Breakfast booming!

breakfast roll

Brits have eaten an additional 660 million breakfasts in-home since the start of 2020, offering local retailers a huge opportunity to grow sales and profits.


The pandemic has triggered a transformation of buying patterns for consumers and the breakfast occasion is no exception. “We have seen that breakfast consumption has grown over the past year, with fewer shoppers skipping their first meal of the day,” says Matt Goddard, Wholesale Trading Director at PepsiCo. “Brits have eaten 660m additional breakfasts in-home since the start of 2020 [Kantar].”

That’s great news for retailers, and great news for PepsiCo brand Quaker, as Goddard explains: “The hot cereals segment has helped fuel this growth, with oats providing a versatile breakfast option all year round, whether being enjoyed as a warming bowl of porridge, or as an overnight oats option, which we see becoming popular with shoppers in the spring and summer.”

Changing behaviour

To get to the bottom of the nation’s ever-changing feelings, habits and behaviours, PepsiCo commissioned a shopper sentiment study. It found people are now eating breakfast two hours later, and a third of people are spending more time making it. Additionally, consumers are considering the health benefits of what they eat and drink more, which is likely to see segments that are natural and unprocessed experience growth.

“As a natural, raw ingredient, Quaker Oats lends itself to scratch cooking solutions, helping shoppers get creative with their breakfast at the start of the day,” comments Goddard. “Adding additional ingredients to their oats helps to keep the first meal of the day, healthy, tasty and exciting. Retailers should therefore stock across our range of Quaker Oats.”

Another key impact of the pandemic has been an increase focus on value, as Goddard says: “In a recession, people are likely to turn to brands they trust for good value, so value in 2021 is all about stocking brands that people know and love. We saw our total Quaker PMP range grow by almost +17% last year [Nielsen, Sep 2020], so it’s fair to say that we can expect demand from retailers to continue.

“To cater for this, Quaker has launched a new price-marked pack format for its Porridge to Go range, available in two flavours: Golden Syrup and Strawberry and Raspberry & Cranberry. Shoppers are increasingly looking for convenient, on-the-go breakfast options that their shoppers can enjoy as part of a busy morning.”

Bean counting

The continued importance of coffee in the breakfast occasion has led Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) and Costa Coffee to apply insights from Costa’s coffee shop business to launch two new Costa Coffee RTD variants.

Costa Vanilla Latte and Costa Flat White are available across convenience and wholesale channels and, like each variant in the range, the aluminium can format is 100% recyclable.

Costa Vanilla Latte is a proven coffee shop favourite and is now available in a convenient 250ml can format. Vanilla is one of the biggest flavours in Costa Coffee retail and accounts for six million over-the-counter servings every year. The Vanilla Latte offers consumers an authentic coffee experience with less milk and 30% less sugar than competitors.

The Costa Flat White RTD combines a double shot of espresso with creamy milk, with just 76 calories per 200ml can. Flat White RTD coffee sales have more than quadrupled over the last year.

Continental shift

Paul Baker, Founder of St Pierre Groupe, believes that the temporary closure of coffee shops, cafés and restaurants in the first lockdown has had a lasting impact on the way we consume breakfast and brunch.

He comments: “More people have been, and will continue to, replicate their favourite out of home dishes at home and make recipes that they have discovered during the lockdown. This trend has helped drive sales in the morning goods category – particularly for St Pierre which lends itself to elevated breakfast meals thanks to its range of tasty brioche loaves and rolls, as well as its delicious Belgian waffles and croissants.”

Baker says consumers have also become more experimental with their flavours and are seeking out new ingredients as a result. “Research from Hearst shows that, during the lockdown, 33% of people cooked a new cuisine, which, combined with the fact that meal occasions have changed so much, has meant that bolder flavours have started to become popular with breakfasts,” he says.

“For example, adding ‘heat’, which was previously not often considered for breakfast, will become more commonplace. St Pierre is a bread carrier that offers an upgrade, so if you’re thinking about chilli dogs for brunch, its light sweetness in taste works well with both bold and traditional flavours at any time of day.

“Take-home value sales of hot beverages also jumped and this has had a long-lasting impact on sales, with consumers continuing to recreate the café experience at home. The St Pierre individually wrapped range, which comprises of Butter Croissants, Chocolate Filled Croissants, Brioche Waffle, Millionaires Waffle, Pain au Chocolat and Caramel Waffles, complements the take-home coffee trend perfectly. It also provides attractive margins for Scottish retailers, meaning it can work effectively as part of or alongside a hot drink fixture. The fresh, individually-wrapped bakery products can be consumed with any meal occasion, providing a strong sales opportunity. The items also have the added benefit of an extended shelf-life, which helps to reduce the risk of wastage in-store.”

Hot convenience

For shoppers looking for a quick, convenient, tasty hot breakfast, Rustlers says its All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin is the perfect solution.

Monisha Singh, Shopper Marketing Manager at Kepak Consumer Foods, comments: “The Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin is the No.1 breakfast product in the impulse channel and since launching in 2018 and is already worth £2m within the impulse channel growing at 21.9% YoY [Nielsen, Mar 2021].

“The product meets shopper demand for a quick and convenient hot breakfast solution, making is a must-stock for retailers wanting to build their breakfast offering. It is ideally suited to be part of a breakfast meal alongside a hot drink. Retailers can position themselves as a daily destination for shoppers by delivering meal deal options throughout the day, offering shoppers value for money with more than half choosing a deal because it is a cheaper option.”