FD Buyer: Restaurant Trends Grocers Should Know

Jan 07, 2011

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary
of a current article from Frozen & Dairy Buyer magazine.

An October
study by Packaged Facts suggests that retailers take a page from the restaurant
playbook when it comes to breakfast.

Noting that chefs and product innovators
are reinventing breakfast in order to offer alternatives to the typical quick-serve
fare, the report stated: "The
fact is that breakfast isn’t just hot. It’s cold, eaten in the
form of whole grain cereal and customized granola. It’s gourmet made
into elaborate artisan bread sandwiches. Breakfast is so much more than it
used to be – and it’s more popular than ever, despite the economic downturn."

fierce competition for the consumer’s breakfast dollar between restaurants,
supermarkets, convenience stores and "street food", innovators
are pushing the envelope with new products, flavors and even new uses for existing

Here are several restaurant breakfast trends that bear watching:

Traditional breakfast dishes using the freshest ingredients
and incorporating global flavor twists.

New Whole Grains: As consumers are looking for gluten-free alternatives
and better-tasting healthful breakfast options, whole grain cereal and breakfast
pastry are diversifying beyond whole wheat.

Waffles Gone Wild: Waffles can be used as a carrier or simply solo
and are taking on new savory and sweet forms everywhere from fine dining to
street food.

Breakfast pizza: Savory pies get a breakfast twist, topped with ingredients
such as eggs, bacon and even fruit.

Eggs All Day: A flexible protein that’s being adapted for all

Breakfast in a Bowl: Breakfast foods ranging from savory to sweet,
combined together in a bowl for a portable, convenient breakfast.

Discussion Questions: How do you see the breakfast opportunity evolving for
food retailers? What restaurant breakfast trends offer the most potential for

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6 Comments on "FD Buyer: Restaurant Trends Grocers Should Know"

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David Biernbaum
10 years 4 months ago

The competition for breakfast is at an all-time peak. C-stores are selling speed and convenience. Fast Food restaurants are selling the new and different. Regular full service restaurants are selling quality and wholesomeness. May supermarkets are being left behind because they have not been able to pinpoint what it is that they offer. My vision would be for supermarkets to offer prepared foods and a fast special checkout lane.

However, the next best thing would be to offer a nicer and more upscale selection of microwave prepared foods for home!

Ryan Mathews
10 years 4 months ago

Breakfast is continuing to evolve into a Grab-Go-Gulp In Your Car meal. Supermarkets may be best served by focusing on the bacon and egg in your kitchen crowd.

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
10 years 4 months ago

As I always reference, “The Paradox of Choice.” There are already too many choices for the consumer. They are going to go with the brands (McDonald’s) and location based (Speedway) that fit their shopping behaviors. Grocery stores that roll out 1,000 new products will not prosper.

Steve Montgomery
10 years 4 months ago

Breakfast, “the most important meal of the day” we have been told over and over again. Perhaps it’s true and that is why despite these interesting economic times, breakfast sales continue to grow.

A lot of its growth has come from the on-the-go segments of the population. That is why QSR and c-stores continue to gain market share. Dashboard dining here to stay in the U.S. This helps explain why an old time breakfast staple like oatmeal is gaining in popularity in QSRs and c-stores but not doing as well in the take home segment.

I agree with David in that it appears the only way supermarkets are going to compete with the dash and dine buyer is to sell more microwave (i.e., fast to prepare) foods at home. Something that they cannot get at a c-store or QSR. Might help if the meal was something that they could take with them in the car.

Ryan Mathews
10 years 4 months ago

The microwave argument might be a good one if that’s where people ate breakfast but we know people are increasingly eating in their cars or at their desks/work stations so that “breakfast” has to be hot at purchase and consumable with one hand.

Jonathan Marek
10 years 4 months ago

Here at APT, we’re talking about a “breakfast bubble” — too many new offerings chasing a limited opportunity. If I were a less foodservice-focused player, I’d be very cautious about jumping into this space.


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