Still often called the most important meal of the day, breakfast is a diverse market encompassing several different categories. Asian Trader learns how stores can maximise the opportunity.

The breakfast market is significant, with 64% agreeing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to Engage Research.
The breakfast market is worth £11.6 billion and the meal now accounts for 28% of all eating and drinking occasions, according to Kantar.
It’s also one of the fastest growing out of home meals, with carried out versions growing by 9.5% last year to 263 million eating occasions.
This trend is particularly marked among a younger demographic, whose consumption of on the go breakfasts increased by 35% last year, Kantar data reveals.
In addition, the UK food to go sector is predicted to grow at twice the rate of the overall grocery retail market (IGD).
Helena Blincow, Marketing Manager for Alpen, commented: “The total cereal & snacking bars sector is a £500m+ market and is currently growing 6% year-on-year. Alpen Bars is a top ten brand within this sector and is nearly a £30m business – growing at 3%.
“Cereal bars can be a great snacking choice for millennials who are looking for a convenient and tasty way to start the day while on the move.
“Salted Caramel has been a firm favourite with consumers across many different categories, and sitting under the umbrella of dessert flavours, these as a whole within the cereal bar market have been growing phenomenally in the past year. Our Salted Caramel product is now worth almost £1m and was introduced to tap into this key market trend for more dessert flavours.”
According to Beth Reeve, Brand Manager, Weetabix On The Go, breakfast drinks are the most impulsive part of the cereal category and continue to grow. Now valued at £26m, breakfast drinks are a great opportunity for retailers to tap into the demand for a chilled breakfast on the move. To make the most of the food to go opportunity, retailers should stock breakfast drinks in both the chilled and ambient aisles, Reeve suggests.
“We’ve found that more and more people are looking to make an active start to the day, whether that’s walking or cycling to work or squeezing in an early gym session,” says Reeve. “When we’re on the go in the mornings it can be a challenge to find a truly convenient breakfast that provides the energy, fibre and protein you need for an active and busy morning, which is why Weetabix On The Go was introduced and it is the UK’s number 1 breakfast drink. We’ve found that demand for protein remains strong and we expect this to continue.”
Weetabix On The Go (Original and Protein) is now an £18m brand and the biggest breakfast drink in the sector. The main drivers of recent growth have been through increased instore presence, across chilled and ambient.
“Making breakfast and protein drinks more widely available at the front of store in the chiller section will help encourage more people to buy into the sector,” adds Reeve. “We will continue to work with retailers to ensure that Weetabix On The Go and Weetabix On The Go Protein are available more widely at front of store to help capitalise on the growing market.”
Weetabix is launching a disruptive campaign with its retail partners, extending the ‘Have You Had Your Weetabix?’ campaign into an activation that aims to drive strong sales and category value of £10 million. The campaign is called ‘Any-Which-Way-A-Bix’ and launches in January 2019.
With 130 million bowls of Weetabix personalised “their way” by consumers each year the Any-Which-Way-A-Bix campaign taps into the mass trend for customising food and aims to celebrate all the unique ways Britons enjoy their Weetabix with fun and playful recipe inspiration on TV, on pack, online and in-store.
A new dedicated TV advert will run as part of master-brand media spend of over £10 million.
Torben Sherwood, Senior Brand Manager, Weetabix, comments: “With taste the most important aspect when it comes to choosing foods to buy, we know that people all over the UK are personalising their morning breakfast bowl with different fruits, nuts, yoghurts, milks and many more exciting options. As the number one breakfast brand, Weetabix is perfectly placed to celebrate this trend, inspiring more people to start their day ‘Any-Which-Way-A-Bix’ they like.”
Kellogg’s is bolstering its W.K.Kellogg range of No Added Sugar granolas in early 2019 by adding three more SKUs to the line-up.
A new fruit and vegetable granola will join the range; No Added Sugar Apple Raspberry & Carrot, along with a new No Added Sugar Cocoa and Hazelnut granola.
