Nowadays breakfast means different things to different people. Eggs and bacon at the weekend, toast and cereal in the week. Yogurt and fruit if you’re watching your weight, and a croissant and coffee if you’re in a hurry. And forecourt operators have to cater for all these menus. They need breakfast-to-go for commuters and workmen as well as at-home breakfast items for families. That means breakfast spans the food-to-go area, the grocery shelves as well as the chillers.

Kate Raison, marketing director at Bakehouse comments: "Consumer trends show that ’flexi-eating’ continues to increase with people fitting consumption around their needs and lifestyles rather than fitting their lives around structured meal times. This has resulted in more and more consumers choosing to eat breakfast on the move or out of home. In fact, a recent Mintel survey revealed that 34% of respondents had eaten breakfast out of home in the past three months.

"As the trend for breakfast-on-the-go continues to grow, bakery products that are easy to handle are an ideal option for forecourt retailers, especially when accompanied by a coffee-to-go. If freshly baked in store, the aroma will prove enticing to customers and by displaying these near payment areas, forecourt traders can be sure to tempt impulse purchases."

Raison says indulgence, convenience and health are key sales drivers. She reckons Bakehouse’s Superfruits Booster Bar offers a great combination of treating and healthier eating at breakfast time. Each bar contains one portion of fruit towards the daily recommendation of five. The product is also high in fibre and low in saturated fat.

Meanwhile, all-day breakfasts are always popular, but not always that easy to find. However Ginsters has come up with a solution with its All Day Breakfast Roll, which contains fresh British pork sausage meat with chopped egg, bacon and a dash of tomato sauce, all wrapped in light puff pastry.

The company reckons it’s onto a winner with this because, according to TNS data, the breakfast snacking market is worth £250m and has grown 150% over the past five years.

Andy Valentine, head of brand marketing for Ginsters, says: "Breakfast convenience is a key driver in this market and with Ginsters’ brand heritage of providing Real Honest Food in compact and convenient formats, this product is sure to drive consumer penetration and boost sales for retailers."

Then there are cereals and no forecourt could call itself a proper convenience store if it didn’t stock Kellogg’s cornflakes. Another Kellogg’s product to look out for is its new Nature’s Pleasure baked muesli. The company has high hopes for the product, indeed it aims to deliver a £6m sales opportunity to retailers by growing the muesli category by 3.5%.

Kellogg’s research had found that 37% of shoppers viewed muesli as "dusty and tasteless". With Nature’s Pleasure, Kellogg’s hopes to change their minds.

The product comprises muesli ingredients that are lightly baked in honey and raw sugar cane to produce a crunchy texture. There are four varieties: almond, pecan & cashew; raspberry & cherry; apple & blackcurrant; and almond, pecan & raisin.

Kellogg’s is backing the launch with a £3m spend including print advertising, sampling and digital marketing.

Meanwhile Caribbean food and drink specialist Enco Products is launching a range of instant porridges. There are three oatmeal-based varieties: homestyle, banana and cinnamon raisin; as well as Caribbean favourites: cornmeal homestyle and green banana.

Each of the five variants can be prepared in its own cup in only five minutes by simply adding boiling water.

On to toast, and Kingsmill is currently running a ’Wake Up to Wholegrain’ breakfast initiative which aims to increase the consumption of bread at breakfast and grow the category by 120 million loaves.

According to Family Food Panel data, a third of bread is eaten at breakfast, making it the largest consumption occasion for the bread category.Kingsmill’s breakfast initiative focuses on Kingsmill 50/50 and Kingsmill Tasty Wholemeal loaves to remind consumers that toast can provide a nutritious and delicious start to the day.

Both products have a new packaging design that features a wholegrain message and are backed by a £2.5m advertising campaign to highlight the wholegrain goodness.

Finally, according to AC Nielsen, Warburtons white Toastie loaf is the top-selling wrapped bread SKU in the UK, now worth almost £131m in annual sales. Sarah Miskell, category director at Warburtons, says: "Within the bakery market, the breakfast sector is showing strong year-on-year growth with value up 18.2% (AC Nielsen). While all sub-categories within breakfast are in growth, the top performer in ’traditional breakfast’ remains crumpets, with annual sales of over £71m. This has largely been driven by Warburtons crumpets - not only have their sales increased by £15.5m over the past three years, but they also remain the best-selling SKU, worth nearly £32m in annual sales.

"Retailers should tap into this demand by ensuring that the top-selling products are stocked and that breakfast ranges are clearly visible to help drive impulse purchase."


=== case study ===

== Total, Southam, Warwickshire ==

Total has developed a successful food-to-go offer in conjunction with Country Choice at its Southam site just off the M40. Food is made to order, with all the prep work done front of house. Breakfast is big business.

"Breakfast baps have always been a big hit on forecourt sites but their performance here has been exceptional," says Country Choice development director, Garry Picton.

"Southam is selling around 364 breakfast baps per week at anywhere between £1.79 for a bacon bap to £2.89 for the most popular item on the menu - the all-day breakfast bap. The other big breakfast winner is the Breakfast Box. Retailing at £2.99 upwards, this offers a choice of four basic ingredients: sausage, bacon, omelette and a potato rosti plus a fifth item of the consumer’s choice which can be mushrooms, beans, cheese or tomato. Additional items can be added for an extra 30p each."


=== case study ===

== Spar, Ilminster, Somerset ==

When Tesco announced plans to open a supermarket near their Spar forecourt convenience store in Ilminster, Somerset, owners John and Linda McKinnon refused to panic. Instead they decided to play to their strengths, one of which was food to go. So they introduced a breakfast offer and installed a Censa coffee machine - and haven’t looked back.

Today, their food-to-go sales are hitting £4,500 a week, an increase of 22% since introducing the breakfast range. They are selling 300 breakfast baps a week at a margin of 35-40%, and 250 cups of coffee on a 60% margin.

"Without doubt one of the best things we did was install the Censa Coffee machine," explains John. "The unit looks good, the product is excellent and the whole presentation is great. Every one of us makes sure it is always kept clean at all times of the day."