The other major breakfast trend businesses can't afford ignore: Americans are increasingly eating the meal out of the house. It's no wonder Taco Bell, Burger King, Starbucks, andDunkin' Donuts are launching breakfast burgers, waffle tacos and more to compete with McDonald's dominant hold on the market.
The reason: Although it still makes up a small percentage of total sales, it's the only part of the day that's seeing traffic growth. Guest Metrics data shows that of the five parts of the day (breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night), breakfast was the only one with positive traffic through May.
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The most popular items are sandwiches, breakfast burritos and yogurts, while scones, doughnuts and muffins are not as hot, Pecoriello said.
According to RBC's food industry analyst Dave Palmer, Starbucks is in the best position to capture sales from the various shifts in consumer habits around breakfast.
But organic, health-focused brands such as WhiteWave, which makes Silk dairy alternatives, and Hain Celestial, which is behind Greek Gods Yogurt, are also in strong positions.
Still, the ultimate winners may be the companies facing challenges. That's because analysts say the sector is ripe for consolidation, with deal speculation recently centering on General Mills and Kellogg.
But whether its deals, new innovative products or increased marketing spending, the bottom line is that food companies are scrambling to catch up with changes in the way we eat after waking up.
—By CNBC's Sara Eisen