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1, what is going on here, is this trend innovative and why, and why are the companies doing it?
2, do you think this new trend is good for you and I / the public as a whole? does it make the world a better place?
3, what was the impetus for them to change their models? what are the influences involved?
4, should we invest in these companies? what is the competition and why are these guys different?
5, who is the target market, where are they on the innovation curve and how would you research that market to validate the concept?
Fast and Furious: Americans at Breakfast
As Lifestyles Change, There’s Less Time and More Competition for the Morning Meal
Breakfast has become the final frontier in the struggle over health, convenience and profit in the U.S. diet.
Starved for growth at other mealtimes, companies like Yum Brands Inc., Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Kellogg Co. are battling to change how Americans start their day. But even as consumers
back away from cereal to experiment with more protein-rich foods, their habits remain otherwise entrenched: most Americans still eat breakfast at home and follow morning routines more rigid
than during the rest of the day.
“People are time-pressed in the morning and know exactly where they’re going, and that doesn’t vary much,” said Alex Macedo, Burger King’s North American president, in a recent interview. That
chain claims 2.8% of the $47 billion spent each year on fast-food breakfasts in the U.S., according to brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. This year it started offering its value-menu items at
breakfast and added burgers to the morning menu in an effort to boost sales.
Many fast food and fast casual restaurant chains smell opportunity around breakfast. Of consumers who eat out at least twice a week, 30% say they do so for breakfast, compared with 40% for
lunch and 50% for dinner, according to Bernstein.
What’s more, breakfast is generally more profitable, restaurant companies say, because the ingredients are less expensive. Bernstein estimates that breakfast accounted for about 25% of
McDonaldCorp.’s revenue last year and 40% of its pretax profit.
Yet the standard American morning leaves little room for branching out. The leisurely scene of decades past—sipping a glass of orange juice, scanning the newspaper—has given way to an
average of just 12 minutes a day for consuming breakfast, said Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst for research firm NPD Group Inc. That is about half the time they spend on lunch (28
minutes) or dinner (24 minutes).
Societal shifts have driven the time-starved nature of the morning meal. More mothers of young children are in the workforce, putting additional pressure on families to prepare breakfast, drop
off the children at day care or school and get to work. Last year, 57.3% of mothers with children under the age of one were in the workforce, up from 53.7% in 2003 and the highest level in almost
16 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, baby boomers are continuing to work, placing constraints on the morning routines of America’s most populous age group. Nearly half of working baby boomers say they don’t
expect to retire until they are 66 or older, including one in 10 who predict they will never retire, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Taco Bell, a unit of Yum Brands, is trying to entice consumers to create new habits with menu items that are convenient but—in keeping with its brand identity—defy the trend toward healthier
eating. The chain bet big in March on a new waffle taco to kick off its first national breakfast menu, which also includes Cinnabon sweet rolls and the 710-calorie A.M. Crunchwrap with sausage.
When Yum reported earnings last week, CEO David Novak said breakfast is already profitable and that he expects the breakfast business to add from $70,000 to $120,000 in annual sales per