Breakfast Continues to Evolve in Response to Changing Consumer Habits
THE CHANGING NATURE OF CONSUMER DEMAND is inevitably reflected in the evolution of breakfast menus – and Adam Moore is one of many chefs working in this area, consulting with cafes to expand their breakfast offerings.
With the burgeoning brunch trade being driven by consumers looking to eat out later in the morning, Adam says that people are looking to spend more time over a morning meal than they would at lunch or dinner.
“It’s becoming more of a social, communal event, and that is driving new trends in presentation and menu options. The focus now is taking the traditional meals like bacon and eggs and giving them more of a contemporary spin, as well as complementing them with other menu options which are influenced by international trends.
“We’ve already seen more use of different cereal grains like quinoa and now freekeh is coming in – people are making up breakfast bowls, toasting grains and creating new flavour complexities.
“Instead of the standard fruit salad, we’re seeing yoghurt parfaits utilising bold flavours, along with ‘veganesqe’ meals like granola with seasonal fruit.”
Even toast has evolved with the availability of sourdough and a wider selection of grain breads. And menu staples like baked beans on toast are being replaced by more inspirational ingredients such as herbal jams with roasted banana or coffee syrup drizzled over mascarpone and roasted figs.
This latter example is part of an emerging trend to use coffee not simply as a
beverage but also an ingredient within meals – trendy Code Black Coffee Roasters in Melbourne are now offering their customers coffee infused fried eggs.
Another recent trend which has started in the US and is now manifesting on our shores is the evolution of traditionally sweet menu items to include savoury ingredients, changing the overall flavour profile. “Porridge was always thought of as sweet but now we’re seeing cinnamon bacon porridge or porridge with lemon and goat’s cheese,” Adam tells us.
“We’re seeing a lot more use of premium ingredients on the breakfast menu,” he adds. “At that time of day customers are looking for satiety – food that will stay in their system and fill them up.”
Given this broadening of the breakfast menu, it’s perhaps no surprise to see how many foodservice businesses now offer breakfast all day long. “In such cases what we see is that customers who want something a bit lighter than the standard lunchtime fare will order from the breakfast menu, in some cases well into the afternoon,” Adam points out.
Of course having to run a breakfast menu all day in addition to lunchtime meals and lighter fare puts extra pressure on the kitchen staff, and manufacturers have responded by developing time-saving solutions which cut down on labour and preparation.
Nestlé Professional Executive Chef Mark Clayton cites the example of Maggi Hollandaise. An essential ingredient in the popular breakfast dish of Eggs Benedict, Hollandaise is a labour intensive and difficult sauce to prepare – making it from scratch necessitates the use of fresh raw eggs and the need to keep the sauce at just the right temperature prior to serving.
“Hollandaise is really a must-have ingredient on the breakfast menu but it’s just a difficult product to make from scratch, so a readymade shelf-stable product like Maggi Hollandaise is a great time saver,” Mark explains. “It’s also quite versatile in that Hollandaise is an ideal base – you can change its flavour profile through the addition of herbs like capers and dill, or add tarragon to turn it into a Bearnaise sauce. By adding your own ingredients and tweaking it a bit, you can create something that’s distinctive to your menu.”