Fast food breakfast choices may be expanding if Burger King's new brunch menu proves successful in its test market locations.
Offered until 10:30am daily, the “Burger King “ is the fast food giant’s latest salvo in the quick-food morning breakfast wars.
The Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich and Mimosa
Earlier this spring Burger King added a new $1 breakfast sandwich and its BK Breakfast Bowl to its existing breakfast menu. Now, the breakfast fare is getting some interesting additions.
First up in the brunch line-up are the Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich and the non-alcoholic BK Mimosa. The Ciabatta sandwich costs $2.99 and includes scrambled egg with cheese, ham, bacon, tomato and a smoky-style tomato sauce on a Ciabatta roll.
The mimosa is a blend of orange juice and Sprite and is sold for $1.99.
Both items are being offered in test markets in Florida and Massachusetts as well as western Canada. The test markets will also offer the Burger King Whopper during the morning hours for those not interested in traditional breakfast fare.
Fast Food Breakfast Menus Serve a Purpose
In the April 20, 2010, Nation’s Restaurant News article, “Burger King Testing Brunch Menu”, writer Ron Ruggless details a report by consumer product and research firm, Mintel. Mintel counted 460 new breakfast products at restaurants in 2009 in spite of the fact that 50% of consumers surveyed said they spent less on breakfast in 2009 than they did in 2008.
The reason for the continued press for breakfast dollars by fast food restaurants may be stability. NPD group/CREST® (Consumer Reports on Eating Share Trends) is a market research firm specializing in prepared meals and snacks.
A current BurgerBusiness report details NPD Group/CREST data regarding breakfast trends. The data shows that while breakfast fare for fast food restaurants garnered only 22% of the day’s customers for 2009, the percentage was down only 1% from the previous year. Lunch (34% of the day’s customers) had slipped 2%, and dinner (25% of customers) had lost 5% from 2008 figures. The remaining 19% of customers purchased during snack hours, and that percentage had no change.
While breakfast is not the largest producing meal of the day for fast food restaurants, its percentage of loss from the previous year was the lowest. That resistance to decline is a possible driving force behind Burger King’s foray into “brunch”.
Burger King as a Trend Setter
If Burger King’s brunch pleases breakfast customers, it’s probable that other quick food providers will follow suit. In addition to burger-driven fast food outlets like Jack in the Box and McDonalds, morning fares have already been introduced by Subway, Quiznos and Dunkin’ Donuts.
But if brunch is boon at Burger King, it’s a fair bet the concept will spread.