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Not Just Another Breakfast Sandwich

July 29, 2017

Ethnic-style handhelds, stuffed varieties and big flavors are on trend

he ubiquitous breakfast sandwich has owned the morning for years. Whether in a c-store or limited-service restaurant, the egg, cheese and meat build has stood the test of time.

But innovation marches on.

The breakfast daypart is at peak popularity, and breakfast sandwiches are king. Fifty-five percent of c-store consumers purchase breakfast from a c-store at least once a month, and 51% of those consumers say that they choose breakfast sandwiches when they’re there, according to Chicago-based Technomic’s most recent C-Store MarketBrief data.

As c-stores explore new options to meet this demand, some distinct flavor and preparation trends are emerging.

Globally inspired fare is worth watching. Ruiz Foods, Dinuba, Calif., has added a new breakfast handheld to its El Monterey line. The Breakfast Empanada features a light, flaky pastry crust filled with egg, sausage, cheese and potato. The item takes its inspiration from traditional Latin American cuisine—a plus for the 55% of consumers who say they want c-stores to offer more ethnic foods and flavors for breakfast.

Empanadas also capitalize on the move toward filled grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches. Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based Johnsonville has a new Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit that is stuffed with scrambled eggs, Johnsonville sausage and mild cheddar cheese.

There’s also Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Convenience’s new Bosco Stuffed Breadsticks—a maple-cheddar topped breadstick filled with scrambled egg and cheese. The item can also be positioned as an all-day snack offering, with varieties such as Cheese & Turkey Ham. The all-day positioning meets the needs of the 39% of c-store consumers who choose breakfast sandwiches and wraps as snacks

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