Sunny Queen has released a snap-frozen French toast that fulfils the café market’s need for versatile, practical, and high-quality breakfast alternatives.
Out-of-home breakfast consumption is growing year on year in Australia, with NPD Crest placing the market’s worth at $7.4 billion in 2018.
This has led many cafés to develop diverse breakfast menus, with items ranging from the notorious smashed avo to extravagant concoctions of unique ingredients.
However, this growth also brings an opportunity to appeal to peoples’ nostalgia with a traditional breakfast option.
Australian egg producer Sunny Queen has done just that, taking the nostalgia and popularity of a classic breakfast item – French toast – and delivering it in a way that’s convenient for the average coffee shop.
Sunny Queen’s real egg French toast is produced at its facility in Carole Park, Queensland. The bread is dipped in a mixture including milk, egg, and cinnamon, before being oven baked, frozen, and delivered to cafés.
Sunny Queen National Marketing Manager Isabelle Dench says the ready-made French toast provides multiple benefits to coffee shops, including the ability to produce a gourmet product for small shops with storage restrictions.
“[Cafés] don’t have to do anything in the kitchen, purchase the ingredients, crack the eggs, or prepare the mix. Everything is done prior. All they have to do is pop the toast in an oven, sandwich press, or toaster,” Isabelle says.
“It’s also consistent. Coffee shops know they’re serving the same delicious product to their customers every time.”
Isabelle says the French toast can be served or plated in many different ways.
“With this one product, cafés can add two or three new items to their menus,” she says. “You could serve it as a full slice or cut into halves or quarters and topped with sweet or savoury ingredients. It can be served plated in the shop but also as an on-the-go option.”
Isabelle suggests cafés could sell the French toast as a takeaway item in a small box or paper bag and dusted with icing sugar. She says it’s increasingly important that cafés be able to offer fast and convenient alternatives.
“A lot of shops these days are opening drive-through options, so we know there is an increased demand for products that can quickly be reheated and ready to serve,” Isabelle says.
For in-store options, Sunny Queen hired Katrina Neill as the company’s own Development Chef to constructs recipes for use in cafés.
“[Katrina’s] role is to help us better understand the needs of our customers so we can respond in the most suitable ways. She’s an expert in balancing flavour and texture, so she’s important to the quality of the product as well,” Isabelle says.
“She’s been a chef for many years in Australia and has international experience in Canada and Italy, which she uses to help us ensure we are always delivering the best product to suit the needs of the market.”
One of Katrina’s recent creations sees the French toast topped with stewed fruits and custard. Others use vanilla bean yoghurt, granola, and blueberries, and caramelised banana with a twist of chocolate on top.
“The French toast helps [coffee shops] increase their offering and bring innovation to their menu. For example, cafés can innovate and transform this product based on the season, into something more wintery or summery at different times of the year,” Isabelle says.
“There are so many ways to plate and serve this one product, and you can do it without having to order a large amount of stock or different products.”
Isabelle says many coffee shops have limited space in their kitchen or freezer and using one product across multiple dishes can minimise storage. The French toast comes in packs of 54 with a nine-month frozen shelf life, meaning cafés don’t need to worry about running out or the product going to waste.
“Furthermore, it’s going to save time in terms of prep. When you save time, you also save money,” she says.
Sunny Queen achieves this long shelf life by snap freezing the bread, which also allows the toast to maintain its texture.
“Snap freezing is when you bring the temperature down very quickly which reduces the size of the ice crystals in your product,” Isabelle says. “Because of this, when you reheat the French toast, it is as close as possible to a fresh product.”
Throughout the product’s development, Isabelle says Sunny Queen took care to maintain the quality of the ingredients as well as the finished products.
“The bread is obviously a critical ingredient and finding exactly the right size and texture was vital,” she says.
“The balance of flavour was also very important because we were creating a product that could be plated with sweet and savoury ingredients, so we had to make sure the mixture didn’t sway one way over the other.”
An internal panel tests the French toast daily to ensure a consistent level of quality. This testing occurs across Sunny Queen’s portfolio, which also includes frittatas, omelettes, and poached eggs. Isabelle says Sunny Queen’s experience in the foodservice industry gives the company the ability to listen to and learn from its café customers.
“We work very closely with a lot of coffee shops in Australia and believe we have created a French toast that suits their needs,” she says. “We are also owned by Australian farmers and are proud to serve an Australian product.”
Isabelle says the best way to understand the benefits of the product is to try it.
“It can be hard to explain how good it is,” she says. “Nothing can replace that firsthand experience.”
This article appears in the June edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
For more information, visit www.sunnyqueenmealsolutions.com.au/products/french-toast