According to the Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017, Breakfast continues to be the most popular meal of the day – but least of all in the morning. More and more all-day brunch establishments are popping up across the globe, but it’s a far cry from the traditional full English. The most important meal of the day doesn’t have to happen in the morning, and it doesn’t have to happen just once either. Breakfast continues to take over every hour of the day, as well as many restaurants. Millennials and Gen Z don’t think about food in terms of meals, and they don’t spend half the working day thinking about what they’re going to eat for ‘lunch’ – they eat little, often and when they’re hungry. Popular breakfast offerings range from nutritious super-food, protein rich blends to decadent and indulgent show-stoppers. They can be personalised and scaled up or down depending on your hunger level. All day breakfasts and brunches are the new norm with students seeking dishes they can show on social media, original eating experiences, and foods to match their lifestyles.
Breakfast 24/7! took place in Manchester and included a tour of several popular, up-and-coming establishments serving a variety of breakfast options popular with students. Visits to each establishment showcased the variety of breakfast options on offer ranging from superfoods to carb overload, from vegan to super meaty, from American and Tex-Mex to twists on traditional full breakfasts, not to mention all day breakfasts, bottomless brunches, boozy brunches, and more!
The tour began at 0830h with a welcome reception at Manchester University to see the new 'Chinese Breakfast' on offer. Delegates then travelled into the city centre by taxis to visit six other establishments. The day ended at 1600h. The fact that breakfast was on offer at many venues across Manchester during this tour, proved that breakfast is now an all-day event.
This study tour successfully captured each trend within the breakfast market and provided members with inspiration to take back to their own institutions. Delegates were also encouraged to network with the other institutions attending the tour, and to take part in debates surrounding clean eating, customer service, the new apprenticeship levy’s impacts on service, catering for dietary requirements, international student breakfast trends, and much more.
Visit 1 - The University of Manchester, Dalton Ellis Hall
Emma Stansfield & Wendy Hardman welcomed the group to Dalton Ellis Hall. The dining room on this campus is one of several dining rooms to offer Chinese breakfast options to their students.
The breakfast offered here demonstrated a great example of institutions responding to student needs and preferences. Emma Stansfield had previously attended the China Study Tour, and learned how the ‘Chinese food’ on offer to students wasn’t necessarily what the Chinese students were looking for. Emma also listened carefully to the Chinese students’ feedback on the dumplings, which are now cooked two ways (deep fried AND boiled) to cater for the different cooking cultures between southern China and northern China. Today, the Chinese breakfast offerings are enjoyed by international and local students equally.
Visit 2 – Kettlebell Kitchen
Here, delegates explored the concept of ‘Clean Eating’ whilst enjoying a protein shake, popular with health and exercise conscious students. Located in the new, up-and-coming area of Manchester, Ancoats, the layout of this venue was super trendy, with USB charging portals, express pick-up serving lanes and chill out areas for those wishing to study whilst eating at Kettlebell. Kettlebell Kitchen offers pre-prepared meal plan options packed in Tupperware to stock the gym goer’s fridge, and also sold ‘healthy’ versions of breakfast favourites such as protein pancakes and waffles. Delegates sampled the protein brownies and balls, an increasingly popular healthy energy snack.
Visit 3 – The Koffee Pot
A trendy café turned restaurant turned bar turned entertainment venue, The Koffee Pot has a hipster vibe, ideally located in the Norther Quarter. Delegates sampled different variations of the full breakfast such as English, Irish and Scottish breakfasts. It was also an opportunity to consider the concept that this establishment follows which is all about making the most of the space you have.
Visit 4 – Black Milk Cereal
Delegates witnessed what the on-trends Food and Beverage book describes as ‘The Shock Effect’. Students want something they can brag about on social media. ‘If I can’t Tweet it, I won’t eat it’. Black Milk Cereal offers ‘cereal and milk’ with a decadent twist throughout the day. Delegates sampled all of the best sellers such as chocolate cereal served with chocolate milk, ice cream, sprinkles and more, in a bowl made of chocolate. Whilst the super-rich, naughty food wasn’t to everyone’s taste, all of the delegates immediately understood the success behind the food as it was excellently presented for social media fans and definitely had the ‘Shock Effect’. Even the TUCO members on tour couldn’t resist a few photos before digging in!
