are products hard to produce at home so offer something extra to the consumer on the go.

The great advantage to the bakery sector is that with consumers making less visits to the High Street for shopping, catching them on the way to work is a good opportunity to cross-sell lunchtime products and breakfast/lunch products. Joint promotions can be a profitable way to get two slices of business. The challenge here of course is to have both offers ready in the shop at the time the consumers want them.

*Mintel Breakfast Eating Habits 2011