The breakfast sandwich reigns supreme

Brands are hungry for a bite of the breakfast category.

A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel against a purple backdrop with lightning and dollar bills.

Whether they’re nestled between slices of bread, balanced atop bagels, or loaded onto croissants, breakfast sandwiches are a beloved part of our diets.

And amid rival cereal’s fall from grace, there’s more room than ever to make it big at the breakfast table.Now, the breakfast sandwich is making its move, per The Washington Post:

  • Breakfast sandwich sales at grocery and convenience stores are up.Americans bought $2.4B+ worth of them this year through September, up from ~$1.5B in 2019, according to NielsenIQ.
  • Plus, Circana data shows that breakfast sandwiches were the fastest-growing item at convenience stores this year, as well as fast-food restaurants, where they beat out favorites like chicken nuggets and burgers.This comes as companies scramble…… to take a bite out of the breakfast category.It’s a worthwhile fight: Even as consumers cut back on dining out, breakfast sales are holding steady.To attract customers, chains are tweaking their menus:
  • McDonald’s partnered with Krispy Kreme to expand its breakfast menus.Dunkin’ recently launched new breakfast tacos.Wendy’s added two new English muffin sandwiches to its already revamped breakfast menu.
  • Sandwiches are taking over grocery store aisles as well: Jimmy Dean — well-known for its meat-laden biscuits — has expanded its sandwich lineup, adding plant-based options to entice young consumers.In the race for our stomachs…… sandwiches have a big leg up. Not only do they have less sugar and more protein than cereal, they’re also easy to eat on the go.And being mobile is important to consumers: McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, the granddaddy of all breakfast sandwiches, was invented in 1972 out of necessity as Americans started working more.Then, decades later, the pandemic once again changed how we eat: ~80% of fast-food orders are now taken from the car and less than 10% of McDonald’s visits are dine-in.If, after all this, the thought of choosing between cereal and a sandwich stresses you out, then Panera has just the (kinda gross) thing for you.

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