Tapping into the habits of shoppers keen to customise and add their own toppings to their breakfast cereals, a plain No Added Sugar Simply Granola will be offered at the lower price point of £3.49 for 570g vs £3.79 for the rest of range.
No Added Sugar Granolas are unique to W.K.Kellogg and helped secure the brand a value of £4.2 million in market, within nine months of launching earlier this year (IRI).
The W.K.Kellogg range is completely vegan and contains no artificial colours or flavours.
Changes to the W.K.Kellogg range will be supported by digital and in-store promotions in early 2019.
TV ads will follow later in the year with further developments for NPD underway, including small W.K.Kellogg single-serve pouches.
Special K, the number one cereal health brand in the UK (IRI), will help retailers reach health-conscious shoppers in 2019 with the launch of new Protein enriched cereals and a Special K Variety Pack.
The launches come following a year of growth for the brand; Special K Original and Special K Red Berries grew by 7.3 per cent in value sales and achieved 9.6 per cent growth in household penetration this year (IRI).
New Special K Protein launches in January 2019 with two flavours; Berries, and Nuts. Both cereals have 12 per cent protein and are priced at £2.99 RRP.
To make space for Special K Protein, Special K Nourish packs will also carry a peel-back sticker, which reveals a unique voucher to be redeemed at all major retailers. Details of this are available on
The Special K Protein range will join the brand’s best-sellers (Special K Original and Red Berries) in a new Variety Pack, priced at £1.79 RRP for a pack of four mini Special K cereals.
Healthy biscuit
belVita Breakfast is the UK’s number one healthy biscuit (Nielsen) and the only breakfast biscuit with proven slow release carbohydrates.
The belVita concept was founded on the insight that one in three people in the UK skip breakfast during the working week and the main reason for this is lack of time.
As such, breakfast biscuits tap into the consumer need for a convenient and nutritious breakfast that slots into their busy daily lives.
The UK breakfast biscuit market is now worth a significant £79.3m (Nielsen); belVita commands a majority share of the market and is worth £73.3m (Nielsen) – proof that offering a solution to meet a consumer need is a great opportunity to drive incremental value into the category.
2018 saw the launch of belVita Breakfast Soft Bakes Blueberry, which offers an injection of taste from one of the UK’s most popular ‘superfood’ flavours – teaming soft and chewy baked biscuit, made from five of the finest wholegrains, with delicious blueberries.
Since the end of the summer, belVita has helped retailers drive sales with advice and POS material on
Part of the ‘Have you had your breakfast’ campaign, the free POS attached to retailers coffee machines to help them make the most of the cross-selling opportunity. Research showed that sales increased as much as 63% when POS was displayed in store.
“Thanks to our hectic lifestyles, more and more of us are grabbing something to eat on the move and forgoing sit-down meals, especially breakfast,” commented Kat Jones, Marketing Manager, Ice Cream & Snacking at General Mills. “Retailers are therefore encouraged to stock up on products that replace the traditional cereal and toast.”
General Mills’ owned brand Nature Valley is the #1 cereal bar in the UK market [number 2 brand in the healthier biscuits and bars category] and has seen exponential growth this year – up 20.6% YOY (Nielsen). The Crunchy platform is packed full of wholegrain oats and cereal, making it ideal for breakfast or mid-morning.
This summer General Mills further developed its offering for this need state with new Peanut and Almond Nut Butter Biscuits – two crunchy biscuits made with 100% wholegrain oats and filled with creamy real peanut or almond butter, tapping into the widespread trend for nut butters.
“The success of our Nature Valley Protein cereal bars and Nut Butter Biscuits shows UK shoppers have a massive appetite for cereal bars that not only offer great taste, but also strong nutritional credentials that meet their lifestyle and wellness needs,” adds Jones.
Nature Valley Protein cereal bars contain 10g of protein per bar and are gluten-free – ticking two major boxes for shoppers looking for better-for-you options.
“The new singles added to our Nut Butter platform, Peanut Butter Biscuits and Peanut Butter Cups provide the benefits of real nut butter in a tasty format that can be consumed for breakfast on the go,” says Jones.
