Breakfast, whether at home or on the move, remains a favourite item on the menu for nearly everyone in the UK, eaten by 95% of Brits. Mintel’s research shows breakfast is still widely viewed as the most important meal of the day, functioning for many of us as a springboard for healthy eating throughout the day.

However, the signs point to a generational shift in breakfast eating habits. Older people are more likely to eat breakfast at home every day and have a smaller repertoire of foods they eat at that time. Traditional breakfast patterns remain prevalent among older consumers, benefiting manufacturers of traditional breakfast foods.

By contrast, younger people have more fragmented routines. They are more likely to eat breakfast out of home, many on the go, and to eat a wider range of foods. Additionally, younger people’s propensity to snack is also impacting on breakfast eating, seeing them graze on smaller breakfast items throughout the morning rather than eating one big breakfast.

Mintel Analyst Anita Winther says it all adds up to our breakfast habits becoming more fragmented:

“Our busy lifestyles are seeing people skip this important meal, eat it on the go or graze their way through the morning, fuelling demand for convenient products that can be eaten quickly and easily. Meanwhile, when time permits, brunch offers an attractive opportunity for people to spend time enjoying their morning meal, helping counter the stress of everyday life.”

Toby Baker, Marketing Director UK, Nestlé Cereals says two main consumer behaviour trends are affecting the British breakfast category at the moment, namely convenience and health & nutrition:

“Life for Brits is getting busier. They’re looking for more convenient solutions to cut down the time they spend on day-to-day tasks, including meal times. In 2018, there were 1.8 billion breakfasts eaten out of the home in the UK, a 4% increase on 2017. With breakfast cereals still the most popular choice for consumers – accounting for 34% of consumption – manufacturers, grocery retailers and wholesalers can benefit from providing convenienceformat or to-go products.”

Nestle?Cereals’ convenience-format ‘Breakfast to Go’ products contain a pot of cereal, milk and a spoon, providing a simple and convenient way for consumers to enjoy some of their favourite cereals at work and on-the-go. Their innovative ‘Box Bowls’ range is a six pack of Nestle?Cereals favourites that can be eaten straight from the box. Consumers can pour milk into the specially-designed bag inside the box and grab a spoon for a tasty breakfast at home, or on the go. Additionally, all elements of the box bowl are recyclable, a growing consideration for the UK’s environmentally-conscious consumers.

“Consumer attitudes towards health and nutrition are also changing,” says Toby, “particularly with millennials, who make up almost a quarter of all breakfast consumers. “This means nutritious and tasty breakfast options are the key to success in the category.

“This has always been a big focus for us – Shredded Wheat is made with 100% whole grain, and is low in saturated fat. We know reducing intakes of saturated fat as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle can contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. We’ve made it even easier for our customers to identify which of our products contain whole grain with the green banner on the top of packs. The cereals that carry this green banner have whole grain as the number one ingredient and provide at least 8g of whole grain per serving.”

Nestle?Cereals’ longstanding commitment to nutrition also led them to launch Oat Cheerios, made of 100% British-grown whole grain oats and further enriched with vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D, vitamin C and Folic Acid. “Oat Cheerios are a great fit for the UK market,” says Toby Baker, “because eating oats is a British tradition and now consumers can have them with either hot or cold milk.”

The breakfast occasion is more dynamic than it’s ever been, says Charlotte Hunt, Senior Brand Manager, Weetabix. “The rules about what you can eat and where you can eat it, have been thrown out – anything goes. Brands have to keep up with changing trends and consumer demands – innovation is more important than ever and at Weetabix, we’re proud of the NPD we’ve brought to market. Cereals is a competitive landscape and brands are having to work hard for the attention of shoppers.”

Personalisation is a key trend driving the category, says Charlotte. “Healthy cereals are still in demand, but taste will always drive consumption, hence there has been an increase in people customising their breakfast bowls.” Weetabix’s Any-Which-Way-A-Bix campaign taps into the mass trend for customising food, with 130 million bowls of Weetabix personalised “their way” by consumers each year.

Celebrating all the unique ways Britons enjoy their Weetabix, a new dedicated TV advert is running as part of a £10 million master-brand media spend. Weetabix is still firmly the number one breakfast cereal brand, thriving in a market where people want nutritious, tasty breakfast choices. Weetabix Original has always been a low sugar cereal and sales are currently at a threeyear high, with growth of +6%.

In recent Weetabix brand news, kids continue to love the breakfast that mums can feel good about. The Weetabix Crispy Minis range has been reformulated to reduce sugar as part of Weetabix’s commitment to PHE’s guidelines and has been supplemented with Vitamin D2.

The new formulation is flagged up in a brand-new packaging design, highlighting the great taste on pack. Weetabix Protein is the No1 Protein SKU in the segment, experiencing +9% growth and taking an increasing share (38%) of the growing protein cereal market. Protein cereal has grown +161% in the last two years and Weetabix expect that to continue, more than doubling to become a £35m+ segment in the next five years.

