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The old adage goes, ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’. Whilst this advice for a healthy lifestyle remains as true as ever, many of us struggle to adopt it into our day to day regime. Here in the UK more people avoid breakfast than any country in Europe, 20 million of us skip breakfast regularly, and nearly 1 in 10 go without it every day. We trail even further behind the US, where two thirds of the population eat a hearty breakfast every day, and, in comparison to a measly 10% in the UK, it makes up 25% of the out of home eating market. This does, however, mean that the reward for converting breakfast skippers in the UK are alluring. With out of home breakfast experiences surging by nearly 9% in 2013, it does appear that both the UK food industry and consumers are beginning to wake up and smell the coffee. A whole range of innovative and diverse breakfast offerings are starting to entice the UK to start the day right. *


Whilst it may be hard to unseat the Full English from its throne as the king of breakfasts, a growing emphasis upon healthy eating appears to be spurring on range of nutritious offerings across the industry. This was all too plain to see whilst out on a research day last week, with the most evident trend being the inventive use of grains for breakfast, with one of the most interesting offerings being 26grains’ innovative take on porridge. Making the most of the current ancient grain trend, and taking inspiration from traditional Scandinavian cooking methods, this exciting new pop-up offers porridges and bircher muesli made from a selection of hand-rolled grains such as amaranth, millet and spelt. Using spices such as cardamom, ginger and star anise to name a few, the porridge is partnered with wholesome natural ingredients like cacao, roasted plums and coconut. Bold flavour combinations and even savoury porridges, such as beetroot, sour cream and walnut all challenge common perceptions of grains and show that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring.


Proving there’s more to grains than Ready Brek, 26grains was not the only one on the high street making the most of these new breakfast grains. Pod’s chia seed and Vital’s quinoa pots with Greek yoghurt are both packed to the rafters with healthy goodness, and similar offerings are becoming common place in many of the more health conscious sandwich and salad bars. With these shops already offering blend at counter ‘Detox Blitz’ smoothies, and health food boxes catering to protein rich, low GI and immunity diets; the use of these trendy grains demonstrates a concerted effort to present more nutritionally diverse options than just traditional muesli or fruit. With buckwheat granola, millet rice and spelt flakes stocked at Waitrose, Whole Foods and even Asda, retailers too are jumping on the grain-wagon.


Even Subway is offering  ‘fresh fit’ egg white alternatives on their breakfast menu, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the greasy spoon breakfast is dead and buried. It doesn’t appear so, as more calorific breakfasts continue to crop up, merely in different and more exciting guises. With The Great British Bake-Off hysteria more alive than ever, the growing popularity of artisan bakery has spawned a number of breakfast joints wholly devoted to the art of toasting. Burnt Toast of Brixton, and Bread Etcetera of Clapham warrant regular queues on a quiet Sunday morning, offering top quality breads and their very own toasters at table. Poaching, scrambling or frying your eggs is so last year, it’s all about the baked eggs these days. Leon offer a smoked salmon variant for consumers on the go, and the growing popularity of baked Shakshukka eggs, such as those at Ottolenghi’s Nopi, also indicates that spiced up ethnic alternatives may be helping to grow the breakfast market. Dishoom’s ‘Bombay Breakfast Bake’ and ‘Naan bacon roll’ may seem like sacrilege to the breakfast purist, but a continuing appetite for a fierier start to the day is a clear trend. Jamie Oliver’s championing of Huevos Rancheros,  Benito’s Hats ‘Big Bennys Burrito’, and No.67 Peckham’s chorizo, jamon and morcilla laden ‘Full Spanglish’,  all clearly affirm a yearning for a morning chilli kick.

Eggs and beans A2

With consumer lifestyles moving at a quicker pace than ever, is it really any wonder that we are beginning to eat out for breakfast more and more, especially with all these diverse breakfast treats on offer. By reinventing their breakfast offerings, be it healthy or hearty, the opportunities for food innovators to bring new consumers into the market are clear to see. So whilst breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day, it is now looking set to become the tastiest.

*Marketing Week – June 2013/ CADA group