Restaurants nationwide are catering to consumers' free-form dining habits with menus adaptable across mealtimes, according to Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md.

"This is an age of all-day breakfast selections that can shape-shift their way through the day, multi-purposing for breakfast, lunch, post-work drinks and takeout, dinner and midnight snacks," says David Sprinkle, research director. "Breakfast food menus and retail products can appeal to all budgets, all levels of appetite and all food preferences and dietary requirements."

With the erosion of three squares a day and without a clear distinction between light meals and heavy snacks, the percent of U.S. adults who agree that breakfast is the most important meal a day has notched down somewhat from 57% in 2007 to 52% in 2017, according to the report, “Breakfast and Breakfast Foods All Day: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.” Even so, breakfast still beats the pancakes out of lunch (18%) or dinner (19%) by this measure.

Beyond eggs, bacon and toast, new incarnations of biscuits, donuts and batter dishes such as waffles and pancakes are born again as artisanal expressions of a new generation's creativity. There are also specialty functional juices, signature breakfast sausage sandwiches and fruit/grain food bowls to quell thirst or hunger any time of day. 

At the same time, a widening range of global breakfast specialties continue to hit the trendwaves, such as Asian heritage bao, breakfast versions of banh mi and congee; spicy Mexican chilaquiles and migas; Italian-style fritatas; and Middle Eastern shakshuka.