The Weetabix team call breakfast drinks – now valued at £26m – the most impulsive part of the category and see it as a great opportunity for wholesalers to tap into the demand for breakfast on the move. Weetabix continue to work with wholesalers to ensure that Weetabix On The Go, now the UK’s number 1 breakfast drink and an £18m brand, and Weetabix On The Go Protein are available more widely to help capitalise on the growing market.

Authenticity is important for many consumers, when it comes to Continental breakfasts. Brioche Pasquier, one of the country’s best loved brioche brands has re-designed the look of its continental bakery range to emphasise its French heritage and high quality. The new packaging makes the Brioche Pasquier brand more accessible to consumers, with clearer labelling and information and a recipe on each pack to give an example of how the contents canbe used. One of the company’s flagship products, Pains au Lait, has also changed name, and will now be simply known as Brioche Rolls.

“We realised the name confused some consumers who weren’t familiar with the French style Pains au Lait,” explains Matthew Grenter, Sales Manager at Brioche Pasquier. “The simpler term Brioche Rolls is self-explanatory, and immediately communicates the type and quality of the product. We’ve also pointed out on pack that Brioche Rolls are a great accompaniment to sweet or savoury dishes.”

The new look packaging has been introduced across the range of brioche and viennoiserie products, including Croissants, Brioche Rolls, Brioche Rolls with Chocolate Chips and Pains au Chocolat.

“Our French heritage is an integral part of our company and products, and we wanted to communicate this to our customers. We also wanted to let them know we started as a family bakery and still care deeply about the products we bake.”

The first Brioche Pasquier bakery was opened in 1936 in Les Cerqueux, West France by Gabriel Pasquier and the company continues to be run by members of the family. Gabriel’s legacy includes the unique starter dough known as ‘levain,’ which gives the products their trademark taste and longevity without need for preservatives. This longevity is a boon for retailers and consumers alike as the products stay fresh on the shelves for up to 21 days, reducing waste and prolonging usability. The ‘clean’ nature of the recipes with no preservatives, artificial flavours or hydrogenated fats is also emphasised on the new packaging, so consumers know they are buying a wholesome product.

Bridor, another French bakery manufacturing company, has launched a decadent Maple Pecan Delice based on an authentic Canadian recipe. Using the finest ingredients, this 100% butter Delice features Californian pecans and a filling of more than 30% authentic Canadian maple syrup. With no artificial flavourings or colourants, this pastry is perfect for breakfast, a midmorning snack alongside a hot drink, an afternoon dessert or simply for those moments of indulgence. Bridor has created a new shape for an elevated taste sensation, through the introduction of a more openly formed lattice top through which the premium, sticky filling can be seen. The crispy, flaky pastry is offset by a crunchy topping of Californian pecan nuts. Bridor’s Maple Pecan Delice weighs in at 90g and is made with a pure butter dough and a premium filling. The premium recipe is taken from Bridor’s Canadian business, which sells products across North America and was founded before the French arm, where the European version is produced. Its USP is its real Canadian maple syrup filling, made from the sap of the roots of indigenous maple trees. It is collected and then concentrated by boiling to produce the famous sweet and colourful maple syrup. Another stand-out feature of the Maple and Pecan Delice is its Californian pecan nuts. They are delicious, as well as rich in Vitamin B and E and add a crunchy texture.

Kate Sykes, Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK says the popularity of eating on the move shows no sign of slowing. With industry reports suggesting food to go will be worth £23.5bn by 2022, that’s a 6.2% increase over the next five years. Wholesalers should look to stock a range of products that enable retailers to serve pastries in grab bags. Helping to communicate consumption ideas such as ‘great with coffee’, ‘a breakfast treat’, ‘this week’s special’ or ‘freshly baked,’ will help to increase customer’s incremental sales.

Stocking frozen bakery products offers retailers all the commercial benefits of ambient, with minimal operational costs. Encourage customers to bake off little and often throughout the day to ensure products stay fresh and appealing. This also decreases wastage as short bake-off times make it easy to manage stock levels. Frozen bakery products also allow your customers the freedom to offer a range of quality bakery products, with minimal labour requirements, and without the inconvenience of storing fresh ingredients – it’s all in one frozen box.

Coffee stations have been a huge success story within convenience retail, which is often one of the most profitable areas in the store. With 84% of all sweet bakery occasions featuring a drink, 59.7% of which are hot, adding an in-store bakery fixture can only increase profitability. Providing customers with information on which products pair best with each hot drink will help increase incremental sales.

