Burger King serves breakfast?
That's a fair question to ask in an age where McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report continues to dominate with its classic lineup of Egg McMuffins, supplemented by additions like biscuits and the McGriddle, and Wendy's (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report has captured attention with its new(ish) breakfast menu.
Burger King has innovated in other dayparts, but it hasn't done much new in the morning since 2016's Eggnormous Burrito -- a product that was innovative for perhaps a wrong reason.
That monstrosity came in at 910 calories, 54% of them from fat. It was a breakfast aimed at people who needed to fuel up before a heavy day of manual labor, and while it got a lot of media attention, it was hardly the next McMuffin.
Toast may not seem like a revolutionary idea -- it's a breakfast staple -- but in a market of bagels, English muffins, biscuits, croissants and even pancakes being used as the base for fast-food breakfast sandwiches, humble toast represents something new.
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Burger King's Toasted Breakfast Sandwiches
Burger King has three new toast-based breakfast sandwiches it's testing in the Buffalo, N.Y., area for a limited time, Foodbeast reported. The fast-food chain offered the following descriptions:
- Ham & Cheese: The new Ham & Cheese Toasted Breakfast Sandwich is served with ham and melted American cheese all sandwiched between two toasted slices of bread.
- Cheese Sausage & Egg: The new Cheesy Sausage & Egg Toasted Breakfast Sandwich is served with a fried egg, sizzling sausage patty, and melted American cheese all sandwiched between two toasted slices of bread.
- Crispy Chicken: The new Crispy Chicken Toasted Breakfast Sandwich is served with a crispy homestyle chicken fillet and smoky maple glaze all sandwiched between two toasted slices of bread.
They're not Eggnormous, but these are three menu items that offer something at least a little different from McDonald's and Wendy's.
How Big Is the Fast-Food Breakfast Market?
In 2019, the year before the pandemic broke out, the breakfast market was growing fast. Foot traffic to quick-serve (QSR)/fast-food restaurants was up more than 7% between 2014 and 2019, while traffic during lunch and dinner decreased about 1%, according to data from NPD Group, Food Business News reported.
"Consumer spending on QSR breakfast items [in 2019] was up 31% from five years ago. Convenience is a major growth driver, with a third of consumers ages 18-34 eating weekday breakfasts en route to another location, according to the NPD Group," wrote Food Business News's Sam Danley.
Judging breakfast demand in the work-from-home, fewer-people-commute sort-of-post-pandemic era remains a challenge. Past patterns may not continue and breakfast hours may change as people's needs vary based on changing work demands.
Serving a breakfast sandwich on toast may not be as novel as serving one on a doughnut or between two ice cream sandwiches. But it's something new that may remind people that Burger King has a breakfast menu.
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