Eating Occasions


The morning meal occasion represents a powerful market opportunity for formulators, with more than $200 billion1 spent annually on morning snacks around the globe. U.S. dairy ingredients offer flavor, nutrition and a wide variety of formats, helping formulators develop innovative breakfast products consumers will love. Additionally, U.S. dairy ingredients can provide functional attributes, such as body, browning and texture enhancements.


Breakfast Trends

Some of the best opportunities for innovating morning products are in the yogurt and beverage categories. New flavors and expanded benefits for diverse audiences are just the beginning of this renaissance supported by U.S. dairy offerings. 


Yogurt and yogurt-based beverages are enjoying a decade-long-plus run of popularity and consumption both in the United States and internationally. U.S. yogurt boasts the health benefits highly sought after by consumers at breakfast and the innovative opportunities food and beverage formulators crave. Additionally, yogurt powders have gained momentum as an ingredient, offering taste, nutrition and functionality to a wide range of applications. 


Beverages are a top item consumed at breakfast, an eating occasion where portable options are growing in popularity. Today, 37% of successful new food and beverage launches include statements about portability or ease of preparation.2 For nutrition-conscious and active consumers of all ages, beverages can be an innovative way to deliver a source of fuel, minerals and other nutrients. Different beverage formulations can call for unique specifications. U.S. dairy protein manufacturers can produce hundreds of different dairy products to meet these needs, from varying protein levels to mineral contents, lactose contents, functional properties and more.

Formulas & Recipes

Whether for baked options, beverages or breakfast sandwiches, the U.S. Dairy Export Council offers formulation resources.

Spicy Cheese Scones

Spicy Cheese Scones

Give your scones a savoury twist with these delicious spicy cheese scones that are both buttery and rich in cheese. Serve warm with soup for a wholesome brunch.


Banana Walnut Chocolate Chips Muffin

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chips Muffin

A brilliantly crafted mix of banana, walnuts and chocolate chips, these flavorful muffins will certainly have you reaching for seconds.


Savory Asian Protein Granola

Savory Asian Protein Granola

This savory mix is perfect for consumers looking to capitalize on the adventurous flavor and texture trend. A worldly combination of Sriracha seasoning and soy sauce is complemented with crunch from U.S. whey protein crisps, packing 6g of protein into each serving.


Resources & Insights

Resources and support for development of breakfast applications are available through USDEC.

Bellying Up to Breakfast

(World of Food Ingredients, September 2012): Get tactical guidance on the best dairy ingredients for breakfast applications plus a download on the physiologic benefits of a high-protein breakfast.

Breakfast State of the Occasion

This white paper gives an in-depth look at the morning meal occasions market structure, consumer behaviors and where products made with dairy have the most opportunity.

Morning Matters

Learn more about what consumers want during the morning meal occasion and how dairy makes a difference.

Whey Protein in Breakfast Foods

Take a deep dive into the opportunity to provide consumers with more protein at breakfast and learn how whey protein complements many breakfast staples. 

1The NPD Group/Morning MealScape 2011.
2Category Review, Future of Dairy Dig Sights, Snacking IC, March 2013, Gfk Strategic Innovation, slide 17.