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Health, portability and convenience are key in breakfast NPD, says Mintel

By Kacey Culliney , 09-Jan-2013

Pancakes made from mixes top the US breakfast food choice...
Pancakes made from mixes top the US breakfast food choice...

New product development in the breakfast foods segment must be defined by health, portability and convenience to target key consumer needs in a snowballing US market, Mintel says.

The US breakfast foods category, which covers breads, toast, pastries, cakes and meats, is set to soar to $15.7bn by 2017, up 26% from 2012, according to Mintel. Breakfast cereals and cereal bars were not included in the segment.

John Frank, category manager for Food and Drink at Mintel, said that for manufacturers looking to push forward in this surging sector consumer desires for healthful, convenient options must be acknowledged.

“Products that combine convenience and health would seem to hold the most promise for connecting with harried consumers who also are becoming increasingly aware of health issues,” Frank told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“Over 2013, consumers will continue to eat breakfast at home to save money over eating out and to find more healthy alternatives to traditional breakfast favorites like bacon and sausage,” he said.

Mintel’s report on the US breakfast foods market pinpointed low cholesterol/heart healthy as a top health priority for consumers when choosing breakfast foods. This was closely followed by high protein products.

“More consumers aged 55+ care about these attributes, reiterating the importance of catering to this group,” it said.

Low fat, sugar and sodium along with high fiber and whole grain were also cited as important for manufacturers to focus on when developing new products for the segment.

The morning rush…

Mintel’s report found that pancakes made from mix were the leading breakfast food, followed by frozen waffles.

“While generally the usage between weekend and weekday is fairly similar, not surprisingly more consumers eat frozen waffles and sweet breakfast breads and pastries during the week; this emphasizes the important role that portability and convenience play when it comes to selecting breakfast items during the week,” the report noted.

The consumer research revealed that 53% respondents would like to see more healthy variants of waffles in stores and 48% said they would like to see healthier pancake options.

Findings showed that a majority of consumers (57%) would be willing to spend more on better quality prepackaged breakfast foods.

Carla Dobre-Chastain, food analyst at Mintel, said: “Eating at home to save money and the convenience of many products in the breakfast category likely aided in its impressive sales growth. While price will continue to play an important role when it comes to breakfast foods, Mintel’s research shows that consumers are willing to pay more for higher-quality breakfast products. Therefore, manufacturers and retailers need to strike a balance between price and quality in order to stay at the top of the market.”

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