Making breakfast better

From Lamb Weston.

An increasing number of foodservice operators are seizing the opportunity to serve breakfast. And with good reason. In restaurants, breakfast is a $57 billion a year business projected to grow at an annual rate of 13 percent through 2014, according to the Mintel Breakfast Report.2011. The breakfast opportunity is great in noncommercial operations as well.

Taking advantage of that growth requires a keen eye for trends and menu items that satisfy evolving tastes for variety, convenience and uniqueness. One of the best ways to do this is to make potatoes into breakfast specialties.

“Breakfast is an opportunity for operators to position potatoes as both traditional and new menu items,” said Rob Owen, director of marketing, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston. “Potatoes offer the perfect opportunity to add flavors and unique sides to create a new breakfast trend.”

Potato items, with their strong popularity, low food cost and inherent value, are well positioned to follow the trends and satisfy a variety of customers. Consumer research shows that nearly three-fourths of customers, the majority of them men, prefer savory items over sweet items at breakfast. Women, on the other hand, are drawn to healthy items at breakfast, another niche in which potatoes can play.

Consumers under 18 tend to eat more non-traditional foods such as french fries and Mexican food at breakfast. Older diners, especially those over 50, prefer more traditional breakfast fare, such as hash browns. Diners in the middle tend to choose traditional offerings with a twist, such as sweet potato puffs or potatoes served with unique dips and seasonings.

Furthermore, both sexes say they like breakfast deals—70 percent are interested in value meals and 65 percent in dollar-menu items. Potatoes, with their low cost, are naturals for those.

Lamb Weston potato products please the gamut of consumer tastes and help operators refresh menus and build business. The line ranges from traditional hash browns, which continue to be one of the most popular breakfast foods, to Crispy Cubes®, sweet potato puffs and seasoned medleys. Throughout the day, menuing items like those in other dayparts is an easy way to address value with lower price points.

Here are some additional trends that Lamb Weston potato products match up with:

Mini Breakfasts. Piggy-backing on the success of minis as appetizers and desserts, mini breakfast options are emerging in the morning meal.

High-End/Sophisticated Options. Though breakfast often speaks comfort, higher-end ingredients and formats like frittatas, soufflés, and quiches dress up traditional favorites.

Lunch/Dinner Inspired. Operators are leveraging popular lunch and dinner flavors, formats and ingredients on the breakfast menu.

Healthier Eating. Healthier items are growing with a focus on balance and incorporating healthy elements such as fiber, lean protein, vitamins and minerals.

High Impact. Restaurants are moving well beyond applewood-smoked items to include other high-impact ingredients and preparations such as smoked mozzarella, roasted garlic, fire roasting, encrusting/crusting and grilling.

Mexican – The Next Wave. Moving beyond the breakfast burrito, menus are now incorporating taquitos, tortas, and other Mexican applications less common to breakfast, such as tomatillo salsa.

Mediterranean. Italian and Greek flavors are being used with greater frequency now in breakfast items. From tomato sauce to kalamata olives to feta and goat cheeses, this cuisine profile enjoys a healthier perception regardless of application.

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