Technomic Finds Ample Growth Opportunities for Restaurants Serving Breakfast

January 23, 2012

Technomic Finds

Technomic Finds Ample Growth Opportunities for Restaurants Serving Breakfast

CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — While breakfast sales have grown steadily for restaurants, retailers and suppliers over the past few years, consumer data shows that the market is not yet saturated and there are still plenty of opportunities within this category. Technomic estimates the breakfast segment accounts for 12 percent of the total restaurant industry, generating around $42 billion in annual sales. Breakfast patronage is up at foodservice locations, particularly fast-food restaurants, where 46 percent of consumers now occasionally purchase weekday breakfasts compared to just 33 percent in 2009.

“Breakfast is a very dynamic segment in which consumers are looking for healthier options and place a premium on convenience,” says Technomic EVP Darren Tristano. “Our busy lives and weekly routines drive the need for fast, convenient options in the morning. When consumers don’t have convenient options, they’re increasingly bringing breakfast from home to eat elsewhere.”

To help operators and others aligned with the foodservice industry more effectively identify opportunities for growth and competitive advantage, Technomic has developed the Breakfast Consumer Trend Report.

Interesting findings include:

•Consumers generally place greater importance on convenience and speed of service than price for breakfast occasions, indicating that consumers are willing to pay more for a morning meal that saves time and fits their daily routine. About 75 percent of consumers surveyed agree that a convenient location is important when purchasing a breakfast item from a restaurant or other foodservice location during with week.

•Coffee is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ breakfast purchasing decision: 33 percent of consumers who drink coffee at breakfast indicate they are loyal to a coffee brand or restaurant that serves their preferred coffee, up from just 25 percent of consumers who said the same in 2009.

•Consumers say full-service restaurants excel at providing kids’ options, and signal opportunities for full-service restaurant operators to boost breakfast sales through portable breakfast options.

•Over the past two years, limited-service restaurants have added more than 230 new breakfast items, illustrating that breakfast remains a growth category for limited-service operators.

•Health is a top trend to watch. Beyond lowfat/nonfat ingredients, whole grains and multigrain items are a way to signal health. Oatmeal is booming and will continue to be prevalent on breakfast menus.

Technomic’s Breakfast Consumer Trend Report examines preferences, attitudes and purchasing behavior based on survey results from more than 1,500 consumers. The Menu, Marketing and Concept Trends section provides a comprehensive guide to the trends that continue to shape the breakfast category. Additionally, data from Technomic’s 2009 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report is discussed throughout the report to provide a benchmark for key trends. Appendices to this report include detailed concept and menu profiles for 20 emerging and innovative breakfast concepts and demographic profiles of consumers who visit 25 restaurants that offer breakfast.

View the full article on PR Newswire

Yuba City Cupcake Shop Crashes in on Trend

January 23, 2012

Yuba City

Yuba City cupcake shop cashes in on trend

Yuba City, meet your first cupcake shop.

Tami Davis, 53, and her daughter, Laurie Porter, 32, teamed up last month to open Yuba City’s first gourmet cupcake shop, Cupcake Magic, last month.

Davis and Porter sell 12-14 flavors a day at their Plumas Street store. Staples include red velvet and raspberry-filled chocolate. Seasonal flavors include pumpkin ginger, gingerbread cupcake topped with a Zinfandel butter cream frosting and a candy cane cupcake slathered with vanilla frosting and candy cane shards.

“People get excited over cupcakes,” Davis said.

Cupcakes have been all the rage all over. They’ve been featured on multiple TV shows, sold on food trucks and featured in cupcake blogs. Grocery stores are selling more and more of them each year and shops have popped up all over the Central Valley the last few years.

Other Yuba City stores have hocked them, including The Cookie Tree and Cakes by Nancy, but Cupcake Magic is the first cupcake-centered shop.

Davis and Porter are trying to catch a wave that started in larger cities.

Cupcakes are selling like hot cakes across the country. Over the last five years, cupcake sales increased between 9 and 13 percent each year, according to the Perishables Group, a Chicago-based fresh food consulting firm.

Porter, at least initially, raised an eyebrow. She knew cupcakes were the new “it” thing, but feared they’d missed the boat.

Her mother disagreed. Cupcakes might be passé in New York, but people in the Yuba-Sutter area would eat it up.

“We’re right on cue for Yuba City,” Davis said.

“Cupcakes are thriving because they meet many current consumer hot buttons — indulgence, single-serve and convenience,” said Kelli Beckel with Perishables Group.

Cupcakes are “old news” in cities like New York and Los Angeles, where the trend started five or six years ago. Now, they’re trickling down to rural areas. “They’re just hitting the smaller cities,” Beckel said.

Cupcakes aren’t new, but paying $3 to $5 for one is, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president with Technomic, a food industry research firm. Eaters are redefining what they’re willing to pay for them, like they did when Starbucks created new expectations about coffee. People then started shelling out $5 for a grande mocha frappuccino.

All of a sudden, cupcakes weren’t something you made in bulk at home or even bought by the dozen. It was something special, a treat.

“It really became a nice, affordable indulgence,” Tristano said.

Cupcakes have weathered the economy well because they are an affordable luxury, he said and eaters don’t have to buy a whole cake to enjoy something sweet and unnecessary.

After the New Year arrives, Davis and Porter plan to unveil their new creation, a Guinness cupcake slathered with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting.

View the full article on Appeal-Democrat