For consumers on the go, breakfast breaks down to a time equation: According to Technomic’s 2017 Breakfast report, about a quarter (24%) of consumers say they skip breakfast entirely because they don’t have time to eat it.
Restaurant operators are catering to busy diners by serving breakfast options that are quick, portable and healthful—such as breakfast beverages. Breakfast beverages go far beyond a simple cup of coffee, and operators are now innovating on beverages a bit to offer their customers the substantial breakfasts they’re looking for without the wait. In fact, Technomic’s Breakfast report also notes that 25% of consumers say that the reason they skip breakfast is that they just drink a beverage instead.
Here are four ways that operators are changing the breakfast beverage game.
1. Going beyond the glass with smoothie bowls
While smoothies have long been a popular way to get in a quick breakfast, sometimes consumers want all of a smoothie’s nutrition without having to “drink their calories.” Enter the smoothie bowl. This popular breakfast item often features superfoods such as acai berries and is served in a bowl rather than in a glass but is made in largely the same way as a smoothie.
The main difference between these items is that smoothie bowls are topped with other filling ingredients, such as chia seeds, granola, toasted coconut, fresh berries and nuts. They’re easy to build, too—operators can make a smoothie from scratch or use a f’real Custom-Made Smoothie base, then add in fresh fruits and top it with granola, fresh bananas, coconut and more.
2. Frappes and frozen coffee
Another trending breakfast item is coffee – no matter how pressed for time someone is, they’re not likely to skip their morning coffee. On hot summer days, why not offer a frozen coffee drink to attract those chronic breakfast-skippers?
Offer coffee frappes with unique flavors to attract adventurous consumers or those who want to try something new. According to MenuMonitor, the fastest-growing flavors in coffee drinks are marshmallow, ginger, berry and honey. Dessert flavors also work well for coffee frappes, as popular coffee chains offer ice cream-flavored frozen coffee drinks during the summertime.
3. Adding indulgence
Chocolate smoothies are up 5% year-over-year, according to MenuMonitor, which could be an indication that despite health concerns, consumers are still looking for something sweet to start the day.
At Citizen’s Kitchen & Bar in Las Vegas, diners can indulge in the Chunky Monkey smoothie, with dark chocolate, peanut butter, banana, soy and flax seed. For the 27% of consumers, according to Technomic’s 2017 Breakfast report, who say its important that restaurants offer indulgent options for breakfast, a chocolate smoothie can fit the bill—after all, it’s like a milkshake. Operators can start with a shake base and add in yogurt and protein powder as well as chocolate chips or chocolate syrup—flavors such as banana-chocolate can entice diners who may be inclined to skip breakfast.
4. Nutritional boosts and grain-based beverages
Alternatively, for the 54% of consumers who say it’s important that restaurants offer healthy options for breakfast, nutrition-boosting add-ons for smoothies as well as grain-based beverages can meet their needs. Start with a premade smoothie base, then offer customers the option to add ingredients such as whey or soy protein powder, probiotics, fiber, Greek yogurt, spirulina, chia or flax seeds, bee pollen and other supplements or enrichments.
Operators can also blend in grains such as oats into breakfast beverages to amp up the protein and fiber content, both of which can help keep customers fuller longer.
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