Once heralded as the “most important meal of the day”, the notion of breakfast is shifting away from its stronghold as a rigid morning routine – or even as a “meal” at all. With new TikTok breakfast trends (pesto eggs one day and 5-minute toasted sandwiches another) rising and falling through viral waves on a weekly basis paired with increasingly busy, fluid lifestyles – how can brands keep up with the tide? We take a look at 3 key ways breakfast is changing…


Whilst traditionally positioned as a morning staple to “break the fast” of the night, brands are responding to more fluid consumer lifestyles needing flexible solutions. Characterised by a bright, uplifting aesthetic that captures the sunny, fresh start energy associated with breakfast, this space offers versatility beyond the traditional at-home, sit down breakfast. Formats range from Bol’s resealable screw cap bottles, Eleat’s mini cereal pots, Moju’s energy shots, or Rheal Energy’s breakfast bars – all offering on-the-go consumption for busy lives. Language and comms reflect the desire for fuel that moves with you – with references to dynamic energy in “power shake” or the rhyming rhythm of “wake, shake, boom”, and representations of cereal eaten outdoors. Elsewhere, language leans into the sense of anytime fluidity – with the taste of a whole “blueberry muffin” compacted into a takeaway energy bar or cereal as “dinner”. Even mainstream players like Weetabix have taken note with their “any-which-way-a-bix” campaign representing the flexibility of consumption.


 This space retains breakfast’s steadfast role as core to morning routines – but begins to amplify its role in promoting good health. This is pushed forward by wellness trends, with a growing desire for high-protein content across a number of categories, as well as increased awareness of gut-health as integral to improved physical and mental function. High-protein breakfast recipes shared on social media and delicious yoghurt bowls described as “gut-supporting” on health and wellness magazines indicate a desire for brands to follow suit. Many brands are now offering breakfast products which state the protein content in grams proudly on front of pack, and even supermarket retailers – like the M&S collaboration with gut health nutrition brand ZOE for a morning “gut shot” – are taking a wellness-first approach. Aesthetically, however, this wellness-focussed breakfast space does not dictate health to consumers with clinical blue, red and white colours of diet-products in the past – but invites consumers in with warm beige, earthy colourways and minimalistic pack designs with flashes of sunny yellow. Language is empowering rather than authoritative, referring to health-enhancing ingredients as “simple” and “superfoods” to create a narrative of gentle abundance rather than abrasive reduction.


Whilst breakfast has always encompassed sweet and savoury flavour profiles across the world, the emergence of a taste for these outside of the home is an exciting shift for brands. With social media chefs making stars of humble ingredients – like spiced and roasted “breakfast potatoes” and responding to a desire for “breakfasts that aren’t oats” – consumers are hungry for enticing flavours and textures beyond the expected cereal, toasts and butter. Fast-food chains have long delivered home-cooked breakfast on-the-go, but these are moving beyond traditional breakfast fare. LEON’s breakfast box offers “poached eggs and supergreens shakshuka” with halloumi bringing the flavoursome Maghrebi dish to the streets; whilst in the States, Dunkin’s Breakfast Tacos are packed with sauce and garnishes. Across UK food culture, there is a growing embrace of the multicultural breakfast foods that represent the diverse British population. This has seen the rise in popularity of Congee – an East and South-East Asian rice porridge dish that can be eaten hot or cold – and the popularity of Dishoom’s Breakfast Kits blending British and Indian cuisine for its spicy Sausage Naan Roll (with a steaming hot cup of chai, of course!).

3 Key Take-Outs for Brands

  1. Breakfast, Snackified: could brands respond to the desire for on-the-go consumption by diversifying formats – minis, bottles, bars, bites – beyond the cereal bowl to offer flexibility?
  2. Wellness Gateway: how can brands dial up references to their existing health benefits on-pack and across comms to better speak to the demand for transparency around how products can offer holistic wellness?
  3. Diverse Tastes: multicultural communities are bringing diverse breakfasts to the table – could retailers and brands partner with food experts from these communities to feed the desire for a global palette?

Lailah Choudhry, Senior Semiotician

Breakfast’s Big Break: How breakfast is changing with culture