No matter your operation, the continued growth of the breakfast daypart means now is the time to look into emerging trends that you can use. We turned to the latest information from Datassential’s survey of more than 32,000 breakfast menus across the country. Here are five menu trends to take advantage of to drive cravability for your customers.
- International Flavors for Breakfast
Five of the top 10 fastest growing menu items have an international flair, beginning with breakfast tacos, up 37% in just the past four years. Tacos are just ahead of chilaquiles, breakfast pizza, enchiladas, and burritos. Carne asada burritos and their use of grilled flank steak with scrambled eggs in a tortilla are popular, up 121% since 2013.
What are menu items finding less favor with breakfast-hungry customers? Cereal is down nearly 34%, followed by ham and eggs, down 27%, and bagels and cream cheese.
- Soul Food Finds Flavor
The two fastest-growing breakfast items over the past four years have a Southern soul food appeal. Chicken and waffles are at the top of the food chain with an amazing 192% growth rate, followed by shrimp and grits. Beyond these menu items being high in cravability, they have the ability to be workhorses for all-day breakfast menus that can also be served in other dayparts.
- Compote and Caramel are Hot Flavors
Looking for fresh flavors to add to your breakfast menu to add a healthy halo? Try adding a compote with a description of the fruit you will mix with your sugary syrup. Compote is up 25% just ahead of caramel, honey, and maple syrup. Many operators are emphasizing maple syrup because of its relatively low cost when compared to honey.
- Trendy Breakfast Sandwiches
Breakfast sandwiches are on nearly 50% of menus and a fried, rather than scrambled, egg (up 39%) and chorizo as the protein are the biggest winners. Upscale your breakfast sandwich with trendy Parmesan (up 89%) or Tillamook Cheddar (up 78%). The best trending flavor to add to your sandwich is maple, up 58%, or aioli or gravy.
- Betting on Breakfast Staples
Let’s face it. Eggs are still the champions of breakfast, with 92% of breakfast menus mentioning eggs. Yet, there is growth in how you serve them. Skillets serving a hot scramble or potatoes and a protein with scrambled or fried eggs are up 17% and frittatas are up 5 percentage points.
French toast is the second most commonly mentioned breakfast item, now on 54% of menus, and while the trend for French toast is slightly down, new ways of offering flights of variously flavored French toast and pancakes can drive cravability.
Last, but never least, is the trend of delivering the morning’s starch with a little gravy. Biscuits and gravy are a great example. Now on 13% of American breakfast menus, the savory entrée or side has grown just over 7% in the past four years.
Breakfast experts note that consumers are more health conscious during the work week and more indulgent on the weekends. If you want to go healthier, the fastest growing items are parfaits, up 12%, and yogurt at 10%.