Breakfast now accounts for 28% of all eating and drinking occasions (Kantar). Consumers are now trading up their breakfast choices at home on a regular basis, which is a key trend that has contributed to the £11.6 billion breakfast market (Kantar) in recent years. This is a result of consumers looking to replicate their restaurant and café experiences at home and become more experimental with their breakfast creations. According to Kantar, the average time people spend preparing breakfast is 7.4 minutes, which is slightly longer than last year, as consumers put more effort into their breakfast choices. This includes drawing inspiration from the elaborate and aspirational breakfast creations shared by popular brands and social media influencers.

Consumers are becoming more discerning. They are seeking new and delicious foods and are looking for global flavours at home as they re-create dining out experiences. Continual exposure to social media and the trend of sharing pictures online, means that eating in can be just as indulgent and enjoyable, especially when it comes to breakfast.

“St Pierre’s sophisticated range is perfect for this trend,” says Jeremy Gilboy, Founder, St Pierre Groupe. “Made in France, the brand boasts a rich heritage from Paris and, as a result, delivers an authentic brioche with a soft golden texture and subtle sweet flavour, providing a versatile but indulgent base to create Instagrammable dishes.”

With consumers wanting to replicate the taste of café culture at home and with the increasing popularity of brunch as a meal occasion, St Pierre products are ideal for elevating everyday meal occasions and fit within these trends. French toast, Eggs Royale with a brioche burger bun and Belgian waffles with bacon and maple syrup are just some of the meals consumers are enjoying with the St Pierre brand.

Another consumer trend is longer life products and reducing food waste. More than ever, consumers are actively seeking out long life bakery products and brands, meaning they do not have to shop so frequently and can have the food they want when they want it.

“Baker Street has found a savvy audience for whom reducing food waste matters,” adds Gilboy. “The brand offers products that are cleverly packed for freshness, allowing wholesalers to also benefit from stocking this range, as it offers longer shelf-life (minimum guaranteed life 35 days delivered to depot), minimising potential wastage and ensuring continuous on-shelf availability.”

Paul Hollywood’s Ready-to-Bake bread rolls can be freshly baked in the morning and served warm. They are ideal for a bacon bap, or simply with butter or jam. Paul Hollywood is the biggest brand in the part baked category in the UK, showing 35% value growth year on year against total market growth of 5% (Nielsen).

The current Coronavirus crisis is having a huge effect on the grocery industry. The latest research from Nielsen and Kantar reveals the impact of the recent grocery stockpiling by British shoppers. Nielsen data shows that in the four weeks to March 21, grocers saw an additional 79 million shopping trips and Nielsen also reported an 84 per cent rise in frozen food sales last week alone, compared to the same period last year.

“These are amazing times and the impact is being felt on retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers,” comments Charlotte Hulbert, Sales Manager, Brioche Pasquier.

Kantar data highlights that March was the biggest on record for UK grocery sales as spend totalled £10.8 billion in the past four weeks alone.

“As the most recognisable French bakery brand, Brioche Pasquier is well known for its traditionally baked, high quality brioche which is free from preservatives, artificial colours and hydrogenated fats,” adds Hulbert. “The range of delicious French brioche is still made to the same recipes and in the same traditional style as it was when Gabriel Pasquier opened his bakery shop in 1936.”

Brioche Pasquier’s individually wrapped packs of PITCH and Pains au Chocolat are ideal for breakfast, offering hygiene, convenience and easy serving. These are suitable for key workers needing to grab breakfast on the go or a snack mid-morning and as they’re individually wrapped, they can be easily put into a bag or food container to be eaten whenever, wherever.

“Even though our products are predominantly eaten at breakfast, we find consumers enjoy them at different times of day,” says Hulbert. “For example, one third of our Brioche Rolls with Chocolate Chips are consumed at lunchtime. Our Croissants are equally good eaten as they are, with jam and butter or stuffed with a savoury filling such as cheese and ham, so they bridge the gap between sweet and savoury breakfast items and offer an upgrade on the usual slice of toast.”