Visit 5 – Alabama’s All-American Eatery
Alabama’s is one of the most popular brunch hotspots in Manchester, serving American style breakfast and brunch all day. Breakfast is continuing to grow in popularity as the breakfast menus increase in variety and availability. It caters to Gen Z who want to eat what they want, whenever they want it. Combining alcohol with breakfast items, bottomless brunches and boozy breakfasts are growing in demand. Walking between locations, delegates saw plenty of these offerings aimed at Gen Z and Millennials. Delegates sampled a variety of sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles at Alabama's.
Visit 6 – Pot Kettle Black
Here, delegates focussed on the ‘egg-celent’ trend. PKB offered a dozen different egg dishes which are all in keeping with the latest trends: brunch, international recipes, avocado rich etc. Here, delegates also sampled the coconut porridge which was gluten free and vegan (and absolutely delicious!). Conversation here focused around allergies, vegetarian and vegan options and other dietary requirements. This is an important area that all TUCO members discussed facing and admitted they were trying to improve on. The networking opportunities provided here by TUCO was useful in sharing ideas and coming up with new solutions to obstacles that some universities were confronted with. Some delegates thought that veganism was a trend that would decline in popularity overtime, whilst others thought it was here to stay and would only grow in popularity as students become more health conscious and ethically influenced.
Visit 7: Moose Coffee
Moose Coffee is a coffee and breakfast hotspot which constantly has people queuing outside with a 30 min waiting time for a table. Don’t worry – we had a reservation! Coffee lovers frequent Moose for its popular Fairtrade coffee, and the menu offers American and Canadian ‘authentic’ breakfasts. This is a contrast to Alabama’s which offered more stereotypical – but just as popular – dishes.
Students are conscious consumers. The Global Food and Beverage Trends Report states that; ‘millennials are a conscientious bunch, but Gen Z are the new breed of consumers that really put their money where their mouth is when it comes to responsible consumption.' This includes traceability, ethically sourced, local produce, and food waste.
Here, we discussed the importance of conscientious consuming, such as the use of plastic straws and reusable coffee mugs, plus we also looked at the presentation of the food, both on menus and on the plates.
"It is great that TUCO go to great lengths to make sure these are enjoyable, and Sam was great from the moment we met, to when we had to rush off for our train, the other delegates also were great, and it was enjoyable to meet other establishments and hear about their areas."
– Delegate from The University of Nottingham.
"I totally enjoyed all of it. I do think it is good to talk with other Universities to see what they offer and how we can improve. it was also good to see how important social media is nowadays to our customers."
- Delegate from Manchester Metropolitan University
"The Breakfast 24/7 tour gave me fresh thinking into how we can drive sales and satisfaction by expanding our breakfast offer, it was interesting to see what trends are on the Highstreet and discuss how we can adapt these for our service."
– Delegate from The University of Nottingham
"I loved every minute of it enjoyed seeing other people and talking about what they are doing and see what ideas they have."
– Delegate from Harper Adams University
"I have already had a meeting with the Head Chef and Sous Chef at our university and we have already discussed some ideas of how we can freshen up and vary some of our breakfast service using ideas straight from my experiences on the breakfast tour. I have been on a few tours like the Breakfast 24/7 Study Tour, they are always well organised, interesting but most of all motivational. I always come away feeling very positive. I also find it extremely useful to talk to people from other universities and sometimes it is these small chats about how they do something at their university that give you the biggest ideas."
– Delegate from Harper Adams University
For more information on the trends covered on this study tour, please refer to ‘The Food People - Global Food and Beverage Trends Report 2017.
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