The Rise of Breakfast Sandwiches: Disrupting the Morning Meal Industry

Photo of author

By georgeskef

  • Breakfast sandwich sales at grocery and convenience stores are up, reaching $2.4B+ in 2021 through September, compared to $1.5B in 2019.
  • Breakfast sandwiches are the fastest-growing item at convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, surpassing favorites like chicken nuggets and burgers.
  • Chains like McDonald’s, Dunkin’, and Wendy’s are expanding their breakfast menus to attract customers.
  • Sandwiches have an advantage over cereal as they have less sugar, more protein, and are easy to eat on the go.
  • The pandemic has increased the importance of mobile ordering and eating, with the majority of fast-food orders being taken from the car.

Breakfast sandwiches have become the new morning craze, taking over grocery store aisles and fast-food menus. According to NielsenIQ, Americans have spent over $2.4 billion on breakfast sandwiches in 2021 through September, compared to around $1.5 billion in 2019. This surge in sales has been attributed to the convenience and popularity of breakfast sandwiches, which have become the fastest-growing item at convenience stores and fast-food restaurants. These handheld delights have managed to surpass favorites like chicken nuggets and burgers in popularity.

To capitalize on this growing trend, major chains such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’, and Wendy’s are revamping their breakfast menus. McDonald’s joined forces with Krispy Kreme to expand its offerings, while Dunkin’ introduced new breakfast tacos. Wendy’s, on the other hand, added two new English muffin sandwiches to its already revamped breakfast menu. These strategic moves aim to attract customers and keep up with the changing breakfast landscape.

One advantage of breakfast sandwiches over traditional cereal is their nutritional profile. Sandwiches usually have less sugar and more protein, making them a healthier option for the morning meal. Additionally, their portability allows for easy consumption on the go, catering to the needs of busy individuals who rely on quick breakfast options. This aspect has become increasingly important, especially with the shift towards mobile ordering and eating. The pandemic has transformed dining habits, with approximately 80% of fast-food orders now being taken from the car. Even McDonald’s, the creator of the iconic Egg McMuffin in 1972, has adapted to this trend. Less than 10% of McDonald’s visits are dine-in, highlighting the importance of mobility to consumers.

In this battle for our stomachs, sandwiches have clearly taken the lead. Their convenience, nutrition, and adaptability to the modern lifestyle have made them a breakfast favorite. As the market continues to grow, we can expect more innovative additions to breakfast menus and grocery store aisles. So, the next time you’re torn between a bowl of cereal and a delectable sandwich, remember that breakfast sandwiches have evolved to become more than just a grab-and-go option – they are now a culinary force to be reckoned with.

Hot Take:

Breakfast sandwiches have managed to disrupt the breakfast industry, attracting consumers with their convenience and nutritional benefits. Their rise in popularity reflects the changing lifestyles and preferences of modern individuals who seek quick yet satisfying morning options. As the battle for breakfast dominance continues, it will be interesting to see how other players in the food industry adapt and innovate to meet the increasing demand for breakfast sandwiches. One thing is for sure: the breakfast table will never be the same again.