Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
June 15, 2022

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Breakfast is worth a close look today as competition grows and as diners’ habits and preferences evolve. Technomic reinforces the thinking that convenience, value and quality continue to drive decision making for consumers. A few emerging trends are taking shape and informing breakfast menus:

  • the definition of breakfast food expands into more global regions, but also into more formats that are nontraditional
  • consumers are seeking out spicier options at breakfast
  • portability rules the roost, making handhelds a best bet for menu development

Offering a signature take on heat, this Smoked Sausage Breakfast Sandwich features sambal mayo, made with fiery sambal, ginger, garlic, vinegar and sesame oil. Served on a toasted pretzel bun, it’s layered with Smithfield Smoked Sausage, an over-easy egg and avocado.

A Nice, Hot Breakfast

More consumers are requesting a spicier start to the day. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, 53 percent of consumers reported that their preferred spice range was 7-10 — an increase over 2019’s spice range. And nearly a third of consumers (31 percent) would like restaurants to offer spicier ingredients and flavors at breakfast.

For inspiration, take a look at these heat-laced breakfast and brunch dishes from restaurants around the country:

  • Prime Ribeye Steak & Eggs: Garlic-marinated prime ribeye, black truffle butter, three eggs any style, Sichuan chimichurri and toast — Interstellar, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Kasama Combo Sandwich: Shaved pork adobo, longanisa sausage and giardiniera — Kasama, Chicago
  • Breakfast Biscuit: Roasted Serrano mayo, choice of bacon or sausage, American cheese and egg — Hot Hands, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Chicken Vindaloo Arepas with cucumber raita and Cotija cheese — Archer & Goat, New York

This Breakfast Pizza plays host to traditional morning fare, like cheesy scrambled eggs, but in a clever move, swaps out bacon for pepperoni cups, planting it firmly in the popular pizza territory.

Bending Breakfast

A confluence of drivers is causing massive shifts in the breakfast category, advancing its territory beyond morning hours and expanding its claim on what counts as breakfast fare.

As an industry, we’ve talked about the demand for all-day breakfast for years now. With the pandemic forcing changes in daily routines, that demand for all-day breakfast menus has grown. According to Technomic, menus that afford flexibility between dayparts are increasingly appealing: Consumer interest in all-day breakfast has only grown more popular (up to 47 percent from 43 percent in 2019).

Another driver that points to the opportunity in menuing nontraditional breakfast items is consumers’ collective enthusiasm about expanding the definition of breakfast. Their excitement about global flavors and formats is fueling growth in this area.

And younger consumers are leading the charge in wanting to see options like burgers and pizzas during the morning daypart. Indeed, Technomic reports that 33 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are particularly interested in visiting “varied-menu restaurants” for breakfast.

According to Technomic, 38% of consumers would like operators to offer breakfast pizzas

This savory Breakfast Sausage and Pork Loin Muffin packages crave into a unique to-go offering. Pork loin, breakfast sausage, Dijon, oats, red wine vinegar and Italian seasoning are combined with sweated shallots, olive, garlic, celery and carrot. That mixture is stuffed into muffin tins lined with bacon. Eggs are cracked into the pork mixture, and then they’re baked until the bacon crisps up.

Wake Me Up and Go, Go

Breakfast has always been a home to portable items, catering to a consumer who wants a running start to their day. The last few years of added motivations for takeout and delivery have deepened the grooves in that routine.

Handhelds are leaders in portability, familiarity and portability. Here are trend-forward thought starters to build on:

  • Empanada + Scrambled Eggs + Bacon + Chimichurri
  • Dosa + Oven-Roasted Tomatoes + Peppered Pulled Pork
  • Bocadillo + ’Nduja Spread + Rolled Omelette
“Off-premise will continue to be critical for breakfast occasions.”
Source: Technomic, 2021 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report

Smithfield Culinary is eager to serve as a resource for ideas and insights to help attract more customers. Visit SmithfieldCulinary.com or call your Smithfield rep at 888.327.6526.

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