Portable and Profitable: Improving Your Breakfast Offerings!

The numbers don’t lie: consumers are eating breakfast more frequently than ever. Total breakfast occasions are expected to grow 5% through 2019—and morning snacking has increased 17% over the past six years (The NPD Group, 2016).

So, the demand for breakfast is there—how can you capitalize on this opportunity? Consider what matters to your guests. The majority of breakfast meals (70%) are consumed at home, so an away-from-home breakfast should hit on key attributes like convenience, satiation, flavor and value.

Today I’m going to discuss the convenience factor and how grab-and-go or portable breakfast items can add excitement to the morning daypart. It’s important to consider how the format of breakfast has evolved over the past few years. Consider the current popularity of meals in a bowl. Ingredients you’re already using for your lunch and dinner menus can be easily adapted to create breakfast bowls that patrons will love. Topping a quinoa bowl with marinated pulled pork, veggies and a soft-boiled egg creates a savory and healthful meal that will provide customers with a boost of energy to get through the morning. On-the-go hash bowls are another fun way to give your guests a tasty breakfast experience, even in a time crunch. Corned beef, pastrami and Canadian bacon are perfect for those dishes.

Technomic, The Breakfast Consumer Trends Report, 2015.

Any type of breakfast that you can wrap, pack in a taco shell or stuff between two slices of bread is sure to be a hit with patrons. And there’s really no limit to the flavor creativity you can serve up with this format. Foodservice research firm Datassential has identified chimichurri, kimchi, harissa and wasabi as some of the up-and-coming flavors on breakfast menus. Using pulled turkey, pork or chicken as the protein foundation, serve up breakfast burritos or sandwiches with globally inspired sauces and toppings to really set your menu apart.

Datassential Menu Trends, menu penetration growth 2005-2016.

Finally, another on-the-go trend that’s hot right now is the breakfast bite. (You may be familiar with the Sous Vide Egg Bites from Starbucks, for example.) The West Liberty Foods team can customize breakfast “poppers” or bites with a variety of breadings, proteins, sauces and cheeses to fit your menu needs. Think biscuit poppers stuffed with premium pork sausage and gravy, for example. They’re savory, delicious and a convenient breakfast option for your customers.

Here are a few more tips and tricks for making portable versions of your guests’ favorite breakfast dishes:

  • Make sausage the star. Grill a breakfast-style coarse-ground chicken, arugula and apple sausage link; serve on a pretzel bun with scrambled egg and fontina cheese.
  • Hash out new ways to use skillet ingredients. Offer up a breakfast Reuben panini with eggs, Swiss cheese, grilled onions and pastrami.
  • Turn Eggs Benedict into a sandwich! Stuff a toasted English muffin with a free-form cooked egg, hollandaise sauce and Canadian bacon.

With so many delicious bread, protein and topping combinations, the possibilities for portable breakfast are endless. I recommend balancing sweet and savory ingredients for the ultimate crave-worthy meal on the go. And don’t forget the coffee!

– Chef Aliza