Gas at the pump may be a habit in the morning but breakfast is your real fuel and it too is succumbing to the new normal. The breakfast daypart has elongated from daybreak till 11 am according to a recently published morning meal study by The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD's Morning MealScape 2011 study says 43 percent are only consuming a beverage and no food, 24 percent what they call a mini-meal 21 percent a traditional breakfast and 11 percent a snack.
Some of us, 41 percent have two or more occasions (e.g. early morning small meal and then a late morning beverage).
Consumer Behavior at Breakfast Changing
We hear about channel blurring, category migration, etc. and the study shows how category definition is becoming more difficult for the food industry. It also points to retailer and brands need to be focusing on Consumer Centric Category Management. Forget what we thought about when developing categories... the traditional breakfast category in supermarkets appears to be less relevant.
Upscale QSR Taking Lead in Breakfast
Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds more upscale offerings are ripe for capturing this new Breakfast Consumer Behavior. McDonalds took a lot of heat several years ago with the new product launch of McCafe. Well every McDonalds corporate comparable sales reports points to McCafe and breakfast as their key revenue driver. Their snacks and sides page along with snack wraps and McCafe shows they appeal to all four morning occasions illustrated by the NPD graphic.
Dunkin Donuts has similarly diverse product offerings as well.
Foodpreneurs Keep a Close Watch
So as a foodpreneur, you may not be in the breakfast category at all, and you should be paying attention here. Consumer behavior is changing, and you must keep a close eye on food trends whether due to the economy or the trends in digital technology affecting how we shop. Expect to see other categories in the supermarket affected by the explosion as well as blurring of daily eating occasions.