Restaurant Marketers Wake Up to $50B Breakfast Opportunity

McDonald’s is considering putting breakfast on the all-day menu, not long after Wendy’s earlier this year ended its national breakfast experiment. Breakfast accounts for 25% of McDonald’s business and has been one of the biggest opportunities for the restaurant industry — the only area of growth in the past decade, according to NPD. And consumer trends in food, including the desire for speed, convenience, portability and more-healthful, fresher options, are driving chains such as Denny’s and even Pinkberry to cash in on the $50 billion restaurant-breakfast category.

So why couldn’t Wendy’s make breakfast work? It wasn’t for lack of effort: The fast feeder has tried the meal a number of times. But breakfast-eating habits tend to be habitual, and Wendy’s was late to the daypart.

“They just moved too little, too late,” said Elizabeth Friend, consumer-food-service analyst at Euromonitor International. “McDonald’s had already done such a good job claiming that share of breakfast,” she said, noting that chains like Starbucks also expanded their breakfast products.

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