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Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Fast-paced lifestyles make breakfast outside of the home an important option for many consumers, and U.S. foodservice operators fill the need. Morning meal dining options at quick service restaurants (QSR) and full service restaurants (FSR) showcase dairy products. Menu items such as cheese-laden omelets, cream cheese-topped bagels and even cereals with milk feature dairy in a critical day-part role.

Dairy products from the United States can help foodservice operators capture consumers' on-the-go breakfast item spending. Cheeses and other dairy products are ideal for both sweet and savory breakfast menu applications. Learn more about U.S. dairy products in the Product Section.

Breakfast Trends

breakfastOmelets and breakfast sandwiches are the established menu leaders in family-style and QSR segments. While these menu items are the main drivers for cheese use in this day-part, cheese is increasingly found on breakfast favorites such as hash browns, waffles and croissants. Dairy is a feature in four of the five breakfast menu listings-yogurt, frittatas, burritos and huevos rancheros-in 2008 to 2013 menu tracking across all U.S. restaurant segments (Datassential).  

Breakfast sandwiches, family style

Long the staple of QSR breakfast offerings, the hand-held sandwich is now available at a wide range of traditional sit-down breakfast restaurant chains. Breakfast sandwiches have thoroughly penetrated the segment, with menu offerings by six of the top seven family-style restaurant chains (National Restaurant News 2013). Cheese is a component of more than 90% of breakfast sandwich items offered in family-style restaurants.  

More players in the QSR segment

The number of large U.S. QSR chains competing in the breakfast segment has doubled, from 5 to 10 in recent years. Menu items have broadened beyond pasteurized process cheese products to feature natural cheeses. Fast food and fast-casual menus also push breakfast boundaries with cheese and other dairy products found on menu items, from waffle sandwiches to soufflés.

Formulas & Recipes

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