“If you’re having a cooked breakfast, whether it’s a classic full English, or something lighter such as scrambled or poached eggs, smashed avocado, baked beans, or you just fancy a bit of jam to start the day, then nothing is more crucial to a delicious breakfast than a slice or two of toast,” comments Zoe Taphouse, Category Director at Allied Bakeries.
“Toast is the cornerstone of almost any kind of cooked breakfast and it’s one of the key ways people eat bread at breakfast time.”
71% of bakery eaten at breakfast is toasted and 58% of sliced bread is consumed as toast (Kantar).
“Toast’s importance to breakfast is clear, but as a carrier for other flavours at breakfast, such as egg or avocado, its role can often be overlooked,” adds Taphouse.
As cooked breakfasts grow in popularity, the simplicity and speed of preparation of toast means it will remain a fundamental part of the breakfast occasion.
And with 17% more people working from home than a decade ago (Kantar) consumers are increasingly able to savour the breakfast ritual.
“With toast ranking as by far the most popular way to consume bread, last year we realised no one was baking a loaf specifically developed to toast perfectly,” comments Taphouse. “All the Toastie loaves on the market at the time, including Kingsmill’s own, were simply thicker cut versions of standard white loaves.”
As a result, Allied Bakeries created Kingsmill Super Toasty, the only loaf on the market developed specifically to deliver the ‘Best Ever Toast’ experience. Baked using a special blend of flours, it creates toast that is light and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Kingsmill Super Toasty’s slice thickness was developed to deliver the perfect slice of toast, and was rated the best toast in blind taste tests, compared to the leading brand.
Daily bread consumption provides an important contribution to recommended daily intake of fibre. Kingsmill Super Seeds launched in January 2018, a loaf available in 800g & 400g varieties. Made with a variety of seeds, including linseed, sunflower, poppy and pumpkin, it is not only a source of fibre but thanks to the linseed, is also a great source of Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid, which helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. The loaf provides a tasty everyday seeded option aimed at families.
In September, Kingsmill 50/50 Vitamin Boost was added to the range. The newest addition to the Kingsmill family, Kingsmill 50/50 Vitamin Boost provides a daily source of seven vitamins and minerals. The innovative loaf offers the taste of Kingsmill 50/50, with a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Kingsmill 50/50 Vitamin Boost contains iron and vitamin B6, which contribute to the normal function of the immune system, calcium and vitamin D for healthy teeth and bones, and niacin and vitamin B1 for energy release.
Just two slices of Kingsmill 50/50 Vitamin Boost provide 30% of the reference intake of iron, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin and vitamin D and 38% of the reference intake for calcium and folic acid.
Capitalising on the growth in premium and drawing on artisanal cues, Allinson’s launched a premium range of a 650g loaves that are designed to meet the needs of smaller households, who get through less bread than families. It also incorporated new paper packaging to reflect the quality and craft credentials of the brand.
Allinson’s 650g has enjoyed a value sales uplift of 73% YoY and volume uplift of 55% YoY, significantly ahead of category (Nielsen).
Margarine and butter are the most popular toast toppings. 21% of toast is eaten with eggs (eggs on toast occasions are up 4% YoY), while butter and preserves are slowing in popularity.
The classic toppings of baked beans (+5%) and bacon (+3%) are both in growth, with peanut butter (+8%), honey (+11%) and chocolate spread (+9%) proving increasingly popular with consumers (Kantar).
In recent research carried out by Millward Brown, consumers in the south of the UK rated a slice of hot buttered toast as their greatest simple pleasure in bakery, with 33% of respondents rating it their number one.
Despite consumers leading increasingly busy lives, many still perceive breakfast as the most important meal of the day and toast has a huge role to play in providing a comforting, tasty and convenient breakfast option.
It is also a way to add some fibre and vitamins & minerals to the diet. Around 17% of our daily fibre, calcium and iron comes from bread and bakery products. Breakfast is the single biggest meal occasion with 84% of breakfast occasions being eaten at home (Kantar).