“The breakfast occasion is changing,” says Bryan Martins, marketing & category director at Wessanen UK. “For years people have been opting for a simple piece of toast or cereal with milk, and now there’s much more imagination going into breakfast time.”

Healthier options are gracing breakfast tables across the UK. And with growing awareness on the benefits of a plant-based diet, there is much more focus on going meat-free and instead getting more of your five-a-day into the first meal of the day.

From smoothie bowls to protein-packed savoury meals, there is lots of inspiration online to help people. Whole Earth, the UK’s leading peanut butter brand, is well placed to help people get some natural nutrition at breakfast time. With no added sugar, Whole Earth peanut butter is a source of plant-based protein and fibre, vitamins and minerals. It can be blended into smoothies, spooned into porridge or spread on toast.

While usage has changed, some things stay the same. Enjoying a cup of tea with breakfast has remained a popular choice for many. Though consumers are becoming more discerning when it comes to their morning cuppa. There is increasing demand for tea that has been made naturally with minimal impact on the planet. Organic tea for example has been growing ahead of the category at 4.2% YoY (IRI).

“Clipper is well positioned to meet the needs of consumers looking for ethical and sustainable tea,” adds Martin. “We’re the UK’s largest fairtrade tea brand and our whole proposition is centred around providing consumers with natural, fair and delicious hot beverages.”

This is reflected in our sales performance – whilst black tea is in decline at -1.7% vs. last year, Clipper is outperforming the market growing 15.8% YOY (IRI).

Decaf tea sales are growing as consumers look for caffeine free alternatives. To help those looking to start the day with a decaf tea, Wessanen extended Clipper Teas decaffeinated range with two new Fairtrade and organic options for the health food trade: Earl Grey Decaf Tea and Pure Green Decaf Tea, in addition to Everyday Decaf Tea, offering more choice to consumers.

Clipper Teas uses a completely natural decaffeination process, filtering the tea with CO2 rather than using harsh chemicals. The process is approved for organic products as a more natural way to decaffeinate, that doesn’t leave behind any harmful residues – aligned with Clipper’s commitment to making natural, fair and delicious tea.

“One of our biggest priorities right now is to ensure that wholesalers and retailers can meet rising demand from consumers during the lockdown,” comments Martin. “Our dedicated production teams are working around the clock – while respecting social distancing guidelines – to maintain stock levels in these unprecedented times. The increased demand spans across the retail sector, applying to both major multiple grocers and convenience stores.”

“Breakfast is big business in 2020,” says Darryl Burgess, Head of Sales for Weetabix.

An increasing number of Brits are still choosing to consume their first meal of the day at home up to six days a week. This amounts to a huge 19.3billion occasions. Cereal is strongly influenced by the mega trends of health, convenience, taste enjoyment and a sense of adventure. Cereal ranks number one for convenience and ease at breakfast, while is still on top for perceptions of being ‘tasty’ (Dipsticks Breakfast Tracking 2019) which helps continue its widespread appeal.

Total retail sales for the Weetabix portfolio are now worth £153m, and Weetabix is still firmly the UK’s number one breakfast cereal brand (Nielsen). “Weetabix Original is and will always be, a low sugar cereal, and we have all green traffic lights on pack to make it easy for shoppers to make a healthy choice,” adds Burgess. “Ready brek is now a £10m brand and is celebrating a phenomenal year – it’s the fastest growing product in the cereal category – a must-stock for retailers’ breakfast shelves and can now be found in over two million households nationwide.”

Alpen is the nation’s number one muesli brand, worth over £60m. To ensure Alpen’s health credentials are front of mind, the brand has recently had a pack refresh to highlight important nutritional messaging.

“Don’t forget Weetabix Crispy Minis, which have recently been reformulated to reduce sugar, as well as Weetabix Chocolate and Weetos,” says Burgess. “These are a must-stock, especially with taste and chocolate being big drivers of consumption at breakfast time – it’s a product that taps into the demand for a great-tasting chocolate cereal that offers nutritional benefits.”

Weetabix has introduced a brand-new TV advert for 2020 as part of its much loved Have You Had Your Weetabix activity – part of a wider £11million media spend that plans to reach more cereal shoppers and be present in more households. The advertising investment has tripled between 2018 and 2020 across TV, radio and digital campaigns.

