Innovation Rules at the Breakfast Table

Flavor and other factors key to creating novel products
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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General Mills Yoplait Main Image
General Mills continues to add to its portfolio of brands with offerings like Yoplait Original with Chocolate Shavings.

In a bid to keep consumers at the breakfast table, manufacturers have come up with a range of new flavors, including limited-time offerings designed to pique interest and drive trial.

“We don’t expect to see the demand for new flavors slowing down any time soon, as consumers are always looking for new and exciting offerings from brands that they know and love,” asserts Ricardo Fernandez, president, morning foods at Minneapolis-based General Mills. “That’s why we are continuing to elevate our portfolio of fan-favorite brands with permanent and seasonal offerings like Frosted Lemon Cheerios and Yoplait Original with Chocolate Shavings – a first-of-its-kind for the brand.”

[Read more: "Keto-Friendly and Functional Items Dominate Bread Category"]

Looking ahead to the fall, we’re excited to bring back some of our fan-favorite limited-edition seasonal flavors, including one that hasn’t made an appearance in a few years,” teases Mary Pensiero, brand manager at Horsham, Pa.-based Bimbo Bakeries USA, parent company of Thomas’. “Fans asked for it, and we’re delivering!”

“We continue to meet our consumers’ needs and gain even more Krusteaz fans by developing the latest and greatest breakfast products and flavor varieties,” says Caroline Platt, director of brand marketing at The Krusteaz Co. The Tukwila, Wash.-based brand’s new breakfast product, Cinnamon Churro Waffle Mix, “came about through strong consumer connection,” according to Platt, who also notes that “[t]rends like pancake cereal and breakfast charcuterie boards make mealtime interesting and bring variety to what may become routine.”

Innovative products can also be inspired by the flavors of world cuisines.

Naanwiches don’t exist in India, but the idea of spiced potato and egg does,” explains Cindy Wu, VP of marketing at Hayward, Calif.-based Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Foods, describing the company’s new line of frozen breakfast sandwiches. “We added our own twist with a little cheesy yumminess and our secret sauces to really bring it all together.”

Noting that there was no longer a clear demarcation between breakfast, dinner or a snack for many consumers, Wu promises that “Sukhi’s will continue to offer bold flavors that can be enjoyed at all times of the day.”

Beyond flavor, breakfast food manufacturers cite other considerations in creating compelling new products.

Carrie Sander, general manager, portable wholesome snacks at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., notes the rising prevalence of plant-based and allergen-free fare, and the company’s ongoing efforts to provide shoppers with more options in those areas.

We … have innovation in the works consistent with our better-for-you strategy of replacing flour with eggs in traditionally flour-based foods to provide the protein-packed, low-carb alternatives consumers are looking for,” says David Kroll, CEO of Chicago-based  Egglife Foods, a maker of egg white wraps. “We have a very loyal consumer audience that we love hearing from. We often get inspirations for new flavors and recipes by listening to our Egglife fans, who we affectionately refer to as ‘The Wrap Pack.’” 

These companies and others are continually looking to the future in the breakfast space and beyond so that they can continue to surprise and delight consumers. As Karuna Rawal, Karuna Rawal, CMO of Chicago-based fungi protein-based food manufacturer Nature’s Fynd, observes, “We … regularly collaborate with chefs, like our culinary advisor, world-renowned 3-Michelin Star Chef Eric Ripert, to innovate on what's next so that we can continue to innovate nourishing foods that also nurture the planet at every meal occasion.”

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