This A.M. daypart isn't just for early risers. Here are options for expanding.

You have nearly everything you need to be successful at breakfast: Beautiful facilities, a trained staff, and loyal customers.

So why do so many operations struggle with this daypart? Keeping up is often hard to do. And as we reported in January, breakfast is changing.

Breakfast is starting to look like brunch at times. Or late night. Or all day if you’re McDonald’s. And sales are growing, sometimes impressively, over other dayparts.

So you cannot afford to snooze. Breakfast offers an astounding array of menu choices and options. It provides plenty of margins in the beverage segment. It’s adaptable to global flavors. It can be leisurely or on the go. It serves well out the window, if necessary.

Stephen Gerike of the National Pork Board says tastes are evolving. “When young people are heading off to work and stop to grab something to eat, what’s relevant to them isn’t what grandma made for breakfast, it’s more international flavors.”

All of which spell opportunity. QSR reached out to nine suppliers in the breakfast space to get their thoughts on how to wake-up your breakfast sales.

American Egg Board

1. American Egg Board

The American Egg Board communicates the value of “the incredible edible egg.” John Howeth, senior VP of foodservice and egg product marketing, says the company’s R&D team is taking advantage of unique menu opportunities. “We’re trying to pair eggs with more vegetables, which often allow us to incorporate some ethnic interest, too,” he says. The “all day egg” offer great pairings with foods and flavors.

Del Monte

2. Del Monte

Del Monte strives to cultivate the best garden quality vegetables, fruits, and tomatoes to help foodservice companies to add vitality and health to the menu. VP of marketing Dionysios Christou says, “Consumers are looking for fresh and healthy options when they’re on the go, and the company’s Grab N Go fruit and veggie cups offer a simple solution. Whether it’s as a side item or topping, fresh produce has become a must on limited—service menus across the country.”


3. Smithfield

Smithfield offers a full portfolio of quality flavor carriers and spans a variety of cuisines and mealtimes. “Now, operators have to think even more about what you can take from breakfast and expand it from there into appetizers or late night as well,” says director of foodservice Chip Morgan. “Breakfast is picking up on the trends that have been proliferating everywhere else—especially spicy, savory, and ethnic for forward-thinking brands.”

S&D Coffee & Tea

4. S&D Coffee & Tea

S&D Coffee & Tea ensures that quick serves can compete on the beverage front. VP of marketing John Buckner says operators need to address the platform holistically—which means investing in a variety of flavors, prices, and cup sizes. “In order to become a destination for coffee, you really have to have a program that appeals to all ages,” Buckner says. “We’ve proven that even legacy quick-service brands can rival trendy beverage spots.”


5. Johnsonville

Johnsonville is America’s number one brand of sausage. Senior brand manager Sarah Babb says the latest additions were intentionally chosen to feature flavors that would shine at breakfast and transition well to any time of day—especially the new Maple Chipotle Sausage and Mexican—inspired Chorizo. “The breakfast category is hot right now,” Babb says. “Consumers who eat on the go want something that is satisfying and easily eaten in transit.”

Michael Foods Inc.

6. Michael Foods Inc.

Michael Foods is a leader in innovative, value—added food technology and customer solution. Josh Nissen, brand manager for the egg brand Papetti’s from Michael Foods Inc., says substituting egg whites for whole eggs is a popular way to create a lower—calorie option without skimping on protein. “Offering choices to customize breakfast entrées is quickly becoming a simple way to accommodate health—conscious guests without overhauling the entire menu.”

National Pork Board

7. National Pork Board

The National Pork Board is the catalyst that unites pork producers with key stakeholders. Stephen Gerike, director of foodservice marketing and innovation says brands are learning to provide options that allow better portability and that don’t require additional saucing or maneuvering on the part of the consumer. Gerike says pork works well for breakfast items because of its ability to carry flavors and retain moisture to a greater extent than many other proteins.


8. Blendtec

Blendtec builds blenders to the highest commercial standards. Regional sales director Scott Rhoades sees smoothies as a way for brands to craft items that transcend dayparts. “Blendtec is perfect for the breakfast market, but on top of that, it can be used as a mid-afternoon booster as well.” He adds that smoothies are especially beneficial when brands are looking to add new blended breakfast items geared toward consumers seeking health.


9. Haliburton

Haliburton’s goal is to marry food science and culinary excellence. Customized breakfast blends are primed and ready to be placed in any breakfast application and sent away with a hungry customer. The blends include fire—roasted vegetables, beans, grains, rice, salsas, or sauces. “It’s an easy way to get people excited to try new things,” says director of culinary Mike Leccese. “Breakfast blends let customers dip their toes in with new flavors.”

All day, better for you, and loaded with flavor. Breakfast is changing, and it has the potential to drive sales for your brand. Options abound, and smart operators are on board with the new trends.

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