According to the latest research from Mintel, 66 percent of customers want restaurants to provide them with healthier breakfast options. The healthy eating message is echoed by the 39 percent of restaurant diners who say breakfast options at their local eateries are too unhealthy.

Regardless of the day of the week, two-fifths of consumers who eat breakfast out (39 percent on weekdays and 40 percent on weekends) say healthy breakfast options are the most important factor when selecting a spot.

“The demand for better-for-you options will likely continue as menu labeling laws go into effect,” said Eric Giandelone, director of foodservice research at Mintel. “Once customers see how much fat and calories are in their favorite breakfast foods, they will be more inclined to try a healthier alternative, and restaurant operators should adjust their menus accordingly.”

Another tack for restaurants to take is on convenience. Forty-three percent of restaurant users say they rarely have time to eat breakfast at home during the week, but another 50 percent say it’s just too time-consuming to stop for breakfast at a restaurant. Almost half of restaurant-goers say convenience is an important selection factor when dining out for breakfast.

“Convenience clearly is a significant factor. And of course, cost continues to be a concern,” Giandelone said. “In a perfect world, restaurants will want to focus development efforts on how to provide patrons with easy, healthy, and flavorful breakfasts that are not cost prohibitive. Or at least target some of those points.”

Mintel’s research also shows breakfast sales are expected to rebound in 2011, resulting in 4.1 percent growth.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Donna Feldman
    Convenient, car-or-cubicle-friendly, tasty, appropriate portion size and healthy. Sounds daunting, but actually it's not. As I review restaurants' healthy menu options, I'm always amazed at the lack of imagination in breakfast choices that fit that description. It's not just that some items have fat or (gasp!) calories. It's that they're lacking key nutritional components.
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