Hot Breakfast Boom

The refrigerated and frozen food aisles are heating up with new breakfast sausages and entrées characterized by innovation and on-the-go convenience.
For those consumers content to get away with a quick bowl of cereal or a cup of coffee in the morning – or skip breakfast altogether – breakfast food manufacturers are offering a lineup of fast-and-easy alternatives.
Cincinnati, OH-based Sara Lee Foods’ Jimmy Dean division, traditionally known for its breakfast sausages, most recently began distribution of Breakfast Skillets, partially prepared meal solutions consisting of diced potatoes, chopped onions and peppers, and precooked ham or sausage (consumers need only add eggs), for a “perfect weekend breakfast any day of the week” in just 10 minutes. The national rollout is slated for this fall.
Jimmy Dean also introduced a new line of omelets and wraps in 2004 that takes only two minutes to prepare. “Our ‘Breakfast in America’ study shows that nearly half of all Americans don’t have enough time to prepare and enjoy their favorite breakfast foods,” says Rick Moritz, director of Jimmy Dean new product marketing. “To help, we’ve created two delicious new products that will allow everyone to enjoy a hot, homemade breakfast in under two minutes.”
Top 10 Refrigerated Breakfast Entrée Brands*
  Dollar Sales ($ millions) Dollar Sales %
Change Prior Year
Dollar Share Unit Sales
Unit Sales %
Change Prior Year
1. Rudys Farm 9.2 -22.7 14.3 1.7 -24.9
2. Tennessee Pride 7.8 2.5 12.1 2 -7.2
3. Bob Evans 7.1 0.7 11.1 2.3 -1.8
4. Purnell Old Folks 6 -1.4 9.3 1.2 -7.2
5. Owens 5 1.2 7.8 1.6
6. Williams 3.4 32.9 5.3 0.74 23.2
7. Webber Farms 3.2 10.3 4.9 0.60 -4.2
8. Private Label 3.1 1.3 4.8 1 -3.5
9. Owens Border Breakfasts 2.7 -1.7 4.2 0.77 1.5
10. Bob Evans Farms Snackwiches 2.7 -1.5 4.2 0.47 -4.7
Total Category 64.4 -44.8 100 18 -38.1
*Total U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers excluding Wal-Mart for the 52 weeks ending May 15, 2005.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
The Jimmy Dean omelet is available in three varieties including ham and cheese; three cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, and Swiss); and Western style (ham, red and green onions, and cheese). Offering quick preparation time and hand-held convenience, Jimmy Dean breakfast wraps require less than two minutes to heat in the microwave and are available in sausage, egg and cheese, and ham, egg and cheese varieties.
Ready-to-serve pork sausage
Adding to the fully-cooked phenomenon, Oscar Mayer Foods, a Madison, WI-based division of Kraft Foods, this spring rolled out Oscar Mayer ready-to-serve pork sausage patties, which can be prepared in less than 60 seconds in the microwave. “Conveniently packaged in a recloseable zip package that not only seals in freshness, but also makes storing a snap, it’s easy to make a single serving of ready-to-serve meats or enough to feed the entire family,” the company notes.
Each package of Oscar Mayer’s ready-to-serve pork sausage patties has 10 patties, and each patty serving contains 90 calories and one gram of carbohydrates.
Similarly, Greeley, CO-based Swift & Co. has introduced new fully-cooked Swift Premium pork sausage. An 8-ounce resealable standup pouch holds 10 links in either original or country flavor varieties, while fully-cooked Swift Premium pork sausage patties are delivered in 9-ounch pouches in original or country varieties.
For home cooks, Swift & Co. also offers new Swift Premium pork sausage in both country and original flavors in 16-ounce chubs, as well as fresh links in 12-ounce packages.
A notable addition to the all-natural market, Chelsea, MA-based Kayem Foods in April debuted its new line of fully-cooked, all-natural gourmet breakfast sausages made with lean, skinless chicken meat. Available in two varieties – apple maple, made with pure Vermont maple syrup and fresh apples, and mango honey, made with fresh mangos and sweet honey – al fresco breakfast chicken sausages contain no nitrates, artificial flavors, or preservatives. NP