Fruit, healthy proteins to increase in next two years

Contract management/B&I expect big growth in sandwiches and wraps.

Fruit, healthy proteins and yogurts/parfaits are on the rise for breakfast menus in the next two years, according to research from The Big Picture. For most operators, the predicted increase in these categories is due to providing healthier options for customers.

Hospitals

Yogurts/parfaits, at 39%, is the breakfast category that hospital operators expect to have the most growth in the next two years. Carl Hall, executive chef for Baylor Medical Center’s Frisco, Texas, campus, says parfaits will be popular because customers are looking for something that’s healthy, light and easy to grab in the morning. They are also looking for something different than traditional pancakes and eggs, Hall adds.

Contract/B&I

“We’re definitely seeing a group of people who are asking for healthy items at breakfast,” says David Cross, general manager for Sodexo at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C. That’s why Cross is offering more healthy breakfast proteins such as turkey bacon and chicken sausage. He’s also seeing growth in sandwiches and wraps because customers are “looking for something that’s nutritious and that they can get quickly and go.” Cross offers sandwiches that use flatbreads, English muffins and croissants as the bread base. 

C&U

Although not colleges’ top breakfast growth category, ethnic entrées are expected to increase in sales, according to 27% of university operators. Edward Krol, executive chef at Youngstown (Ohio) State University’s Kilcawley Center, says he currently offers breakfast pizzas, burritos and tacos for his students. He has seen an overall increase in breakfast from younger and Hispanic students. “With the economic downturn and people eating out less for dinner, breakfast is the cheaper alternative when eating out,” he says, explaining his projected sales increase of ethnic entrées.

LTC/senior living

Growth in breakfast is fairly even among many of the categories. The area with the highest expected growth is healthy breakfast proteins, at 27%, with fruit (26%), traditional breakfast proteins (26%), eggs/omelets/quiche (23%) and baked goods (23%) following closely. Brad Lange, director of dining services at Park Regency in Chandler, Ariz., likens his breakfast to a Denny’s, saying residents can choose whatever they want, cooked to order. He says offering an assortment and giving customers the opportunity to choose is key in resident satisfaction. Lange also offers a weekly special, such as an omelet station, which helps keep interest up in the morning. Not all LTC/senior living directors expect a growth, however, with 25% of operators saying no category will grow in the next two years. 

Schools

Fruit is the top breakfast growth area for schools, with 57%—significantly more than in other markets—expecting this category to gain ground in the next two years. The finding isn’t a shock considering that schools on the National School Lunch Program must soon offer students one cup of fruit at the morning meal each day. The concern for some child nutrition operators is that the growth is driven by a federal mandate and not because of student demand. Many directors believe the produce will end up in the trash and not in students’ stomachs. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
cold storage boxes

When working with a small footprint, the back of the house often gets squeezed in the interest of preserving precious seats. But as storage space contracts, these restaurant operators are getting resourceful with everything from shelves to ceiling height to inventory in ways that FSDs can apply, too.

“When we were first tasked with figuring out smaller footprints, when it came to interiors, it was like a bad riddle,” says Trinity Hall, SVP of development for Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which shrunk its prototype from 2,200 square feet to 1,800. “Let’s make it smaller and...

Menu Development
induction cooking nuts

Thanks to prolific fast casuals such as Chipotle, guests have come to expect a certain level of customization in their dining options. For almost 50% of Generation Zers, customization is a deciding factor when purchasing food, according Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report . Taking customization even further, operations are handing over even more control to customers with both build-your-own and cook-your-own stations.

Elder Hall’s My Kitchen station at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., offers a daily rotating ingredient bar with items such as stir-fry,...

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

Menu Development
health food medicine stethoscope

For the last two years, Chris Studtmann has jockeyed between Northwestern University’s residential dining halls and athletic training tables in his role of executive chef, trying to meet the health and food preferences of both sides. Now, his team is taking best practices developed for the sports teams to the 20,000-plus student population, working with dietitians from the school’s contract company to better sync healthy menu choices with lifestyle needs.

Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shows younger consumers are especially tuned in to functional foods that...

FSD Resources