attributes during frozen breakfast occasions. Consumers
believe that sustainably sourced meat and eggs translate to
a better-tasting and overall higher-quality end product.”
Home Freezer Advantage
Healthiness and clean-ingredient labels can give frozen
sandwiches an advantage over a main source of competition: quick-service restaurants.
The original mass-marketed breakfast sandwich was
McDonald’s iconic Egg McMuffin, introduced in 1972.
Today, just about every breakfast sandwich in the frozen
food case has a counterpart in one or more QSR chains.
Suppliers of frozen products believe they have a built-in
advantage when it comes to health concerns and transparency, in part because retail products are required to
list their ingredients.
“We believe consumers are very concerned about what
they eat and feed their families,” Williams says. “The QSR
has not completely caught on to that trend and con-
tinues to keep ingredients hidden from consumers.
In the retail world we are required to—and proud
to—list our ingredients on each and every package.”
Strauss of Cadent agrees: “There’s a little bit
more control of ingredients, because I can check
the ingredient labeling of products I buy in the
store and get to a product that’s likely healthier.”
And of course, no matter how close a QSR is, the
consumer still has to get there; the kitchen freezer
is often more convenient.
“Our large, protein-packed offerings allow consumers to
purchase just one, or to mix and match a variety of options,
for a delicious and convenient breakfast that can be
enjoyed at home or on the go,” says Lambrix of Bob Evans.
Sandwiches may be on the upswing, but they’re far
from the only breakfast option in the freezer case. Break-
fast bowls, also known as scrambles, are a popular option,
especially for consumers who are trying to avoid carbs.
Good Food Made Simple offers scramble bowls in
Southwestern Veggie, bacon and eggs, Canadian bacon,
and turkey sausage varieties. Kraft Heinz’s Ore-Ida
brand features a Ready Bake Breakfast with cheese, hash
browns, sausage and eggs. Kellogg’s recently brought
out a series of breakfast bowls under the brand of Moe’s
Southwest Grill, a chain of fast-casual restaurants.
Pancakes Still Popular
Even with the trend toward protein, pancakes and waffles
still are the No. 1 category of frozen breakfast products.
This is partly a matter of convenience, especially for toaster
waffles, which posted sales of $838.9 million last year. It’s
also a matter of tradition: Pancakes and waffles are com-
fort foods that are associated exclusively with breakfast.
Pancakes and waffles may have lots of legacy brands, but
the category is not at a standstill. Kodiak Cakes, which has
marketed powdered batter mixes for pancakes and waf-
fles (as well as other baked goods), took the leap into the
freezer case last August with waffles in buttermilk vanilla,
blueberry and dark chocolate. Products scheduled to come
out this year include cinnamon waffles, chocolate chip waf-
fles, buttermilk flapjacks and chocolate chip flapjacks.
“The move felt like a no-brainer for our brand,” says
Brandon Porras, director of marketing for Kodiak Cakes.
“Our brand looks for categories that are stagnant and
have not seen real innovation in a while. With Eggo dominating this category for so long and the only innovation
being organic or gluten-free items over the years, we
thought we would be the perfect fit.”
Breakfast may or may not be the most important meal
of the day. But there’s no question that, when it comes to
growing sales in the freezer case, it’s increasingly important to grocers.
Fridge & Frozen Center Store
Sales of breakfast
sandwiches in 2017.