Additionally, Weetabix will continue to leverage the Any Which Way A Bix campaign as a way to inspire shoppers and drive incremental category sales with its retail partners. This included a fully integrated, multimedia campaign inspiring the nation instore and in media around different ways to “Have Their Weetabix”.

“As the first meal of the day, it’s important to deliver a memorable breakfast offering in order for foodservice outlets to delight customers and ensure repeat visits in what is a fiercely competitive day part,” comments Heloise Le Norcy-Trott, Group Category and Marketing Director, Lactalis Professional. “With a multitude of operators vying for a share of this highly profitable eating out occasion, it can be easy to forget about the foundation blocks of an unforgettable breakfast service, and the benefits of taking it back to basics. For example, using a high-quality butter, whether as an ingredient or a spread, can be just as important as achieving that perfectly poached egg.”

Offering a velvety soft texture, Président Professional Unsalted Butter Spreadable 250g is made up of specially selected and churned creams using no vegetable oil.

The butter delivers a distinguished flavour as a result of it being 100% dairy. Its thin and smooth texture makes it easy to incorporate into any tasty breakfast dish, and was voted as ‘Excellent’ by the Craft Guild of Chef’s in 2018.

Made in Normandy, Président Professional Unsalted Butter Block 250g uses 100% French milk. Its rounded texture will boost breakfast favourites, from scrambled eggs to Hollandaise sauce and beyond.

Président Professional Unsalted Butter 8g Portion is perfect for adding indulgence to a morning pastry such as a delicate croissant. With no preservatives, this format is perfectly suited for Hotels, restaurants and cafés during breakfast or Afternoon Tea occasions, as well being ideally suited to travel channels and any outlet offering food-to-go, such as soups and rolls.

Président Professional also offers caterers a range a salted butters, in spreadable and block formats which will perfectly meet the British consumer demand, with Président Professional Slightly Salted Butter 250g rated 2 star at the Great Taste Awards in 2019. Suitable for vegetarians, Président Professional Butter is ideally suited to those seeking out alternative dietary choices and its versatility lends itself to a wealth of applications within professional catering environments.

“Breakfast Biscuits tap into the consumer need for a convenient and tasty way to have breakfast in their busy daily lives,” says Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International. The UK breakfast biscuit market is worth £82M (Nielsen). Worth £76M, belVita is the UK’s number one breakfast biscuit brand and has been powering up the nation’s mornings for nearly 10 years, with its unique proven slow release carbohydrates to give consumers energy for the whole morning (Nielsen).

The brand has a 61% repeat rate (Kantar) so once shoppers know a store carries the range, they should keep coming back. “The growth opportunity within the range is driven by multipacks or take-home packs, so wholesalers should ensure they have these formats available to allow wholesalers to maximise sales,” adds Nash.

While 64% of us agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, one in three people in the UK skip breakfast during the working week. belVita was developed from this insight. Breakfast biscuits are key for the morning: there are more than 260 million UK breakfast occasions every week, and 19% of consumers eat biscuits regularly for breakfast.

Launched last summer, belVita Seeds and Berries comes in two flavours with Raspberry & Chia Seeds and Blueberry and Flax Seeds; available in six-pack boxes with three biscuits per pack at an RRP of £2.79. Alongside the new variants, the brand also launched its first-ever reduced sugar variant, belVita Chocolate Chip with 30% less sugar. The breakfast biscuit includes the chocolate chip taste but with 30% less sugar, reflecting the fact that low-sugar content is the most important criteria for breakfast biscuits. Both launches were supported with a brand new £3.5M marketing campaign with TV, OOH, digital, social, PR and in-store activations.

For the mid-morning breakfast occasion, Cadbury Brunch Bar has added protein to its range with the arrival of two new bars: Cadbury Brunch Bar Peanut Protein and Cadbury Brunch Bar Cranberry & Nuts Protein. Growing by 7% year-on-year (Nielsen), Cadbury Brunch Bar is in prime position to cater for the growing shopper demand for added benefits from their treats. The brand has also unveiled a new single format of Cadbury Brunch Bar Choc Chip, to help drive on-the-go sales of this popular flavour.