Getting your range right and ensuring you’re able to adapt to different eating occasions by merchandising accordingly is key to maximising sales. The breakfast food-to-go market is booming – croissants account for 5.2% of the total eating out breakfast incidences, whilst 6 of the top 10 sweet breakfasts eaten out are bakery items. Providing customers with a variety of tempting high quality, pastry options at this time of day is key.

Croissants remain the top sweet bakery breakfast item, being present at 5.4% of breakfast occasions and quality is key. Croissant consumers crave quality with it being selected by 44% of croissant buyers as a reason for choosing the establishment, compared to 31% for total sweet bakery. Wholesalers should stock high-quality products made with real butter and which have a light, open texture. Lantmännen Unibake UK’s Schulstad Bakery Solutions Croissants are available in three different flavours: classic All Butter, indulgent Chocolate and flaky Almond, filled end to end with smooth almond paste and topped with flaked almonds.

Rustlers, the UK’s top-selling micro snack brand from Kepak Consumer Foods, is enabling wholesalers and retailers to meet shopper demand for convenient breakfast solutions. 12 months since launch, the Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin is now worth over £6.1m and purchased by almost one million households.

“While breakfast at the weekends can be leisurely, our insight tells us there is real time poverty when it comes to breakfast during the week and therefore the ‘Quick Option’ need-state is particularly important. Whilst Quick Hot Breakfast has been well served by the High Street QSR Market, Rustlers entry into this occasion has given the convenience channel an exciting opportunity to win a share of this,” says Monisha Singh, Shopper Marketing Manager at Kepak Consumer Foods.

Rustlers feature in the key consumption occasions of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a major presence in three shopper missions; food to go, meal for tonight and top up. Breakfast has been quick to establish itself as a key occasion in micro-snacking, and is the second largest consumption occasion after lunch, accounting for 13% of all micro-snacking consumption. Sales rates are even stronger in convenience, where the Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin accounts for 21% of all micro-snacking occasions, rising to 25% in forecourts, driving footfall and frequency in store.

“We’re delighted by the response to the All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin, which has been welcomed by existing Rustlers shoppers, increasing volume per trip, while enabling further penetration for the brand. It has quickly risen to become one of the most popular SKU’s across the Rustlers range,” adds Monisha.

“As the growth in the market for quick and convenient breakfast options shows no signs of slowing down, ‘carried out’ breakfasts grew 9.5% over the last year to 263m occasions. Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin is also a playing a pivotal role in introducing new consumers to the £120 million micro-snacking category, attracting almost 900,000 shoppers to the category in less than 12 months.

“The breakfast product is also bringing younger shoppers into the category, overtrading most strongly with shoppers aged under 28. Breakfast also overtrades with pre-families and families with young children, highlighting that our breakfast product provides the convenient, quick and easy solution time-poor consumers are looking for,” adds Monisha.

“Although data shows that people in the UK are happy to cook and eat breakfast at home, catering to the growing on-the-go breakfast option is key to satisfying the busy millennial lifestyle.”

Rebranded from Carrs Foods in March, St Pierre Groupe is an international market leader in bakery with a brand portfolio that includes Baker Street, St Pierre and Paul Hollywood and provides bakery products to the global retail and wholesale markets as well as the hospitality industry and online.

“The value of a ‘proper’ breakfast cannot be emphasised enough for consumers,” says Jeremy Gilboy, Founder of St Pierre Groupe, “but also for brands and wholesalers, who, if it’s capitalised upon correctly, can profit in turn. However, evolving consumer behaviour has led to a change in demand, which we need to take note of across the supply chain. While some avoid breakfast altogether, the greatest change has been in consumer preference for what they consume for breakfast and where they do it.

St Pierre has experienced consistent sales increases across the St Pierre range, which has generated 29% growth in the first quarter of 2019. Its Baker Street range offers wholesalers, retailers and consumers a bakery product that stays fresher for longer, helping mitigate supply-side issues and reduce wastage.

Mark Simester, MD at Soreen, the nation’s favourite malt loaf brand known for its famously squidgy secret recipe, says Soreen has always been a firm family favourite and healthier offering in the UK, but it’s been winning over new consumers since we’ve become a health-conscious nation:

“We’re all trying to be healthier, but health means something different to us all. What we can agree on however is that we need to eat less sugar and avoid fatty foods. This is why Soreen is so popular, as all of our products are lower in sugar than the average cake and low in saturated fat.”

Soreen recently launched the new Seeds & More Loaf, a new malt loaf filled with cranberries, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to create a deliciously squidgy loaf with a tasty crunch. It’s not only a source of protein and fibre but is also low in saturated fat and lower in sugar than standard cake.

Premium wrapped in a bid to grow the cake category through premiumization, Soreen’s new Seeds & More Loaf gives consumers the opportunity to buy their favourite Malt Loaf brand in a delicious seeded variant, while giving retailers the chance to leverage the strength of the Soreen brand and add value to the category.

