COVID-19 ushered in a new wave of remote working that looks to continue into 2021 as more companies adopt the work-from-home model. Google, for example, recently announced plans to extend remote working through the middle of next year. The transition from the office to the home-office has had a big impact on how consumers are approaching breakfast. The result is a breakfast boom that’s being driven by a new lineup of products and a consumer group that’s eager to reclaim the most important meal of the day.
Whole Foods recently released its sixth annual top 10 food predictions report for the coming year, listing a renewed focus on breakfast as a trend to be on the lookout for in the new year. “The pandemic’s influence on dining is something no one can ignore,” says Alan Morgan, executive leader of culinary and part of Whole Foods Market’s Trends Council. “With more meals being consumed at home overall, another major dining shift we anticipate for 2021 is people continuing to take more time for a daily breakfast.”
Grab-and-go options from the pantry and quick stops at the drive-thru are facing some stiff competition: think sous vide egg bites, protein pancakes, and smoked salmon. Single-serve breakfast options may see a decline as consumers aim to feed their families with multi-serve breakfast options like cereal and granola. “Now that kids are home all day and parents are providing both breakfast and snacks daily, cereal sales have experienced a significant lift, ”according to Nielsen data reported by AdAge.
Companies that make shelf-stable or frozen breakfast food options could benefit from a growing consumer interest in breakfast during the COVID-19 crisis. As consumers continue to opt for fewer trips to the grocery store and larger purchases when they do go, food options that keep longer in the freezer or the pantry will continue to have a growing appeal.
The lasting effect of the stay-at-home breakfast trend could be substantial depending on how companies choose to continue some form of remote working post-pandemic. For the immediate future and the first quarter of 2021, it feels safe to say that brunch all-day, every day, is the new norm.