The dawn of a new era

The breakfast market is booming. A recent survey revealed Brits are spending £76million every day on eating breakfast out-of-home with almost a third of people eating it out at least once a week. This means there is a growing window of opportunity for operators when it comes to, what is widely considered, the most important meal of the day. 75% of people order a cooked breakfast when eating out-of-home 70% are most likely to order a ‘Full English’ followed by scrambled eggs on toast.

Special diets prove another great opportunity for caterers. A staggering 80% of people don’t think there are currently enough gluten-free cooked breakfast choices, while 54% believe vegetarian options are lacking. Suppliers like Daloon are quickly tapping into this market, offering frozen vegetarian sausages and bubble and squeak. However, the ever-popular Full English is having to make way, to some extent, to cuisines from further afield, as an increasing number of breakfast lovers are looking for a bit of sugar and spice first thing.

Natasha Quinn, foodservice channel operations manager, Ferrero, explains: “We know through external research and our own insight that breakfast as an eating-out occasion has never been more popular. However the bar continues to be raised as consumers look for wow-factor dishes with a difference and the traditional English breakfast is having to move-over for granola pots, breakfast burritos and American pancakes.” Nigel Phillips, of Lamb Weston, agrees: “Pubs and restaurants in the UK are currently seeing a rise in popularity of US and Mexican influenced breakfast dishes. A popular breakfast item in the US, hash browns, have seen a revival in the UK in the last few years. In fact menu listings of hash browns have grown by 163% year on year, since 2010. We’re also seeing a rise in Mexican dishes influencing the UK breakfast sector including breakfast burritos, due to the consumer demand for more handheld snacks and ‘grab and go’ options.”

Make mornings memorable Spices and flavourings are a great way to breathe new life into your breakfast offering. Santa Maria has launched a brand new breakfast concept called ‘Wake up and take a bite’, which is bursting with inspirational recipe ideas. Eimear Owens, of Santa Maria Foodservice, explains: “Extending and refreshing your breakfast menu not only keeps you on-trend, but entices new custom through the door and creates additional opportunities to upsell. “We’ve created a host of exciting new options for our Breakfast concept, like Mexican breakfast burritos and open tortillas, plus we have come up with some clever ways to reinvigorate the classics. Put a Mexican twist on eggs benedict by topping a muffin with refried beans, poached egg, salsa, and hollandaise sauce, or spice up scrambled eggs with smoked paprika.” Visit to download a copy of the concept.

Be inspired ‘The Early Bird Catches the Worm’ – a full English breakfast in a brioche, served with a side of hash browns, is part of an inspirational new menu created by Dave Morton, catering operations manager of the University of Winchester, in partnership with McCain. Meanwhile, Paul Bates, head chef at OXBO Bankside, offers gluten-free aubergine pancakes, crushed avocado, rocket and cherry tomatoes (£14), Worcestershire air dried ham on sour dough with a fried duck egg (£15) and grilled lamb sausages, halloumi cheese and hummus served in warm pitta bread (£15). Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social’s ‘English Breakfast’ offers a grown-up take on the British classic. With presentation a key focus of the dish, ‘English Breakfast’ is served in a beautiful wooden box, from which two pine-smoked pieces of quail are taken and placed on top of a flavourful wheat and barley ‘bowl of cereal’ risotto with wild mushrooms. The dish is accompanied by a sourdough slice of toast topped with a rich quail terrine and a quail stock and lapsang souchong ‘cup of tea’, poured from a teapot at the table – priced at £17.50. Acclaimed chef Mark Sargeant creates beautifully presented dishes that include crushed avocado and tomatoes on sourdough bread, delicate buckwheat crêpes with mango and a fresh fruit salad enhanced by lemongrass at Plum + Spilt Milk. Savile Row’s Sartoria does breakfast with an Italian twist, including Francesco Mazzei’s Eggs Purgatorio (baked eggs, spicy tomato and n’duja sauce with crostoni) and The Italian Job (roasted tomatoes, pancetta, grilled polenta, avocado, Tuscan sausage, fried egg).

Breakfast to go Breakfast on the go is becoming increasingly popular with visits per year up 7% to 11.7% according to M&C Allegra’s Foodservice Food To Go Report last November. Average spend is up by 2% to £3.95 and food to go consumers are twice as likely to purchase an extra item than a more expensive item. Meal deals account for half of all food to go offers and the main reason for buying food to go for breakfast is a work journey. Bacon and sandwiches are the main food to go breakfast items, and viennoiserie, such as Country Range All-butter Croissants and Pains au Chocolat, remain ever popular choices.

Cereal killers According to the Breakfast Cereals 2015 report from Key Note, the breakfast cereals market continued to grow at an impressive rate in 2014, rising by 3.9% in market value despite falling volume sales. This growth has been attributed to the resurgence of the hot cereals sector, as well as heightened demand for premium products. However, the sector’s consumer base is being depleted as the result of a mass exodus triggered by the widening multitude of alternate breakfast options, such as breakfast drinks and biscuits, says Marco Amasanti of Key Note. “Breakfast cereals remain highly different dishes popular among British consumers, upheld for their superior source of energy and nutritional fortification. Over the past few years product choice has shifted from frivolously packaged, excessively sugary and brightly coloured boxes to ‘natural’, unadulterated cereals in quaint, fresh packaging laden with nutritional information and advice. This shift has been most apparent in the children’s subsector, which has faced mounting concern among parents about sugar content as awareness grows of matters of diet and health, catalysed by worsening childhood obesity.”

Be bowled over A growing area in the cereals sector is porridge with its obvious health benefits, and gourmet porridge – set to be one of the leading food trends State-side this year – will no doubt be a key area for breakfast in this country too. The Porridge Café in London, the capital’s first and only porridge-only restaurant, opened to a fanfare of publicity last summer. Granted it only lasted three months, but it showed the huge potential of this market. As consumers continue to exercise their demand to be able to customise their meals, why not offer personalised porridge? Your porridge menu could include different types of grain such as amaranth, freekeh, quinoa and buckwheat, and a choice of toppings – dried and fresh fruits, nuts, spices (such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg), honey and yoghurt – plus a range of different milks (including coconut milk and almond milk).