Restaurants are appealing to consumers’ increased desire over the past five years for more healthful food at
Analyzing the more than 7,000 menus in its MenuTrends platform, Datassential reported that yogurt is now on 36 percent more breakfast menus than it was in 2008. That’s followed by frittatas, which are on considerably fewer menus than yogurt, but up by 31 percent nonetheless, thanks to concepts such as LYFE Kitchen, which offers a low-calorie egg white frittata with vegetables, sausage and cheese.
Oatmeal is in the No. 3 spot in terms of growth — up by 15 percent — and tied for fourth place are two Mexican-American specialties, huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos.
Rounding out the top 10 are breakfast sandwiches, followed by traditional breakfast items such as corned beef hash, pancakes, eggs Benedict, and ham and eggs.
“Paying particular attention to menu items showing the most growth, it's evident that each one represents a sub-trend in the industry,” Datassential said in a release.
The firm said frittatas, an Italian dish of baked scrambled eggs, represent “an overall push toward more creative egg dishes.” Yogurt and oatmeal point to demand for more healthful ingredients, it said.
Sandwiches, in the meantime, represented “delicious portability,” according to Datassential, while huevos rancheros — a dish of eggs, tortillas and salsa — indicated a growing number of consumers embracing Mexican flavors. Burritos, being both portable and often Mexican-flavored, represent both of those last two trends.
Yogurt is now a standby on many quick service breakfast menus, particularly in parfait form, such as the new one offered at Einstein Bros. this past spring. Chick-fil-A joined McDonald’s and other quick-service chains when it added yogurt parfaits in 2010, and Taco Bell earlier this year said it planned on testing them.
Oatmeal has been rolled out in many restaurants in recent years, including Starbucks and McDonald’s, and in the past year family dining chain IHOP and quick-service chain Chick-fil-A added it to their breakfast menus. So did The Melt, a 14-unit fast-casual chain based in San Francisco.
Huevos rancheros are more of a regional specialty, but they are nearly ubiquitous on breakfast menus in the Southwest, where chains such as IHOP offer it. Breakfast burritos, too, have spread to restaurants such as Taco Bell and Burger King.
Breakfast sandwiches took on more healthful qualities at many chains this year, such as Einstein Bros, which included sandwiches in its new Smart Choices menu, and McDonald’s, which started testing an egg white McMuffin.
“As more and more consumers look for culinary innovation, more and more operators are introducing these popular items at their restaurants,” Datassential reported.
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