On the go
Last summer, bakery business Carrs Foods, launched its St Pierre On the Go range, which includes Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Brioche Swirl & Chocolate Chip Roll, Butter and Chocolate Waffles and Caramel and Chocolate Cake Bars.
Each product is individually wrapped for convenience, so they can be easily eaten with one hand and will cause minimal mess – two really important factors in the food to go sector.
Being packed in shelf-ready display units, the products can be dispensed on the shelf, or near to the point of purchase, allowing retailers to maximise impulse sales. For breakfast sales, the units should ideally be placed next to a coffee machine to help increase impulse purchases. Free standing display units are also available.
Research by Carrs Foods into food to go shopping habits revealed that the breadth and variety of products offered by the St Pierre range is particularly important as consumers will choose different snacks according to the eating occasion. Croissant (74%), Pain au Chocolat (51%) and Brioche (44%) were the favourite out of home breakfast snacks.
As well as eating breakfast on the go, consumers are also trading up on their breakfast choices.
Continual exposure to social media and the hugely popular habit of posting pictures of meals, including breakfast images, is increasing interest in breakfast as an important occasion, worthy of time, effort and expense. The influence from the US of very indulgent and instagrammable breakfasts, such as chicken and maple syrup on a waffle base, is also driving consumer choice.
St Pierre taps into the trend for trading up with its brioche loaf and Belgian sugar waffles, which provide a versatile but indulgent base for breakfasts, such as French toast.
While indulgent, instagrammable breakfasts at home and on the go breakfasts are increasing, time-pressed families are also looking for quick and easy options.
To cater for this demand, Baker Street is relaunching their toasting waffles in January in the new branding unveiled last year. Baker Street is the second largest toasting waffle brand in the impulse sector and grew by 170% in 2018.⁴ Available in packs of eight (RSP: £1.35), the waffles are twin wrapped for freshness and convenience.
Jeremy Gilboy, managing director at Carrs Foods comments: “Breakfast is an important eating occasion for both St Pierre and Baker Street. We’re expecting our St Pierre On the Go products to continue their rapid growth in 2019 driven, in part, by the increase in consumers opting to eat breakfast out of the home and often on the move. We also know from our research³ that consumers buy their on the go choices from a variety of retailers and the sector offers enormous growth potential for the independent retailer.
“Alongside this, Baker Street offers a variety of convenient formats, from smaller loaves and health and benefit driven products, to our newly re-launched toasting waffle, which enjoyed triple figure growth this year.”
In-store bakery
As people’s lives have become busier, demand for on-the-go breakfast formats has increased, with shoppers looking for quality breakfast bakery items that can be enjoyed on the move.
Offering customers a range of freshly-baked products is a simple, cost effective way for retailers to attract new shoppers – and increase basket spend.
“In convenience, in-store bakery shoppers spend more than average shoppers and shop more frequently,” says Mary Byrne, Trade Marketing Manager – Retail at Aryzta Food Solutions.
“The reality is that, on average, an in-store bakery can generate an extra £51 per shopper per month.”
Convenience and choice are key factors for shoppers when making their selection, and Aryzta Food Solutions provides a range of sweet and savoury, hot and cold bakery options that are perfect for shoppers looking to enjoy breakfast on the go.
Cuisine de France is a range of best-selling pastries including traditional favourites such as all-butter Croissants, Danish Pastries and Pain au Chocolat, and other favourites including the Chocolate Twist and Maple Pecan Plait, with a range of concept units available to suit different store sizes and needs.
Offering a good selection of hot food that can be eaten on the move will help capture those shoppers looking for choice over and above your usual pastry selection, with hot, fresh breakfast options catering to both vegetarians and meat eaters.
Aryzta offers a range of products that meet these needs including the Bacon & Cheese Turnover (138g / RRP £2.25), Cheese & Tomato Turnover (138g / RRP £2.25), Premium Sausage Roll (100g / RRP £2.95) and Big 8 Sausage Roll (200g / RRP £1.45).
