Working from home is becoming the new normal coupled with remote learning for children. In addition, common and comforting breakfast foods such as cereal, donuts, and muffins are nostalgic and remind individuals of their childhood. These behaviors have led to a return to breakfast basics and a renewed interest in breakfast food.
According to an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by General Mills Foodservice, nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans report eating more breakfast foods during the COVID-19 pandemic than normal.a The below list shows respondents’ top favorite breakfast items:
- Eggs 72%
- Cereal and Pancakes both 51%
- Donuts 36%
- Cinnamon Rolls 34%
- Muffins 33%
Comax Flavors’ primary research on consumers’ behavior, usage, and attitudes towards sweet baked products mirrors The Harris Poll findings.b Muffins and donuts are heavily consumed in the morning, as breakfast, and with breakfast:
In the morning: Muffins 72% Donuts 63%
As breakfast: Muffins 36% Donuts 32%
With breakfast: Muffins 27% Donuts 26%
Before the pandemic, cereal was declining. However, the silver lining of the pandemic for cereal brands is that cereal is on the rebound. According to IRI, for the past 12 months, cold-cereal sales in U.S. retail rose 7.7%.c Nielsen reported that cereal is in nearly nine out of 10 American households.d
According to a survey of 1,003 Americans commissioned by General Mills Big G cereals, cereal meets parents’ needs for what they want in a breakfast food: e
- 89% of respondents think cereal is “something that suits their child’s taste preferences”
- 85% of respondents believe cereal “is easy and convenient”
Cereal brands have been innovative with nostalgic flavors and partnerships. For example, Little Debbie and Kellogg’s have partnered on new cereal flavors that were inspired by the brand’s snack cakes. Dunkin’ collaborated with Post Consumer Brands on cereal flavors inspired by Dunkin’s signature coffees. Now even cereal-scented candles are a thing thanks to TikTok.f
Comax offers a variety of cold and hot cereal flavors like Cereal & Milk and Honey Banana Oatmeal. For more flavors, get in touch here.
In 2015, Comax identified “Breakfast Anytime” as an emerging trend. Driven by the “snackification” of America, more and more consumers are eating around the clock. Breakfast is no longer just a morning meal; it’s being eaten throughout the day and night. Innovative breakfast items that are portable and convenient are emerging in both consumer packaged goods and quick service restaurants. Breakfast comes in multiple forms – from hot and cold foods and beverages to sweet and savory flavors, now anything goes, anytime. Six years later, the “Breakfast Anytime” trend continues.
Nearly four in five Americans (79%) say they have eaten breakfast foods outside of the traditional breakfast meal in the past year.a According to Technomic’s 2019 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, two in five consumers strongly agree that they enjoy eating breakfast foods at nontraditional times, and 31% say they now purchase breakfast outside of morning hours more often.g
Social media is shaping the food and breakfast trends individuals follow. The younger demographics are digital natives accustomed to instant gratification and short attention spans. Social media platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest are engaging and picture perfect. It’s no surprise that breakfast foods have been trending. TikTok has ushered in a new generation of recipes loaded with entertainment. Breakfast is one of many foods that have gained a new life and TikTok has generated a renewed interest.
For individuals looking for an easy and healthy recipe, #NaturesCereal features a simple bowl of mixed berries with coconut water and ice. To date, it has garnered 802.7 million views.h For a more labor-intensive recipe, #PancakeCereal, which has 1.6 billion views on TikTok, highlights fresh-made miniature pancakes that are served in a bowl and topped with a variety of ingredients such as butter, maple syrup, fruit, chocolate chips, or milk.i
Breakfast charcuterie boards also known as brunch boards with a collection of breakfast foods artfully arranged on a large charcuterie board or cheese plate are popular. According to data from Pinterest, searches for “breakfast charcuterie boards” are up 400% year over year.j Furthermore, Pinterest reported a 2x increase in searches year over year for “fruit charcuterie boards.”k
On the savory side, eggs have been trending on social media. For example, TikTok highlights a surplus of egg hacks from cracking an egg to creating the best egg sandwiches. The #TornadoOmelette is visually appealing and features a whisked egg mixture that is twirled with chopsticks and has earned 528.1K views.l
Comax offers a gamut of savory flavors such as Savory Butter, Everything Seasoning, Greek Omelet, Bacon, Egg & Cheese, Sausage, Egg & Cheese, and Chicken and Waffles. For additional savory flavors, get in touch here.
Looking to revive your breakfast products? Comax Flavors creates customized flavors and customized solutions for all of your breakfast needs. Reach out to us.
b N=1,200, Comax Sweet Baked Product Study February 2021; Donuts N=200, and Muffins N=200
d Nielsen Homescan Panel, 52 weeks ending April 2020