Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day! To make sure you stay up to date with today’s breakfast trends, we compiled a list of some of the more popular ones that you may notice popping up in restaurants near you. Hope you enjoy!
Wake Up to an Ethnic Breakfast
It could be availability of product, or a changing of the guard in terms of generations, but regardless of what caused it, most modern consumers now identify themselves as adventurous diners. This “New American” cuisine is packed full of ethnic flavors pouring in from all areas of the world. Phil Vettel of The Chicago Tribune defines New American cuisine as a type of cooking that uses a combination of ingredients from two or more cuisines to create a dish that lies in its own genre. This trend allows for chefs to creatively and uniquely combine flavors, ingredients, textures, and much more. To find some of the best “New American” cuisine we need not look much further than the first meal of the day, breakfast. We already see lots of Hispanic influence already in our breakfast with popular items like breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros, but look for chefs to stretch the boundaries even further by incorporating flavors and spices from other areas of the world especially the Middle East and Asian regions. American classics with a kick of international flavor will be sure to dominate the breakfast table this year
All Day Breakfast
Research has shown that many consumers are going out to purchase their breakfast as opposed to preparing it at home. This trend stems from hectic morning schedules, and the ever-growing popularity of “grab and go” meals. Since the research shows that most consumers are ditching their hearty morning breakfast at home, restaurants have been posing a great solution. Why not eat your favorite breakfast foods as an after-work meal? It used to be that if you wanted eggs and pancakes for lunch or dinner there was only one place available, the classic American diner. Nowadays, more and more restaurants are adopting this trend and brainstorming creative and intuitive ways to compete with the classic diner breakfast food. Look for items like gyro omelet platters, or egg and avocado toast to make an appearance on your favorite lunch menu. What about dinner? Watch for items like eggs benedict burgers, or breakfast style grilled cheeses to appear more frequently on the menu at your favorite dinner spot. These trendy dishes are bringing new life to old favorites!
As I mentioned earlier, our society has grown so accustom to “grab and go” breakfast that we have often removed the comforting experience of eating classic American comfort foods like fluffy scrambled eggs, crunchy bacon, and warm buttery pancakes. So how are restaurants trying to turn us back to a sit-down style of breakfast and back in their doors? Their secret, A.M indulgent foods. A close cousin to comfort food, indulgent food is a type of food that we would consider as a treat or a reward in normal circumstances. That’s exactly how the restaurants want us to think. Items like eggs benedict, seafood crepes, or cinnamon roll donuts are paired with fresh juices, flavored coffee, and a warm smile from staff to try to bring us back to the days when breakfast was a sit-down meal and we enjoyed being waited on.
Veggies in Charge
The classic American plate has consistently used a protein as the center of the plate staple for most meals, with veggies left to either the side of the plate or in a separate bowl completely. With times everchanging, and American cuisine evolving we have noticed a slight shift in this old-time trend. As we grow into a more international dining experience here in the U.S. veggies are on the rise in popularity, not just as a side dish, but as a center of the plate option. This has a lot to do with the influx of fresh, unprocessed, and nutrient rich veggie options that consumers now demand. With more and more chefs these days interested in going clean label with their dishes it is not a surprise that the breakfast table is one of the first places we notice the new trend. Look for fresh and natural cheeses to join eggs and a plethora of bold veggie flavors to create beautiful, fresh, and healthy scrambles, frittatas, platters, and even breakfast burritos!
The New Consumer
You knew we couldn’t leave them off the list, and they are changing everything that we thought we knew about most industries. Yup! you guessed it, we are talking about Millennials. Not only is this group of people the largest generation in number, but they are also the most diverse. This diversity not only allows for international cuisine to rise in popularity, but it also calls for restaurants to cater to new needs and demands in the way they operate and serve. “Demanding” is one word that frequently gets used to describe them, but is that always a bad thing? The Millennial reputation for being demanding has led to a boom in customizable meals on the menu. Millennials have led the charge in a clear rising trend of fast casual establishments like Chipotle, or Blaze Pizza where the customer picks exactly what they want or do not want to eat. So, what will this do to breakfast? Expect menus to account for customization demands when it comes to proteins, spices, and mix-ins, with an emphasis on whole, fresh ingredients. This new generation sees food as an opportunity for exploration so expect restaurants to cater to that demand.
Over the past year there has been a boost in popularity of Asian influence into modern cuisine. However, the focus has not been on the traditional dishes themselves. Instead many modern chefs are looking to the powerful flavors and spices traditionally found in Asia that can be used to put a new spin on classic American dishes. This has led to flavors like soy, mango, peanut and ginger are becoming more and more common. With New American cuisine on the climb, chefs are searching every day for flavor combinations that could be the next big thing for their menu. Look for trendy takes on classic Asian breakfast foods like Chinese congee porridge, or Korean kimchi to give your palate all the great experiences of far eastern cuisine!
Breakfast on Wheels
Food Trucks bring so much more to the table than just ice cream to the neighborhood kids. Their increasing popularity has boomed to create almost a $1 billion industry. Part of this success results from their heightened level of interaction with the everyday customer. Most trucks frequently engage with their consumers through social media by using pictures, videos, and even by tweeting their location or hours for the day. You may be thinking food trucks are just a coastal phenomenon where people stop for their lunch break, but the industry is much deeper than that. One specific type of truck is growing in popularity rather quickly, you probably guessed it: breakfast food trucks! These trucks set out to add an upscale and modern twist to the classic breakfast sandwich. Thinking about just grabbing a coffee and some fast food as usual to start the day? Instead, consumers can look for a local food truck and enjoy a breakfast wrap, customized to their liking to start the day!
*This post was contributed by our summer intern, Will Girimonte