Fine food distributor RH Amar is meeting demand for indulgent home-prepared breakfasts and brunches with its company-owned Original Waffle Company offerings.

Offering authentic Traditional Belgian Sugar Waffles and Traditional Belgian Chocolate Waffles, Senior Brand Manager Anne-Marie Cannon says the range is particularly popular among shoppers looking to treat themselves to an indulgent weekend treat or brunch.

“Waffles are proving very popular with a diverse audience who are attracted to the versatility that this treat can bring to the breakfast and brunch table,” says Cannon, “with the waffle often providing a delicious focal point around which to base a breakfast containing berry fruits and cream, honey or maple syrup.”

With strong value sales of £33.4 million up by +19% and ahead of volume growth of +11% (Kantar), waffles are offering retailers an increasingly good profit opportunity, with unit prices up +7% in the last year.

Chris Tough, Marketing Manager at Lincoln and York, comments: “25 years ago, instant coffee was the go-to for the British public, with the only commonly available alternative being Filter. Fast forward to 2020, and Brits drink on average 95 million cups of coffee a day, so finding a flat white or a speciality blend couldn’t be easier when even your local pub or fast food chain offers a sophisticated format of coffee.”

In these current unprecedented times, with our favourite high street coffee shops forced to close, consumers have had to find other ways to get themselves fresh coffee, particularly at home.

“As such, we’re expecting to see a significant growth in the sale of coffee bags,” adds Tough. “And whilst this might well increase as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, this is a trend we’d have seen nevertheless.”

Advancements in technology have allowed Lincoln and York to access and experience coffee shop or barista style coffee, at home. Yet, some of these methods can be pricey and patience testing. Therefore, the company wanted to develop a solution to the problem.

With instant coffee still holding a significant sector of the coffee market, and 57% of consumers buying it for home consumption, it’s clear people still prioritise speed. “Coffee bags seemed like the ideal solution, to appease a coffee market that’s demanding both quality coffee and coffee convenience,” Tough explains.

Lincoln and York has released the UK’s first recyclable film for coffee. The film is LDPE number 4 and has a 12 month shelf life, meaning it keeps the same shelf life as traditional film.

In these uncertain times, businesses in every sector are scrambling to readjust their business model to address the remote working scenario.

This is no different for wholesalers, who for now can’t facilitate as many physical customers in their stores.

“To best maintain sales, wholesalers will need to quickly establish an ecommerce platform to ensure products can still get to their customers,” suggests Tough. “We have seen a lot of wholesalers opening for trade to the public where there is unprecedented demand across the retail sector. As a result, wholesalers must quickly analyse their data and understand where demand has been in the past few weeks and where it’s likely going. In doing so, they’ll remain aligned with consumer demand and can continue to serve their customers.”

Another potential opportunity for wholesalers is switching to a home delivery service-model. With retailers now quoting two to three-week turnarounds, some customers may be forced to explore new merchants for their shopping. Wholesalers who can fill this void may win some new customers in the process.

Healthy snacking brand graze has launched kids’ cereal bar range Super Snackers. The range has been developed with kids to feature their favourite flavours, Chocolate, Strawberry and Toffee Apple.

Aimed at children aged six to ten, each bar contains chewy whole oats and real fruit pieces or a touch of chocolate. With 50% less sugar than the average cereal bar, high in fibre, under 100 calories and no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners, graze offers parents a healthier alternative, that kids can enjoy at any time of day.

Pia Villa, Chief Brand Officer at graze, comments: “Kids love treats and snacks, but for parents it’s a real worry about how much sugar these items contain, so they often resort to giving them adult bars which aren’t an ideal alternative as they haven’t been developed with kids in mind. We could see a real gap in the market for a healthy snacking range made specifically for kids that doesn’t compromise on flavour, with the demand from both parents and retailers alike. The range provides a really exciting opportunity for retailers and we will continue to look at ways to diversify our range to offer products that resonate with parents.”

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