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Rise and Dine: Breakfast Wakes Up Dessert Possibilities

Breakfast Possibilities

43% of millennials and 29% of older consumers surveyed are interested in dessert waffles.1

Breakfast has long served up a feast of sweet treats, from syrup-slathered waffles and pancakes to an endless variety of delectable donuts and pastries. Now operators are stepping up to the plate with sweet flavors for both entrée and sides on their breakfast menus, ushering in a new dawn of dessert-like delights.

Survey data from the foodservice market research firm Technomic reveals that chocolate chip flavor is trending up by 23% as a breakfast entrée2 and side3 while sweet breakfast entrées in general are growing by 36% , followed by honey at 29%.3 Technomic’s takeaway is that the rising popularity of brunch2 and trending baked goods like raspberry scones and honey muffins3 are helping to drive the daypart’s sweet flavor fest.

As breakfast’s profile rises as a destination meal with a more significant role for foodservice, it stands to reason that morning menu makeovers will become more prevalent and influence other dayparts. Given that operators surveyed average a 3% increase in number of items on breakfast menus compared to a 3% decrease for lunch and dinner,4 breakfast is poised to drive dessert menu innovation across dayparts.

With both limited- and full-service restaurants emphasizing breakfast innovation and on-trend sweet flavor profiles,4 morning menus seem likely to feed operators ideas and inspiration for breakfast-dessert hybrids.

Breakfast Items Help Rouse the Millennial Market for Daring Desserts

Younger consumers are particularly receptive to breakfast items as desserts. Thirty-seven percent of millennials surveyed find the idea of dessert pancakes appealing, and 35% of millennials and consumers age 35+ find fudge, more commonly found in bakeries, a desirable dessert option for restaurants.1

And though doughnuts are typically associated with breakfast, 37% of survey participants across demographics would consider ordering them as a dessert.5

As consumers seek new flavor experiences and operators look to maximize sales throughout the day, breakfast-dessert mashups seem to stack up as solutions to help blend menu dayparts, with the potential to drive foot traffic and inspire innovative concepts for anytime snacks.

As perceptions of dessert shift away from defining it as a post-meal occasion—37% of consumers surveyed consider any sweet item consumed anytime as dessert6—breakfast-inspired concepts may help drive off-peak as well as daypart traffic.

While waffle sandwiches gushing with ice cream, whipped cream, sweet jam or other rich fillings are already in demand,7 pancakes and French toast can be used in the same way. Inventive approaches like breakfast shakes topped with a choice of cereal options and Texas toast filled with chocolate and slathered with white chocolate sauce could provide the kind of rich flavor experiences millennials yearn for.

Wake up to the sweet potential of trending breakfast flavors to help make your dessert sales rise and shine. For delicious breakfast recipes that could double as desserts, check out our Culinary Center.

1 Technomic, Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 93 2 Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 44 3 Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 45 4 Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 12 5 Mills, Anne and Yorke, Bret, Dessert Consumer Trend Report: Custom Webinar, Technomic, 2017, p.32 6 Mills, Anne and Yorke, Bret, p.10 7 Technomic, Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2017, p. 25

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