"There’s a tremendous tailwind around the breakfast occasion that we’ve been able to latch on to," Steve Silzer, marketing director for the Jimmy Dean brand, told FoodNavigator-USA.
According to Mintel, 2019 sales of the frozen breakfast category are expected to reach $3.7bn fueled by "consumer pursuit of heartier breakfast solutions" and in new flavors and formats, according to Mintel.
"As you’re seeing consumers really strive to get more protein into their diets, protein at the breakfast occasion has really been front and center for a lot of consumers. Eggs and meat and breakfast are really the sweet spot in terms of what they’re looking for," claimed Silzer.
Gen Z steals breakfast spotlight
Unlike other legacy brands that have struggled to capture the interest of younger consumers (18- to 24-years-old), Jimmy Dean says it is striking a chord with Gen Z who are more flexible in their eating patterns compared to older generations giving rise to a 'breakfast all day' trend.
"If you look at Gen Z, they’re growing up with instant gratification, instant everything, they’re digital natives, they’re connected all day long, and they’re really having a strong push towards convenience," said Silzer.
"All-day breakfast is something that brings a freshness and uniqueness to other meal occasions. You’re seeing that in some of the QSR restaurant providers (McDonald's reintroduced its All Day Breakfast menu in 2015, for example) that are also pushing some of these ideas around."
Jimmy Dean has more than 170 products in its portfolio including its traditional microwaveable egg and meat breakfast sandwiches to newer additions such as its Simple Scrambles breakfast cups containing two whole eggs and its Delights Egg'wich breadless breakfast sandwiches (pictured above).
"We’re reaching an incredible number of new consumers through our innovation. What’ we’ve done is build a suite of offerings that provides a plethora of options in the morning that stems from fresh to frozen, from ready to eat to ready to cook, eat on-the-go vs. gather around the table," said Silzer.
According to Silzer, Jimmy Deans breakfast bowls have posted double digit sales growth over the past couple of years and sales of its breadless Egg'ich products have been a "huge success."
'We see a big opportunity for families'
Commenting on the frozen breakfast category, Mintel food & drink analyst Kaitlin Kamp noted that brands and companies should focus on targeting families.
"Families are a strong base for the category, with kids leading consumption. Opportunities to engage adults will be the catalyst for growth," commented Kaitlin Kamp, Mintel food & drink analyst.
And according to Silzer, families have been and will continue to be a core target market for Jimmy Dean.
"We see a big opportunity for families. A good amount of our consumption comes from families and moms and dads with kids and we continue to see that as an opportunity," he said.
Opportunity for plant-based?
It is hard to ignore the rise in plant-based meat alternatives taking hold of the CPG space as US retail sales of plant-based meat were up 9.6% to $801.1m in the 52 weeks to April 21, 2019, according to SPINS data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association. Jimmy Dean parent company Tyson Foods has poured a lot of investment into the plant-based protein alternatives including recent launches such as its Raised & Rooted blended chicken nuggets and Angus beef burgers blended with pea protein isolate.
"We definitely see an opportunity for plant-based proteins and the Jimmy Dean brand to intersect," Silzer said. "We definitely see plant-based proteins as a supplement to our current offerings. As consumers are still seeking protein, but they’re getting it in different ways. We’re exploring that space and confident that you’ll see some plant-based protein offerings coming from the Jimmy Dean brand."
*Nielsen Total U.S. All Outlets Combined, 4 years ending 8/24/19, dollar sales