Breakfast/morning meal visits at quick-service restaurants are up two percent from last year, and breakfast sandwich orders grew 14 percent - more than any other food item. These portable, egg-based sandwiches appear on 17 percent of menus across the U.S., according to menu research firm Food Genius.
The growth of breakfast and the breakfast sandwich can be attributed to a number of factors. Most notably, in 2015 the egg industry was revitalized when new nutritional guidelines were released. Prior diet recommendations suggested daily cholesterol intake should be 300 milligrams, which amounts to two eggs. The common thought was that cholesterol consumed as part of a diet put you at risk for high blood cholesterol, a health risk for heart disease.
Scientific evidence now shows a weak link between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol levels in the blood, resulting in the new guideline stating there is no need to limit eggs in your meals. The revelation that eggs are healthier than previously thought hugely impacted consumer trends, particularly with breakfast and portable breakfast sandwiches.
“The change in the nutritional guidelines for eggs opened doors. I think consumers and operators now see eggs as an economical, healthy source of protein, and that’s going to continue to drive these trends,” said Beth Peta, Director of Marketing at Michael Foods.
Eggs have 13 vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and gluten-free. The all-natural, high-quality protein, like the protein found in eggs, helps build muscles, allows people to feel full longer and stay energized. “Eggs really fit into the parameters of moving toward a healthy lifestyle,” explained Debbie Rayhab, a marketing manager in the healthcare segment at Michael Foods. “High protein breakfasts are important from a weight management standpoint, as well.”
Eggs continue to be a breakfast staple and appear on 94 percent of breakfast menus.
Mix up your breakfast sandwich menu with these ingredient trends: