With two in 10 consumers now eating breakfast outside of their home more than once a week, Charlotte Buxton looks at how wholesalers can capitalise on this trend
With out-of-home breakfast sales booming, now is the time for wholesalers to cash in on this trend. And as demand continues for hot drinks that can be consumed on-the-go, a broad range of teas is a vital part of any breakfast offer.
“Breakfast and mid-morning are the most important occasions for tea drinking out of home and they are growing, with this part of the day accounting for 42% of all tea consumption, and tea representing one-third of all hot drinks at breakfast.”
“The number of breakfast occasions grew by 8.4% to 1.14 billion year-on-year, according to NPD Crest research, and growth shows no sign of decline,” says Isabelle Haynes, Tetley senior brand manager for out of home.
With 53% of consumers indicating that they would spend more on a premium tea, Haynes recommends that wholesalers stock a range of tea blends for caterers that stand apart from those that their customers enjoy at home. “Tetley’s Envelope range features contemporary and eye-catching designs, reflective of each individual flavour combination. This follows feedback from operators who expressed a requirement for premium products that not only taste great, but look great in their establishments too,” Haynes says.
Nick Widdowson, Partners for Growth and Unilever UK merchandising and creative controller, says a good tea range is also vital for c-stores. “Tea is consumed by 90% of households, so it’s a key distress and top-up item in convenience stores. However, tea tastes have evolved in recent years, with many people introducing fruit and herbal, specialty or green tea into their repertoire. A successful tea fixture should reflect these changes, with the best-selling lines faced proportional to store size and location.”
When it comes to traditional breakfast foods such as breads and spreads, stocking well-known brands is key. Widdowson says 93% of shoppers already know what brand of butter or margarine they want before they set foot inside the store. Meanwhile, Hovis has launched a premium Farmhouse range, which aims to drive growth back into the bread category.
Breakfast biscuits are now a popular choice for people eating breakfast on the go. The UK breakfast biscuit market is now worth £81.6m, according to Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez International, with Belvita Breakfast the number one breakfast biscuit and healthy biscuit brand. “Breakfast biscuits are key for the morning and are well placed as 82% of them are consumed between 6am and 10am. Only 48% of cereal bars are consumed at this time, which shows they meet different consumer needs,” she says.
With this increased focus on healthy breakfasts, wholesalers are encouraged to make the most of sales opportunities in the chiller. “Wholesalers need to promote their chilled category, which is a key element of the healthy breakfast market,” says James Logan, commercial director of Refresco Gerber. “To tap into this market, retailers and foodservice outlets need a choice of premium chilled products such as smoothies and pure juices from wholesalers that appeal to the on-the-go breakfast shopper looking for great tasting nutritional drinks.”
Jessica Lalor, brand development manager for Kerrymaid, notes that as outlets look to differentiate themselves from the competition, and traditional mealtimes continue to decline, many venues are offering dishes targeted at the ‘any meal, all day’ opportunity. “It is important for wholesalers to offer varied ingredients to help operators provide an on-trend menu to suit the needs of its customers,” Lalor says.
“A popular consumer trend that wholesalers should consider is brunch and the idea of unlimited brunches, which are becoming increasingly flexible and not restricted to traditional brunch times.
“Unlimited brunches give operators the opportunity to turn around multiple covers throughout the day, and by limiting the dwell time to a strict time period, the standard being around two hours, operators can cater for a larger amount of visitors and be more prepared for specific footfall at particular times.”