Consumers between the ages of 8-18 rated breakfast items higher than any other menu concept presented to them, according to a latest foodservice report by research and consulting practice Y-Pulse. Here are a few breakfast trends on the rise among young consumers.

1. On the go

Eating on the go is on the rise. A recent Y-Pulse school foodservice report found that items served in handy containers scored favourably with consumers. Portable menu offerings appeal to young consumers who like their meals and snacks to keep up with their busy schedules and student lifestyle.

2. Breakfast smoothies

Kids enjoy the convenience and novelty of drinkable foods. Smoothies took the top-scoring spot with 73% of kids between ages 8-14 and 82% of kids between ages 15-18 who said they either liked or loved the banana berry smoothie. Breakfast smoothies are an easy item to vary on menus using seasonal flavours and ingredients.

3. Café-style breakfast

Don’t underestimate kids’ tastes for sophistication. While 62% of kids say they like the food choices on the kids’ menu, 91% of kids say they like the choices on the regular menu. Menu items you would expect to find in a bistro such as quiche or fresh fruit bowls will win big with kids with elevated tastes.

4. Latin American flavours

Kids are looking to take their breakfast global. Young consumers are especially interested in flavours fresh from Latin America. From breakfast tacos that incorporate pepper jack cheese and scrambled eggs to using wraps made with chorizo and beans, Latin American flavours are loaded with breakfast potential.

5. Transparency

Some 62% of the kids surveyed say they like to see the kitchen where food is being made. Foodservice operators can connect with young consumers by removing some of the mystery about how their meals are made. Another easy way to increase transparency is by emphasizing on the freshness and source of ingredients already present in the day’s breakfast offering.

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6. Conscious comfort

Comfort food that is prepared with fresh ingredients gets kids ready to take on the day. 91% of kids say they like to order something they are familiar with yet 72% say they like to try something new. Achieve conscious comfort food by preparing menu items that are familiar with an unexpected twist such as including global flavours.

7. Sandwiches with imagination

Kids’ favourite QSR restaurants are dishing out breakfast sandwiches and creative builds are capturing both imaginations and appetites. Young consumers enjoy inventive sandwiches that use “breads” like waffles and biscuits and comfort staples such as eggs and sausages. Breakfast sandwiches also make great grab & go options.

8. Right-size portions

No meal is one size fits all. Students all have different needs which is why it’s important to understand a balanced size for this demographic. A customizable breakfast experience is one solution to satisfying every student’s hunger.

9. Healthy expectations

Kids, much like their older counterparts, care about eating healthy and are influenced by perceptions of healthy foods. Incorporating ingredients that are viewed to be more nutritious, such as fruits, vegetables, oats and yogurt, can help breakfast items achieve a healthy halo.

10. Sharing the experience

Dining is a social occasion for kids. 62% of kids ages 15-18 say they like to post about their experiences on social media. While sharing food may not be optimal in a cafeteria setting, using social media allows kids to connect online over their breakfast experience.