Market insight: Bagels at breakfast

Market insight: Bagels at breakfast

National Sandwich Week research carried out by New York Bakery Co has shown that bagels are the number one choice for breakfast carriers amongst generation Y and generation Z – but they have to be served warmed or toasted. The research, carried out with over 500 out of home consumers, highlighted that customers want healthy, portable breakfasts and to be sustained until lunch – and the bagel delivers.

The sandwich remains the out of home staple overall, with 56% of the population regularly eating them. For breakfast, more and more are choosing bagels to sustain them until lunch. The research has shown that generations Y and Z see eating out as the norm and, in fact, believe it to be cheaper. It is part of their lifestyle – great news for out of home operators.

Thanks to the time-starved nature of modern life, sit-down breakfasts, especially on weekdays, are dwindling. Increasingly, breakfast is eaten on-the-go, mid commute, or in the office. Indeed, the on-the-go breakfast market is set to grow by 46% by 2026.

Hot sandwiches are one of the most sought after choices at breakfast time, as customers feel they are getting amore filling and satisfying option. “The breakfast sales from Caffè Nero are all coming from hot sandwiches,” said Paul Morgan – food and drink operations director for Caffe Nero. “Since we relaunched the breakfast sandwiches we have seen 50% growth.”

The growth in bagels as a top choice could also be attributed to a rise in consumers eating breakfast at non-traditional times, with 61% of 18 to 24 year olds choosing sporadic breakfast times, up from 52% a couple of years ago.

Bagels have been embraced by the UK – we eat 320m of them a year. And when it comes to filling them, while we might say we want a change, we go back to the old familiars time and time again. Bacon takes the top spot for generation X and generation Y, and hot serves are a top choice. That being said, 41% are still open to trying new things when it comes to fillings.

“As they’re so filling and versatile, it’s no surprise that hot breakfast bagels are the most sought after morning sandwich,” said Philippa Knight, out of home marketing manager for New York Bakery Co. “While traditional breakfast fillings continue to sell, there are lots of opportunities for outlets to create new and exciting fillings to appeal to a younger demographic who, according to our research, are looking for ‘something different’.”