New York Bakery Co is looking to help foodservice operators boost their morning bagel sales with its new Breakfast Guide.

Bagels are growing in popularity, with more than eight million bagels served every month in the £11.6bn out-of-home breakfast market. To help operators cash in, the company has outlined trends, recipes and opportunities to grow the market further in its guide which is available to download from its website.

The opportunities are split into three distinct areas: dining in, food-to-go and sweet breakfast.

“Operators stand to make big profits as a result of the growth of breakfast sales. Whether it’s dining-in or on the move; on-trend flavours, convenient formats and quality ingredients are key to a successful breakfast menu,” said Philippa Knight, marketing manager for out-of-home at New York Bakery Co.

“With 50 million bagels served out of home in Q3 alone, bagels are big business.”

British Baker subscribers can find out more about the opportunities breakfast sandwiches present by reading our latest feature here.

Here are New York Bakery Co’s top tips for boosting breakfast bagel sales:

Balance is key

“Getting a breakfast menu right not only requires exceeding customer expectations, but providing on-trend and traditional options that appeal to the diverse range of customers,” NYBC said.

This means providing both healthier and more indulgent options, perhaps ramping up the indulgent side of the menu as the weekend approaches.

In addition, NYBC suggests operators should extend the hours in which breakfast items are available.

“As the lines increasingly blur between day-parts and consumers adopt ever busier lifestyles, a breakfast bagel will just as likely be snapped up at 7:30am as 11:30am. In fact, 61% of consumers aged 18 to 24 say they enjoy eating breakfast at non-traditional times.”

A social occasion

Breakfast is becoming an increasingly social occasion, so much so that its growth has outstripped lunch and matches that of dinner.

“If your customers have chosen to dine in they have increasingly high expectations of their overall dining experience. Speed of service, an exciting menu, taste and quality are high on customer agendas,” NYBC said.

Customisation is king as consumers expect to be able to tailor their dishes to personal preference.

That doesn’t mean operators can roll out the same menu season after season. NYBC suggests using seasonal ingredients to keep things fresh and enhance sustainability messages.

There’s also an opportunity to expand sharing platters.

“Encouraging socialisation, dwell time and allowing customers to experiment with new flavour combinations, sharing platters are a great addition to breakfast and brunch menus and will allow you to charge a premium.”

Grab and go

Two in five 16 to 34-year-olds eat breakfast on the go, presenting what NYBC dubs a huge opportunity if certain boxes can be ticked.

These include increasing the amount of hot food-to-go on offer as 43% of consumers would like to see a larger range available. Bagels and crolls, noted NYBC, are particularly well suited to this as they hold well in hot cabinets and can be heated on purchase.

Other requirements include a menu suitable for people with a range of dietary requirements, such as vegetarians and vegans who expect the same variety as those who eat meat.

Additionally, NYBC notes that not all grab-and-go breakfasts are destined to be eaten immediately, so suitable packaging and items that keep for a little while are suggested.

Sweet treat

“Capitalising on the recent explosion and continued growth of dessert-only outlets, you can get creative with your sweet breakfast bagel offering,” said NYBC.

This could take the form of a bagel bar in which customers can load their chosen bagel with a range of sweet options for added indulgence. Sweet doesn’t have to mean unhealthy, though, with NYBC noting the use of fruit, peanut butter and honey for a sweet hit without the being too indulgent.