Breakfast is Hot (and Cold)

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

2020 might have proven the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Or at the very least, the most beloved meal of the day. When polled, 62% of Americans named breakfast their favorite meal, according to Convenience Store News. That love deepened as work-from-home and remote learning orders gave consumers an opportunity to slow down and take time for breakfast. Progressive Grocer reported that 44% of Americans are eating breakfast at home every day, versus 33% pre-pandemic. Even as they return to the office, experts agree that this breakfast renaissance isn’t ending anytime soon. Break away from the competition. Amp up your selection with breakfast icons and unexpected surprises.

Consumers’ love of breakfast foods has gotten so intense, they no longer define breakfast as simply a morning meal, opting to enjoy breakfast foods for lunch, dinner – even dessert!

Here are some simple ways to make your breakfast offerings the toast of the town.

Nostalgic Noshing

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2020 brought consumers back to their comfort zones, sending Americans to seek the familiar and nostalgic items that remind them of home and childhood. There is no denying the warm comfort of breakfast classics everyone knows and loves. The Harris Poll commissioned by General Mills found that 51% of Americans name pancakes as their favorite breakfast food. And the pancake’s cousin, the waffle, is still a beloved breakfast staple. Customers like them “a waffle” lot!  High quality mixes that can do double duty like Sarabeth’s Pancake & Waffle Mix, Bob’s Red Mill Homestyle Pancake & Waffle Mix, or Maple Grove Farms Blueberry Pancake & Waffle Mix give customers both classics in one package.

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Increase the excitement by offering breakfast icons with international flare. They’ll flip for the paper-thin Swedish pancakes made by Lund’s Swedish Pancake Mix.  Some pearls of wisdom – pearl sugar gives food a crispy, caramel crunch. Farin’ Up Le Fantastique Belgian Waffles Mix, made with real pearl sugar, will be a crowning jewel of your international breakfast selection.

While Americans are still enjoying nostalgic comfort, there’s also a push for health and wellness, too. Give customers the best of both worlds with comfy breakfast foods that fit into the latest dietary trends. For those following a gluten-free diet, there’s Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix.  Vegetarians will love Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix.  Give them whole grain goodness with Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix.

Sprinkle in Syrups, Spreads & Toppings

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Pancakes and waffles are essentially a blank canvas begging for some extra bling.  Take classics on an adventure while creating the perfect upsell opportunity with out-of-the-box toppings.  According to Convenience Store News, “bessert” aka breakfast for dessert is a growing trend, so dessert toppings on breakfast food is a hot idea. There’s nothing “butter” than the sweet and spicy flavors of speculoos cookies found in Biscoff Cookie Butter Spread as it melts atop a stack of steaming hot waffles or pancakes.  And, there is the classic original bessert – ice cream on waffles. Don’t forget the sundae toppings: cherries, sprinkles, mini versions of chocolate candies, whipped cream, and hot fudge.

Emulate the experience of sweet and sticky cinnamon buns and soft, gooey chocolate cookies without all the guilt. Joolies Cinnamon and Cocoa syrups are made from and sweetened with California grown Medjool dates for a better-for-you sweet syrupy option.  Creating a breakfast upsell opportunity that sells like hotcakes is as simple as updating a classic to meet modern day diet trends. Choczero Sugar Free Maple Syrup offers all the flavor of maple goodness, but it is sweetened with monk fruit. Premium ingredients top the list for toppings that feel homie – Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves add a fabulously fruity homemade flavor.

Stock Serial Favorites

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The breakfast food that tied with pancakes as a favorite? You guessed it  — the other breakfast behemoth — cereal.  The group who was crushing hard on cereal during the pandemic – Millennials.  They “bowled” over all other groups, increasing their cereal intake by 13%, according to Food Dive. Like other breakfast foods, cereal has morphed from solely a morning meal into an anytime snack. Jumbo sized versions of childhood cereal classics like Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, and Corn Pops Jumbo Snax will get them (and every other demographic) cereal-ously excited.

Sweet childhood cereal faves are sharing the spotlight and enjoying serial customers. Filling, fiber-rich Bob’s Red Mill Fruit & Seed Muesli or Familia Swiss Muesli are enjoying the breakfast boom too.  Full of whole grains, nuts and chewy, sweet dried fruit, Muesli bridges the gap between the “better be fun” and “better for you.”

Serve up Savory Adventures

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Consumers’ love affair with breakfast has gotten so serious that 60% said they would want creative twists of breakfast items, according to Convenience Store News. Be their breakfast muse. Offer up suggestions for different savory spins on their breakfast favorites. 

Crepes are usually known as a sweet breakfast or dessert here in the states, so take a play from our French friends and recommend savory add-ins like ham, mushrooms, asparagus, and hollandaise.  Just make sure they start out with a really good crepe mix like  Farin’UP Le Fabulous French Crêpes Mix so they can craft their own crepes into paper thin perfection.

For those customers looking to show off new cooking skills they gained during recent stay at home orders,  recommend savory corn pancakes made with Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Corn Flour. For those going gluten free, show them the savory side with chickpea pancakes made with Pereg Chickpea Flour.

Sweet, simple, savory, or splendid . . . breakfast food is not just having a moment, it’s here to stay. And, we’re here for it!

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