From the most important meal of the day to an all-day daypart, the cold breakfast category continues to evolve.

In fact, consumers’ increasingly fast-paced lifestyles, growing interest in morning fare at non-traditional times and extended all-day breakfast programs are fueling the trend to expand breakfast foods into new dayparts and mealparts.

According to Chicago-based Technomic’s “2015 US Breakfast Consumer Trend Report,” a majority (60%) of the participants say they’re cutting back on other daypart transactions because they’re purchasing breakfast away from home more often than they did a year ago.

In general, the majority of consumers say they would be more likely to order scratch-made breakfast items (78%), “real” breakfast items (77%), all-natural breakfast items (60%) and breakfast items free of artificial ingredients (64%).

Menu callouts of scratch-made breakfast entrées increased 40% on limited-service restaurant menus during the past two years, according to the study. 

Breakfast represents a vast frontier to capture additional dining dollars in the foodservice industry. In fact, sales during the breakfast daypart reached an estimated $52.2 billion in 2015, and are forecast to climb to $60.4 billion by 2019, according to Mintel, Chicago. 

On the retail side, consumers are diversifying their breakfast selections, from yogurt to frozen breakfast sandwiches and even frozen snacks like bagel bites. They’re also opting for foods that are quick to prepare and eat and offer an affordable alternative to eating out, says the Mintel study.

Likewise, nearly one-quarter of consumers eat frozen breakfast foods even though they seem unhealthy, while 51% of consumers agree taste is more important than health when eating snacks.

Breakfast items that are responsibly sourced, convey quality and feature non-meat proteins and ethnic flavors can spur interest in an ever-expanding category that becomes more than just the most important meal of the day.

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