What’s for Breakfast?

As a frequent traveler, both professionally and personally, one component of my food intake remains stable to ensure my eating doesn’t go entirely rogue. Breakfast. Coffee and a banana with a handful of nuts. As much as I crave a little consistency, recently I’ve learned that I’m missing out on a daypart that is getting increasingly more interesting – both worldly and creative.

It isn’t just avocado toast on the rise – though it’s the #1 fastest-growing breakfast item at both limited-service and full-service restaurants according to Datassential.1 This past weekend in Oregon, I had it twice, but not “just any avo toast”. Both incorporated ingredients like radish, poached eggs and….heat. “Mama Lil’s Peppers” and “Chili Flakes”. A perfect example of how operators are responding to the fact that 45% of consumers state that a bold or spicy flavor is an important attribute to consider when ordering a breakfast item!1

Avocado toast that incorporated radish, poached eggs, and a lot of spice.

Foodscape3, led by Datassential earlier this fall, featured some of the wildest foods at every meal. Breakfast was no exception. From Korean milk bread (yes it’s as good as it sounds), to mini conchas from the Mexican Panaderia, the pastry options did not disappoint. More than a third of consumers say they’re interested in trying a global pastry, and there aren’t too many restaurants that offer them that opportunity – just 10% today.1

Example of a global breakfast option at Foodscape3

It’s exciting to have more opportunities to experience foods and flavors from around the world. It’s certainly offering restaurants and operators a chance to develop more unique dishes, both at the expected breakfast hour and throughout the day. More than half of all operators offer a brunch menu that differs from their breakfast offerings and about a quarter of all are seeing an increase in brunch sales this past year. I know I’m intrigued by what I’ll see as a consumer – even if it means I have to find alternative ways to maintain some meal consistency on the road. Or, incorporate a post-breakfast stroll!

1 Datassential Foodscape3. Chicago, IL. September 2019.

Sober Curious Movement

#DryJanuary #SoberOctober #SoberCurious #SoberIsSexy

The sober-curious movement is a natural outflow of plant-based eating and lifestyle diets. Consumers are more focused on what is in their food, where it came from and how it benefits their body. The sober-curious movement is no different. As discussed back in July, the low ABV and sober trend has taken off this year, with more beverage companies creating no to low alcoholic beverages and more consumers are challenging themselves to take a break from the booze.

Watermelon fruity cocktail mocktail drink decorated with cubes of fresh watermelon and rosemary
Watermelon fruity cocktail mocktail drink decorated with cubes of fresh watermelon and rosemary

According to Nielson, Millennials are driving the mindful drinking movement, with 66% saying they’re making efforts this year to reduce their alcohol consumption1. For those 21 and older, the top two reasons they stated for abstaining from alcohol were health (50%) and weight loss (28%). In January 2019, one-fifth of Americans said they participated in Dry January and 83% of Americans who participated this year say they will participate again in 2020.

More recently we have begun to see companies pop up like Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water, who’s tagline “Keep running wild”, which speaks to active lifestyle consumers who value the outdoors, socializing with friends and healthier living. We are also seeing non-alcoholic spirits popping up like Seedlip, who wants to help the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’. 

Bar and restaurant experience without the buzz

Bars and restaurants are noticing the trend as well. The Sans Bar in Austin, TX is the first sober bar in the city. The owner of the bar wanted to create a safe and inviting atmosphere for people who want to have a good time without alcohol. They offer live music, upscale environment, and sober drinks that you can’t find anywhere else. Even in our hometown of Minneapolis, MN the restaurant The Lynhall has created a Sober Sunday Supper Series where they partner with local restaurants, prepare a four-course family style dinner paired with non-alcoholic beverages. Colorado is the latest state to take part in this trend with Bar Zero, a nonprofit bar supporting people who are choosing not to drink.

Shot of an immaculate bar with many bottles and glasses with no people
Shot of an immaculate bar with many bottles and glasses with no people

As consumers experiment with making a shift away from the prominence of alcohol, there will likely be even more who challenge themselves with #DryJanaury to give their body and mind a break. How operators start and continue to lean into this “movement” with food, drink and social experiences may offer new ways to win over this emerging group.

1 Nielsen, Many Americans Are Looking for a Bar Experience Without the Buzz, 2019

Questions, comments or want to learn more? Let's connect! weshouldtalk@jtmega.com

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