The new addition to the morning goods range is wrapped in brown paper packaging with a flash of Soreen’s trademark yellow, which makes it easy to spot on shelf. Ingredients include cranberries, often referred to as a “super food” due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content, as well as being high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. The Seeds & More Loaf also contains pumpkin seeds, the little powerhouses of nutrients and health benefits, along with Sunflower seeds, which are a dense source of vitamins and minerals and essential oils.

Consumers are always looking to widen their repertoire of breakfast time spreads, says Jodie Wood, Business Unit Controller at Ferrero UK & Ireland. “Breakfast is one of the fastest-growing areas of the food market, which is rapidly evolving both inside and outside the home. Regardless of where a consumer has their breakfast, a significant part of the demand for breakfast items is driven by convenience. For those taking their breakfast outside of the home, either on the go or at work, they need products that are either easily transportable or can be stored at a workplace.

“Those preparing the meal at home, particularly families, are more concerned with the speed and ease with which the meal can be prepared. Busy family mornings require quick solutions that parents can be confident are setting the family up for the day properly, while also looking for versatile ingredients to add a layer of excitement to their breakfast.”

Within both elements, the strength of well-loved brands such as Ferrero’s Nutella continues to drive growth in the category. Nutella and stress-free mornings go hand in hand, helping shoppers to enhance their breakfast experience while giving them a quick, convenient solution too.

A recommended portion of 15g, a standard teaspoon, is highlighted on every jar of Nutella, which can be added to dishes including toast, pancakes,waffles, crumpets and porridge to transform the dish and give the breakfast an extra flavour.

“Even though demand for breakfast products remains high all year round, there are certain times of year where consumers place greater focus on the meal, presenting an opportunity for brands to capitalise. Popular, familyorientated occasions, such as Easter and Christmas, often prompt people to spend more on breakfast items as they seek to make the event more special and treat themselves. Beyond that, less high-profile times of year, including school morning breakfasts, create a natural focus on breakfast, where families look for solutions that make mornings both easier for parents, as well as fun for kids too.”


Kara, Finsbury Food Group’s foodservice arm, has partnered with Weetabix to bring new breakfast muffins to the foodservice sector. The muffins come in two flavours, Apricot & Oat and Apple & Raisin, both low in saturated fat and a source of fibre, giving consumers a delicious, nutritious on-the-go breakfast option.

Research from Weetabix shows the breakfast occasion is now more dynamic than ever, with a quarter of consumers eating breakfast on the move and over a third now eating it at their desks. Kara and Weetabix have launched the new muffins to give foodservice operators an on-the-go quick and nutritious breakfast offer for their customers.

Jane Olney, Commercial Director for Foodservice at Kara, says: “Consumers are increasingly eating out of home at breakfast so it’s important that breakfast choices are healthy and help keep them full until lunch time. Not only have we kept the saturated fat and salt to a minimum, we’ve also packed the product full of fruit and high levels of fibre to ensure multiple nutritional benefits from each muffin.”

Francesca Davies, Marketing Director, Weetabix, said: “Breakfast is a dynamic occasion for consumers and businesses and while the majority of people still eat breakfast at home, lives are getting busier. Being able to grab a convenient, nutritious and tasty breakfast has never been more important. We are excited about the possibilities that a muffin from Weetabix will bring for consumers looking to pick up a breakfast on the move and for retailers looking to delight their shoppers with something new and relevant.”

The muffins come wrapped in a Weetabix branded tulip case and are exclusively available through Kara Foodservice.

Finally, if you have foodservice customers, don’t forget the packaging for hot drinks! With paper cups and cartons maker Huhtamaki’s research highlighting that 80% of the UK population buys a takeaway hot drink, it’s clear that consuming a takeaway beverage is very much a part of everyday life.

Clare Moulson, Marketing Executive, Huhtamaki UK says: “Grabbing a coffee’ is now a regular part of our vocabulary and encompasses many social encounters, from friends and family meeting up on a weekend, to work colleagues convening for a coffee as a more casual way to do business.

With over 70 million hashtags on Instagram using #coffee, 51% of millennials willing to pay extra for sustainable products, and the rise of speciality coffee, there is still a huge opportunity for those who want to grab some takeaway business.

As a global leader in packaging for food and drink, Huhtamaki has been at the forefront of material innovation with FutureSmart, a 100% renewable paper cup made from plant-based materials) and Bioware, made with a plant-based bio-plastic lining and composted within 12 weeks at approved composting facilities. The range is fully certified in accordance with the European norm for compostability of packaging EN13432). Huhtamaki’s latest innovation is an initiative aimed at increasing cup recycling in the UK through the addition of a message on their Specialty cup range to ‘please recycle this cup’, along with a QR code that can be scanned by a mobile phone, leading the consumer to a web page containing details of cup recycling sites and schemes across the UK.

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