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Fast-Food Breakfast Boom - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fast-Food Breakfast Boom

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Many of us complete our morning routine almost religiously, but does yours include breakfast?  The fast-food breakfast industry gives us a quick fill in the morning, but much of it is not-so-breakfast-like food.

The fight is on to make your breakfast. Why? Because it's the fastest growing segment of the quick service restaurant business,accounting for 12% of sales or $42 billion annually.

Market research firm NPD Group says that 80% of morning meals are purchased from fast food restaurants and consumers are willing to pay a little bit more for their morning meal for the convenience of speedy service.

Restaurants know the way to consumers' stomachs is through their coffee. Research firm Technomic says 33 percent of consumers who buy a cup of coffee in the morning are loyal to the restaurant that sells it to them. Starbucks got a sales boost when they started selling breakfast sandwiches and wraps to go along with its standard fare of bakery items and signature coffee.

Dunkin' Donuts, saw sales grow over 7% at the end of 2011, boosted by strong sales of breakfast sandwiches.

Fast food breakfast has come a long way since McDonald's introduced its Egg McMuffin in 1971. Almost every fast food player is ready to serve breakfast by 6 a.m. Even Taco Bell, which had been a breakfast holdout, joined the game, unveiling its "First Meal" menu in February.

While bacon, sausage and ham are the traditional breakfast meats, turkey and chicken are on the morning rise.

Technomic data indicates that younger consumers are more likely to buy these non-traditional breakfast meats, a good sign for establishments like Chick-fil-A, which has been serving chicken in its breakfast since 2004.

Last year, the privately held company, which did $4 billion in sales, boldly started serving its spicy chicken biscuit during morning hours.

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