The Grab a Treat range from Aryzta features a selection of individually wrapped everyday treat favourites including cookies and cake slices, in addition to on the go breakfast items including muffins (Triple Chocolate Muffin 120g/RRP £0.85) and Blueberry Muffin 120g/RRP £0.85), Granola Bites (100g/RRP £1.25) and a Granola Bar (65g/RRP £0.85) – perfect for shoppers eating breakfast on the move.
“From 2pm onwards, we know that the traditional food-to-go and drink-to-go missions begin to slow down, however the treat mission continues to hold up as shoppers look to treat themselves throughout the day,” says Byrne.
With many people now skipping the traditional breakfast at home, and with the continued rise of coffee, there’s a key opportunity to implement a link purchase such as a coffee with a croissant or pain au chocolat for example, to maximise the breakfast-to-go occasion.
Research shows that 42% of in-store bakery shoppers buy due to ‘temptation’ (HIM!) – by positioning Aryzta’s range of counter top and floor standing units near to a coffee offering retailers can generate additional impulse sales.
Aryzta’s coffee solution Seattle’s Best Coffee has been designed for the convenience retailer and integrates two stands to hold both AM products and PM sweet treat products such as cookies, muffins and doughnuts, enabling retailers to increase their basket spend and upsell to shoppers whilst they are waiting for their coffee to pour.
“We have a variety of options for retailers, from purchasing ovens and equipment, right through to schemes whereby retailers who work with us and meet the appropriate level of sales can loan equipment from us through a partnership agreement,” says Byrne.
“This means that in some cases the only cost that the retailer may have to consider is purchasing the stock and investing some staff time to bake off and set up the display.
“With good planning and well-trained staff, retailers can reap all of the benefits that an in-store bakery solution provides. One of the real advantages of working with Aryzta Food Solutions is that all stores will be given support by our field sales team from the first day of launch through to ongoing training requirements.”
Retailer investment in equipment, stock and operations is offset by the support provided by Aryzta Food Solutions in terms of training and product, strong NPD portfolio and the theatre provided by having an in-store bakery concept.
Currently worth over £70m (Nielsen), Nutella remains the category leader within this sector with all four Nutella SKUs appearing in the category top ten. This achievement can be largely attributed to the brand’s versatility and ability to cater for different family sizes.
Consumers are taking a much more vested interest in what they consume and how they prepare their meals. Hand in hand with this, we’re seeing the growth of the ‘Instagramable’ breakfast. The traditional breakfast is a thing of the past, as consumers look for versatile ingredients – such as Nutella – to add a layer of excitement to their morning meal.
Spreads is a dynamic category, with key features creating opportunities to grow: premiumisation, and well-loved brands.
Premium brands are driving value into the category; we have seen an increase in spend suggesting shoppers are happy to pay a premium for a product to enhance their breakfast experience.
Nutella has a 74% value share of chocolate spreads (Nielsen) and a current worth of £70m at Powerbrand level (Nutella, Nutella & Go, Nutella B-Ready), with Nutella spreads accounting for £50m of this. Awareness of the brand is at an all-time high and consumers regard it as number one in the following areas: “Great taste”, “Can be used on more than just toast” and “Enjoyed by the whole family”.
Breakfast is one of the fastest-growing areas of the food market and it is an occasion that is rapidly evolving. Nutella is a versatile product, regularly enjoyed on porridge and pancakes, as well as toast and crumpets. “While breakfast is the brand’s heartland, we look to inspire consumers to explore new occasions via our social channels and through our Nutella Recipe Hub, which has been live for a couple of years now,” comments Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director, Ferrero.
“It is true that consumers are more health conscious. It is important that we play a role to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy our products, as part of a balanced and active lifestyle,” adds Boorer. “As a brand, we educate consumers on portion size and calories consumption while still giving them a product they love.”
Nutella recommends a 15g portion size (one heaped teaspoon), which contains 80 calories. In the last year the brand has developed a new visualisation of a 15g portion size (a heaped teaspoon) and displayed the new portion graphic as a lid sticker on Nutella jars. Ferrero has also included this on website and social content.