4 ways to boost snack sales during breakfast

cafeteria tray line breakfast pastries

From Mondelēz International Foodservice.

Breakfast and snacking are two of the biggest trends influencing foodservice today—and together, they can spell opportunity for operators.

It’s no secret that breakfast is where the growth is. In fact, consumers cut back on lunch and dinner visits to restaurants in 2013 while increasing their breakfast visits for the fourth consecutive year, according to research from The NPD Group.

Although breakfast as a traditional daypart is on the rise, breakfast also plays well during other times of day. 48 percent of consumers say that they enjoy eating breakfast foods at non-traditional times, according to Chicago research firm Technomic, which means that operators need to have a good representation of breakfast-oriented snacks throughout the day.

A large payoff awaits operators who can satisfy consumers’ varied breakfast tastes along with their appetite for snacking. 49 percent of consumers eat snacks between meals, and 45 percent replace one or two daily meals with a snack, according to Technomic. Having the right mix of items—including breakfast sandwiches, breakfast biscuits, beverages, yogurt, cookies and desserts—ups the chances of success. Here are a few thoughts on how to seize the breakfast opportunity with snacks.

Convenience rules

Make it quick and easy for customers to grab breakfast snacks and beverages and check out. Having the right items available when and where consumers want them—such as single-serve packaged snacks and desserts in handy racks and merchandisers at the cashier stand—is essential.

Coffee is key

Breakfast consumers expect high-quality coffee. Operators who cut corners are leaving money on the table, both in coffee sales and in companion items, such as single-serve packaged baked goods, cookies and breakfast biscuits. That’s why concepts of all sorts—not just the trendy coffee shops—are paying greater attention to their beans. For example, Chick-fil-A is touting its new specialty-grade brew, and Dunkin’ Donuts is upping the ante with its first dark-roast coffee.

Court the mindful snacker

Consumers are eating traditional snack foods, particularly snacks with a perceived health benefit, in between and at meals, says The NPD Group. The strongest growth of snack foods eaten at meals will be in the better-for-you categories, such as refrigerated yogurt, bars and fresh fruit. Thus, it’s wise to include some breakfast snacks with better-for-you credentials, such as items made with whole grains, higher protein or reduced sodium content, in the merchandise mix.

Indulgence is sweet

Although healthful eating is a trend that can’t be ignored, consumers crave a moment of pleasure periodically—even at breakfast. Technomic notes that 35 percent of consumers, up from 33 percent in 2010, report eating dessert items at least weekly for a midmorning snack. Having some sweet treats on display can pay off in increased impulse sales.

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