Croissants crash the brunch scene

Croissants baking

From Lantmannen Unibake. 

Long gone are the days when brunches were limited to Eggs Benedict, French toast and hash browns. Today they’re creative, dynamic, interactive and lucrative. When it comes to brunch, consumers want customization and indulgence and are willing to pay a premium for that value.

Indulgence

Indulgence means something different for everyone, but there’s no disagreement that a croissant is an indulgent item on any brunch menu. This savory, buttery baked good can include craveable fillings like almond, chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, mixed berries, stone fruits, jams, jellies and preserves. When it comes to sandwiches, croissants are definitely one of the more decadent carriers over traditional white bread or an English muffin. According to Technomic’s 2015 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, 44 percent of 18 to 34 year olds and 31 percent of those 35 and older believe it’s important that foodservice locations offer indulgent items for breakfast.

Foodservice operators should capitalize on the desirability and indulgence of croissants. Croissant is the second-most preferred bread for breakfast sandwiches, after biscuits, according to Technomic. With the popularity of biscuits, it only makes sense that consumers would gravitate toward other indulgent breads like croissants.

“Foodservice operators can offer croissants as a base for sandwiches to give brunch diners a richer option, or they can offer a twist on the foodservice industry’s fancy toast trend by offering croissants with a range of sweet and savory spreads,” says Lauren Hallow, concepts analysis editor at Technomic.

Croissant add-ons can include, but are not limited to, melted cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, seafood, avocado, cultured butter, honey, goat cheese, peanut butter, bananas and seasonal fruit preserves.

Croissants, particularly chocolate and other flavored varieties, can even be used as a brunch dessert. And unflavored croissants can be filled with caramelized apple, cinnamon and whipped cream for a mock apple pie.

Customization

Consumers in general, and millennials in particular, don’t want to dish up food from steaming chafing dishes. They want their brunch items to be fresh food that’s made just for them. The millennial definition of customized food goes beyond the buffet line to actions stations loaded with different kinds of meats, various cheeses, and unique spreads and toppings.

“Customers like to have control over their foods, whether that’s choosing the ingredients in their omelet or building a breakfast sandwich from scratch. Customization also helps customers with dietary restrictions. For example, if offered a choice of ingredients for a croissant sandwich, vegetarian diners can opt for veggies instead of meat,” Hallow says.

The fastest-growing condiments on breakfast sandwiches are jam, hummus, Hollandaise sauce, pesto and aioli, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor database. The top five condiments on breakfast sandwiches are mayonnaise, salsa, jelly, pesto and honey.

Millennials tend to order something different every time they visit a restaurant. According to Technomic, 75 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase breakfast items that are customizable. What better way to tempt them than to offer a pick-and-choose brunch menu where they can build something different every time while using a croissant as the base?

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