Building breakfast

From Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Breakfast continues to be a welcome opportunity for foodservice operators. In fact, in the first quarter of 2012, breakfast traffic rose 3 percent compared with a year earlier, according to The NPD Group. All told, the breakfast daypart accounted for nearly 60 percent of restaurant industry traffic growth over a recent five-year period, NPD says.

Operators who succeed at the morning meal typically menu breakfast items that satisfy customer demands for flavor, convenience and healthfulness. This is where turkey bacon from Jennie-O Turkey Store really comes in handy. It offers the flavor and texture of traditional bacon plus the other valuable aspects of turkey that consumers appreciate. Featuring Jennie-O Turkey Store Turkey Bacon allows operators in any segment to take advantage of two important trends--the skyrocketing popularity of bacon as a flavor enhancer and the increasing demand for healthier menu options.

At Caribou Coffee, tasty signature sandwiches like the Egg White and Turkey Bacon Daybreaker and the Turkey Bacon Mini are morning mainstays. Each features Jennie-O Perfect Slice™ Fully Cooked Crispy Turkey Bacon, a new product that is revolutionary in appearance, mouth feel and flavor compared to the turkey bacon that has come before. It offers the smoky flavor and crispness of traditional bacon plus the beneficial attributes of turkey. The Daybreaker combines turkey bacon with egg whites, aged Swiss cheese and spinach Florentine spread on a toasted whole wheat brioche roll. The Mini adds turkey bacon to eggs and melted Wisconsin cheddar on a toasted mini ciabatta roll.

“People like the flavor combinations and the healthy halo that comes with turkey bacon,” says Mark Miller, Senior Manager of Culinary Development for the Minneapolis-based specialty coffee chain. “It is product that stands on its own or we would not be seeing the sales that we are.”

The fact that PERFECT SLICE™ Turkey Bacon tastes great yet has only about 1.5 grams of fat and 20 calories per slice may surprise some people who have tried the less flavorful turkey bacon of the past.

“Knowing that it is healthier than traditional bacon and still delivers on flavor, texture and appearance is a win-win for sure,” says Miller.

In K-12 foodservice, the flavor and health appeal of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon is a winning combination as well. The product appears in breakfast sandwiches and on the breakfast line alongside traditional bacon in about 150 school accounts managed by Sage Dining Services, based in Lutherville, Md.

“The schools are asking for alternatives at breakfast,” says Stephen Freas, CEC, Purchasing Director for Sage Dining. “Giving them a product that is lower in fat, gluten free and tastes good is a plus.”

Student acceptance of the product is vital, Freas notes: “The most important thing is that you send it into the field and the kids actually eat it. That is the true test.”

Operators who add PERFECT SLICE™ to their menus have a product that performs in a very similar way to traditional bacon. “When you put it on the grill and watch it sizzle up it is absolutely beautiful,” says Rick Perez, CEC, a consulting chef to Jennie-O Turkey Store. “It has the caramelization and the nice, crisp edges you expect.”

Frederic “Fritz” Sonnenschmidt, CMC, also a Jennie-O Turkey Store consulting chef, points out that using PERFECT SLICE™ Turkey Bacon can save the operator significant time and labor in preparation and also help reduce food costs by controlling waste.

“It is precooked and it heats quickly, so you don’t have to cook as much bacon ahead of service and risk having it left over,” Sonnenschmidt says.

Fast, easy preparation is a boon at Caribou Coffee, where a preassembled turkey bacon breakfast sandwich goes into an accelerated cooking oven whole and emerges nicely toasted and ready to serve in about a minute, according to Miller.

Perez sums up the upside of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon: “It tastes great. It is versatile. It has a healthy halo. It is a fine alterative to traditional bacon. And you can serve it to just about anyone. There are no barriers with turkey bacon.”

For more ideas on how Jennie-O Turkey Store Turkey Bacon can make your menu more profitable, call 1-800-328-1756 or visit www.jennieofoodservice.com.