On the Plate: Breakfast Trends

Getting breakfast at 2 o’clock in the afternoon is now as easy as saying “eggs with a side of bacon,” realizing the dreams of the 72% of adult consumers who would love it if restaurants served breakfast all day.1 With 63% of restaurants now serving breakfast and 31% offering breakfast during dinner, all day breakfast cravings can be easily satisfied.2 Let’s take a look at what’s on the plate for breakfast these days and how ingredients have evolved to satisfy taste buds that change throughout the day.

Ethnic Twist to Breakfast – As the American palate continues to crave ethnic cuisines, breakfast offerings are skewing that way as well. Dishes like chilaquiles were all over menus in 2017, but street food, is where it’s at for 2018. Mr. Bing, a NYC street vendor, is determined to make jianbing, the Chinese breakfast classic top of mind for Americans. Jianbing starts with a mung bean and black bean crepe topped with a cracked egg that is painted across the surface. Next, the crepe is topped with scallions, cilantro, a pickled ingredient, after which, the crepe is folded and then topped with hoisin sauce, chili paste, and a fried wonton. Finally, the whole thing is folded three more times before being cut. Imagine a triple stacked but finely layered quesadilla. Mr. Bing adds proteins like Cantonese style roast pork or smoked duck which ups the “stick-to-your-ribs” factor. And at Vancouver’s Red Wagon Café, diners are tempted with a Breakfast Banh Mi with pulled pork or pork belly, pickled vegetables and jalapeno.

Savory Before Noon – Diners are dedicated to pancake and waffles for breakfast, but we are seeing a shift towards more savory flavors. Proteins like pulled pork and prosciutto have increased 300% and 159% respectively on breakfast menus and on items like benedicts and avocado toasts.3 Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard features an all-day breakfast at Little Goat where she uses sweet onion brioche to make savory French toast marrying crispy chicken, eggs, and a barbecue maple syrup. Big flavors for breakfast that’s for sure. The Bella! Bella! Benny sandwich with Prosciutto, Taleggio cheese, poached eggs and a cream cheese hollandaise at Denver-born, Snooze, makes us want to do anything but snooze. We’re getting up for this one.

All-Day Breakfast – Eggs are #1 for 64% of all day breakfast diners and McDonald’s has pleased its breakfast loyalists by serving Egg McMuffin’s all day, every day. And the 17% growth in the breakfast sandwich market has manufacturers like Tyson launching concepts specifically for the c-store channel where all-day breakfast has become a demand.4 Recently, Start Right Foods, a St. Louis, MO based start-up, rolled out their time-saving, healthy breakfast sandwich concepts at the 2018 Winter Fancy Food show. The brand plans on launching two sandwiches: a lean beef sausage and egg waffle slider and a turkey sausage and egg white waffle slider.

Donuts Amped Up  – Don’t worry – consumers haven’t given up their morning donut to accompany their coffee but have been presented with scores of new options. Think donuts with a savory bent featuring sriracha, gochujang, or chimichurri or something altogether different like the breakfast sandwich donuts at cult favorite, Duck Donuts. They take their popular cake donut and sandwich it with egg, sausage, and cheese drizzled with maple icing and chopped bacon.  Of course, diners can create their own donuts at Duck with all sorts of sweet toppings. And then there’s Forbidden Donuts that sells nary a sweet donut. Instead, this NYC pop-up (but possibly permanent) offers donuts with flavors like kimchi with a sweet and sour sriracha glaze, or a caviar cream filled number with vodka jelly. These donuts are anything but basic. Finally, The Doughnut Project takes the round wonder to a whole other level with menu items like Those Beets are Dope—beet glazed donuts filled with a ricotta whip or The Everything Donut is topped with a sweet cream glaze sprinkled with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas and sea salt.

Have a breakfast concept suitable for an all-day market? Our Reduced Sodium Sweet Chili Sauce would be the perfect partner to a handheld sandwich.


  1. https://www.foodnewsfeed.com/content/4-hot-breakfast-trends-2017
  2. Ibid.
  3. http://www.aeb.org/news-trends/incredible-breakfast-trends/165-ibt-megatrends-clockless-dining
  4. http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Food-Service-Retail/2018/02/C-store_breakfast_sandwich_dem.aspx?ID=%7B933B3B77-25C9-4782-BF3C-1D89D76CCF1F%7D