3 top trends for morning meals

A look at what’s happening in the breakfast world
Photograph: Shutterstock

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s true for young diners, too, who have school and learning to focus on. Getting fuel from a morning meal can be done in a variety of ways, and K-12 foodservice is stepping up to serve trending foods and formats, all while meeting nutrition guidelines.

Ready to branch out from the same ol’ same ol’? Check out these three breakfast trends happening in K-12 settings.

1. More options for those following special diets

More and more, schools are accommodating the needs of young eaters who don’t eat things like meat, gluten, dairy or tree nuts. According to CSP’s2019 Foodservice Handbook and Winsight’s State of Foodservice Study, 48% of noncommercial operators say they offer foods that are vegetarian, while 43% offer gluten-free options and 34% offer dairy- or lactose-free food and drinks. Offering plant-based alternatives as well as gluten-free breads and other breakfast foods is key for keeping up with specialized dietary needs.

2. Expanded availability

One in six U.S. children experiences hunger, and many noncommercial foodservice facilities are working toward feeding more people who need it most. In schools, this translates to an array of options for service—from longer availability hours in the morning to free or reduced cost meals, to mobile kitchens and offsite serving. According to CSP’s2019 Foodservice Handbook, 18% of noncommercial operators say they expect the most sales growth at breakfast—and that could be in part due to breakfast being served at earlier hours or for longer than just before school starts.

3. Grab-and-go

On-the-go eating isn’t just for busy adults—kids want faster foods, too. Grab-and-go items, like breakfast sandwiches; fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits; and instant oatmeal with toppings are all great options to offer for students who want to pick up something fast to take with them. With grab-and-go options, kids spend less time in line, too, which can help prevent the breakfast bottleneck.

This post is sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Click here or text FSD to 888-111 to receive text alerts from FoodService Director and get the news and insights that matter to your operation.