A bowl of our favourite cereal washed down with cold milk still constitutes breakfast for millions of us, but the ongoing concern about healthy eating sweeping the UK is having an effect on this part of our eating habits too.

Commenting on Mintel’s August 2016 Breakfast Cereals report Anita Winther, a research analyst at the company, says ready to eat cereals have been suffering from what she calls the negative media focus on sugar and competition from the many other products targeting breakfast eating. Given the strong level of consumer interest, launches that tap into current healthy eating trends like ‘positive nutrition’ are set for success and further developments in low sugar should help these brands to stand out in a crowded market.

US-owned Post Holdings made the breakfast news in every sense in April when they announced they were buying Weetabix, the British cereal with a royal warrant, after five years under Chinese ownership. Post previously bought the US-based Malt-O-Meal cereal business in 2015, for which it has recently appointed Empire Bespoke Foods (EBF) official UK importer and European distributor. EBF say Americans save over $1.5 billion annually on breakfast cereal, by choosing Post Holdings’ MOM cereal brands instead of more expensive varieties.

EBF also offers two premium coffee brands from the Hors Group, Bushido and Egoiste. Instant coffee still accounts for the largest amount of coffee consumed at home and gourmet coffee’s share continues to grow particularly among younger audiences. Breakfast is the fastest growing occasion for eating yogurt with natural yogurts, flavoured big pots and active health drinks growing 3% year on year, according to Danone Dairies’ Head of Category Graham Burgess.

But the fastest climber in the Great British breakfast race is bagels, says Matt Lothian, Head of Category at New York Bakery, who recently relaunched their popular Bagel Thins range.

The overall bread and bakery segment is in decline with prices rising faster than any other food category but bagels are bucking the trend, achieving £75.2m in annual value sales, up 6.3% year on year. The New York Bakery Co. holds an 80% value share of the ambient bagels market and is delivering sales of over £59m.

So what can we expect on our breakfast menu in the next year? Matt Lothian points to the UK economy growing and confidence remaining high but plateauing as consumers anticipate higher prices driven by Brexit and inflation. Premium categories within the sector pose opportunities for increasing value through innovation and re-invigoration, adding to our ongoing appetites.

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