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The Breakfast Renaissance: Capturing the Morning Though Thoughtful Research

The Breakfast Renaissance:

Capturing the Morning Though Thoughtful Research

Breakfast is making a comeback as consumers rediscover the simple joy of the morning meal post-pandemic. However, evolving preferences require a reimagination of the most important meal. This report analyzes emerging priorities around convenience, snackification, social experiences, and nutrition to uncover innovation opportunities for brands. Capturing today’s on-the-go, health-conscious and experience-driven AM eater will require strategic partnerships, creative formats and intuitive ordering.

Breakfast was hit hard early in the pandemic when disrupted commutes and routines upended morning meals. But as life resumes, consumers are eager to revive breakfast traditions, albeit with new expectations. While classic offerings remain relevant, brands must cater to demand for portability, flexibility, and personalization. Success requires analyzing changing consumer needs and rethinking breakfast culture accordingly.


Key Opportunities:


  • Snackification – The rise of all-day snacking, especially among Gen Z, enables breakfast formats beyond the traditional morning meal. Rethinking cereals, sandwiches and bars as grab-and-go bites provides options for late nights and in-between cravings.


  • Commuter Classics – With commutes resuming, convenient ordering and portability take center stage. Speedy pick-up, multiple drive-thru lanes, and merch like branded totes cater to busy mornings on the go.


  • Brunch 2.0 – As brunches reopen, consumers expect an experiential social occasion that justifies time and cost. Innovative menus, rewards programs, and grazing boxes provide Instagrammable and adventurous options.


  • Feel Good Foods – While still prioritizing nutrition, consumers want healthy options positioned as delicious and simple versus an obligatory diet. Build-your-own customization enables personalization based on needs.


Remaking Breakfast as an Anytime Bite

With remote work collapsing the distinction between meals and snacks, breakfast is being reimagined as an anytime bite. The morning meal now competes with snacks across all dayparts. Brands have an opportunity to remix cereals, sandwiches, and bars into grab-and-go formats to capture late night and between-meal cravings. Partnerships with lifestyle brands can also introduce breakfast items to new audiences.


Overall, the versatile snackification of breakfast provides expanded reach beyond the traditional AM routine. Products should be optimized for portability and convenience. Unexpected flavor profiles will attract snackers seeking adventure outside traditional breakfast tastes. The opportunity lies in catering to consumers rebelling against conventional meal schedules.


Action Steps:


  • Develop mini and bite-sized breakfast items as portable snacks


  • Partner with lifestyle brands popular among youth audiences


  • Explore unexpected sweet and savory flavor fusions

Commuter Classics: Optimizing for On-the-Go

The return to offices represents a chance to reengage commuters seeking breakfast on-the-go. Speed and convenience are now king, with priorities around swift pick-up, multiple drive-thru lanes, and intuitive mobile ordering.


Breakfast brands can also lean into portability through hand-held product design and merch like branded totes. Overall, capturing the commuter opportunity requires maximizing efficiency and easing the morning rush.


Dedicated pick-up shelves, pre-order functionality, and frictionless payment options will be essential. Packaging should enable meals to be neatly eaten in transit. Simple or one-handed breakfast options also allow easy eating while commuting.


Action Steps:


  • Streamline ordering and drive-thru experiences


  • Design packaging for easy portability


  • Develop simple or one-handed breakfast options

Brunch 2.0:

Elevating the Social Occasion

Brunch maintains relevance as a social occasion worth splurging on. With budgets still tight amid inflation, consumers expect an experiential event that provides Instagrammable moments and a departure from the everyday.


Eateries can deliver on expectations through showstopping menus with unique ingredients and flavor fusions. Over-the-top themes and entertainment also enhance the brunch spectacle. Curated grazing boxes tailored for different occasions provide Instagrammable moments outside the restaurant.


Loyalty programs that reward brunch exploration incentivize consumers to keep returning. The opportunity lies in surprising and delighting guests with creative choices that make brunch feel like a must-do event.


Action Steps:

  • Craft innovative menus with unique ingredients and fusions
  • Incorporate themes, entertainment, and over-the-top elements
  • Offer curated grazing boxes for Instagrammable at-home brunching

Feel Good Foods:

Making Healthy Craveworthy

While nutrition remains important, consumers don’t want to feel forced into rigid or extreme dieting. Brands have permission to make healthier breakfast options deliciously tempting rather than an obligation.


Build-your-own customization also allows consumers to personalize selections based on specific dietary needs, from vegan to keto. Transparent nutritional information enables informed choices.


The opportunity lies in providing nutritious choices that still feel like an indulgent treat. Natural sweeteners, bold flavors, and trendy superfood ingredients can make healthy meals irresistible.


Action Steps:


  • Make nutrition a tempting flavor experience vs a forced diet


  • Offer build-your-own customization based on dietary needs


  • Spotlight functional superfoods and bold flavor fusions

Today’s consumer seeks more than just the morning basics from breakfast. By catering to evolving priorities around convenience, flexibility and experience, brands can innovate across snacks, portability, social occasions and nutrition. Prioritizing these key opportunities will be essential to win today’s on-the-go and health-conscious AM eater.

Let’s connect to discuss captivating today’s breakfast audience.