Breads covered in coconut shavings, called “multis,” are a new top seller at El Rancho Gilbert in Mesa, Arizona.

At Carnicería del Rancho in Mesa, the distinctive cinnamon rolls prepared fresh every morning by Jesus, the store’s head baker, feature the comfort flavors of cinnamon and vanilla.

“We make our cinnamon rolls with icing on top and cinnamon in the middle,” says Orlando Rascon, one of the co-owners. “People come here from miles and miles away just to buy our fresh breads.”

At Panadería La Central in Avondale, Arizona, torcidos are bread twists filled with cream cheese and chorizo or cream cheese and jalapeño.

“The demand here is higher now because we offer breakfast sandwiches and more varieties of distinctive breads,” says Yolanda Chavez, owner of the store.

These are all examples of how panaderías in the Phoenix marketplace are concentrating more efforts on the breakfast rush. Consumers have started eating breakfast again, at least on the go, and they are shopping much more often at bakeries at earlier times in the morning to ensure they get the freshest products they can buy.

Beyond breads, muffins are gaining popularity for stores including La Estrella Panadería in Mesa. To offer more choices, the bakery offers two kinds of toppings: nuts or sprinkles.

“Our customers love fresh bakery products early in the morning,” says owner Veronica Ortiz of La Estrella, which opens every day at 5:30 a.m.

According to researcher Amanda Topper of Mintel, half of consumers agreed breakfast is more important than lunch or dinner in 2018. Portability is important. In addition to convenience, diners are looking for healthy breakfast foods that are high in protein, contain fruit.

Breakfast tends to be an on-the-go behavior, and snack breads and muffins offer the speed and portability needed in the morning.

The morning meal (breakfast and morning snack) category has shown consistent traffic growth over the past several years and represents the only foodservice daypart with year-over-year growth, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research firm.

Bottom line is that a restaurant breakfast or morning meal serves a variety of needs. It satisfies the need for convenience at one of the busiest times of our day and is typically less costly than other restaurant meals.