Tom's Data Dive: Breakfast Makes a Comeback

In the latest feature for PLMA’s e-Scanner, Editor-in-Chief Tom Prendergast examines PLMA’s exclusive IRI/Unify sales data. He examines the data to see which categories and products are showing growth and opportunities for PLMA members and retailers. This month’s column looks at IRI statistics as of August 7.

Home continues to be a great place for breakfast, and store brands are taking advantage. Many studies have pointed to the trend of consumers eating at home more often is continuing even as the pandemic wanes. The latest private brand numbers for breakfast foods seem to show this is true for the most important meal of the day.

In the past four weeks of data from IRI, which ended on August 7, private label products for breakfast food products, sides and drinks all showed growth.

In food hot cereal/oatmeal (+33.4%), frozen sausage (+32.1%) had dollar sales increases of over 30%. Meanwhile other breakfast food products like ready-to-eat cereals (+22.8%), muffins (+20.4%), frozen waffles (+22%), English muffins (+13.1%) and frozen breakfast handheld products (+17.8%) all showed strong dollar sales growth.

Sales growth was just as strong over the past 12 weeks. During the period from June 12 to August 7, hot cereal/oatmeal grew 30%, while frozen sausage (+33.3%), ready-to-eat cereals (+21.8%), muffins (+18.5%) frozen waffles (+22%), and English muffins (+10.5%) also grew.

Side dishes also were popular with families eating breakfast at home. During the past four weeks, store brand dollar sales gains were found for maple/pancake syrup, which rose 12.9%, while shelf stable toaster pastries (+29.5%), refrigerated bacon (+6.3%), and refrigerated breakfast sausage and ham (+9.9%) all showed growth.

As with breakfast foods, sales of side dishes were also strong during the 12-week period. Maple/pancake syrup (12.5%), shelf stable toaster pastries (+29.7%), refrigerated bacon (+6.9%), and refrigerated breakfast sausage and ham (+10.5%) all increased in sales.

Breakfast beverages were no exception to the popularity of private brand breakfasts. Ground coffee sales were especially strong, growing by 32% in the past four weeks and 32.4% in the past 12 weeks. Refrigerated coffee creamer (+46.5%) showed the strongest dollar increase in sales while frozen orange juice (+15.1%), and instant coffee (+16.2%) all grew according to the latest four-week statistics. In the past 12 weeks dollar sales also showed strong increases for these products with refrigerated coffee creamer (+38.1%), frozen orange juice (+14.2%) and instant coffee (+19.2%) all having sales growth.

There are just some of the products and categories showing private brand growth. Up to date sales statistics are available to members through IRI’s Unify statistics section on