Sales of CPG breakfast foods remained markedly strong throughout the recession, and consumers’ hunger for tastier and healthier options should present ample opportunities to keep them rolling, according to a new report from Mintel.
The category’s sales grew by 20% between 2007 and 2011, from $10 billion to $12 billion, and are projected to grow by another 26% between 2012 and 2017, to reach $15.7 billion.
At-home breakfast foods’ cost and convenience advantages have helped drive the category. However, perceptions about taste and quality may be holding back some growth.
Fully 57% of consumers who eat any breakfast foods during the week say that they would be willing to spend more on better-quality prepackaged breakfast foods, shows Mintel’s consumer research.
While 87% of consumers report eating breakfast at home during a typical week, on weekends, 30% report eating the meal out, versus 11% who report eating it at home. Moreover, 53% of respondents say that breakfast foods served at restaurants taste better than the options available in grocery stores, and 48% say that they’d like to see more restaurant-style options in grocery stores.
“While a frugal mindset is keeping many people from regularly eating out, aggressive breakfast offerings at restaurants have been attracting many customers” -- making restaurants a significant, continuing competitive threat for food manufacturers and retailers, points out Mintel food analyst Carla Dobre-Chastain.
Conclusion: CPG makers and retailers will need to “strike a balance between price and quality” in order to stay at the top of the market, she says.
Continuing to innovate healthier yet tasty options is also critical for breakfast-food makers.
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents who eat any breakfast foods during the week consider low cholesterol or “heart-healthy” claims to be important in selecting their typical breakfast foods, and 65% consider low-fat and high-fiber claims to be important criteria. In addition, 41% would like to see more organic prepackaged breakfast products.
The demand for healthier options is most pronounced in regard to highly popular breakfast foods that aren’t necessarily traditionally equated with being the healthiest choices.
Forty-five percent of respondents report eating pancakes for breakfast, 40% frozen waffles and 33% packaged sausages -- and 52%, 48% and 37% of total respondents report that they would like to see healthier waffle, pancake mix and sausage options, respectively, in stores.
"Breakfast of Pancakes and Sausages photo from Shutterstock"