Today’s consumers lead busy lives, which sometimes means eating on-the-run. Fortunately, many bakeries are offering convenient grab-and-go breakfast items like muffins and donuts.

Grabbing their keys and bags and heading out the door to start another busy day, people often think they don’t have time for the most important meal: breakfast. But many bakeries are making it easier and more convenient for consumers to eat their favorite morning baked goods while on-the-run.

“As consumers’ busy lives get even more hectic, they are looking for convenient solutions that will fit their lifestyles,” states Marla Cushing, director of foodservice marketing for Tucker, Ga.-based CSM Bakery Products.

Muffins can make an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack item. “Muffins have long been considered a staple of the breakfast bakery menu, but have traditionally been limited to bakery cafes and donut shops,” says Cushing. “And while a majority of muffin purchases still occur between 7-10 a.m., consumer purchase and consumption behaviors have been rapidly changing.”

Cushing says that muffin purchases between 3-6 p.m. have increased 25% since 2007.

CSM Bakery Products’ new line of Coffeehouse Collection Muffins by Multifoods offers all-day muffin varieties inspired by the unique and gourmet flavors of popular coffee houses.

“For part of the new line, we took traditional flavors and added a twist to make them extra decadent,” says Cushing. “We added a little maple to the standard blueberry muffin to create Jazzy Blueberry Pancake. These new offerings give consumers a different option for an after-meal dessert or a late-afternoon snack.”

Other varieties include Bonjour French Toast, Groovy Banana Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Toffee Delight, Swingin’ Cinnamon Apple, Rockin’ Rum Raisin, Singing Sour Cream Lemon Poppy, Southern Peach Cobbler and Vanilla Latte Supreme.

“Eating on-the-go continues to be a part of most consumers’ everyday lives,” says Cushing. “We work with our customers to find the best programs for them, ranging from product offerings to packaging options in order to provide more convenient solutions for their customers.”

On-the-go is also top of mind for High Performance Muffins, Boonton, N.J.

“With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, unhealthy snacking is all too frequent, often replacing meals,” states owner Rich Esposito. “High Performance Muffins were developed with this type of on-the-go living in mind.” Sold as single full-sized muffins or in packs of four mini-muffins, High Performance Muffins are gluten-free and sweetened naturally with raw honey.

“Other ingredients include coconut oil, which has many benefits for cholesterol levels, weight loss and increased immunity; plain Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and promotes healthy digestion; hemp seeds, which contain 10 essential amino acids and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats; and chia seeds, a soluble fiber that slows down the digestive process of carbohydrates and reduces spikes in blood sugar, making High Performance Muffins great for diabetics,” explains Hubert.

Varieties include Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Banana and Vanilla Banana.

Many muffins are an option for on-the-go dieters, but Vitalicious, New York, is looking to be the top choice of health-conscious consumers. The bakery’s VitaMuffins are high in fiber, low-fat and only 100 calories per 2-oz. serving. Consumers can choose from Deep Chocolate, CranBran, Sugar-Free Banana Nut and Blue Bran options.

Some consumers would argue that the best part of the muffin is the top, which is why Vitalicious offers a wide variety of its VitaTops, 100-calorie muffin tops that the company’s website states are an easy, one-handed, on-the-go option for breakfast and snacks.

VitaTops come in a multitude of options including traditional varieties like Banana Nut, Sugar-Free Banana Nut, Banana Choco Chip, Pumpkin Spice, Golden Corn, Apple Crumb, Raisin Bran, BlueBran, Cran Bran and AppleBerry. Consumers interested in something more indulgent can choose from Deep Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate or Sugar-Free Velvety Chocolate VitaTops.

Mini does it

Another staple for quick breakfasts and snacks are mini muffins. One of the more popular selections is Entenmann’s Little Bites, manufactured by Horsham, Pa.-based Entenmann’s, a Bimbo Bakeries USA company. Little Bites have recently had a packaging makeover with a smaller, more sustainable box. Though the box is smaller, it still contains five packages of the mini muffins in varieties like Banana, Blueberry, Brownies, Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle. Consumers can also opt for individually-wrapped, full-size Pumpkin, Banana Nut, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip and Corn Muffins.

Consumers looking for something a little sweeter can turn to Entenmann’s Pop’ems mini donuts, which come in convenient single-serve packages. Coconut Crunch, Rich Frosted and SS Powdered varieties are available at eight mini donuts per package. If folks need a bigger bite, the Softee Frosted Donuts also come in a club pack, an individually-wrapped two-pack of full-sized donuts.

Bimbo Bakeries USA is also the parent company of Mrs. Baird’s, maker of Mrs. Baird’s Grab N’ Go packages of mini donuts. Available in Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon Sugar and Frosted options, the Grab N’ Go packs can be resealed, enabling consumers to have a bite now and a bite later. The company’s website states that the donuts are “perfect for breakfast, a school lunch or a snack on-the-go.”

When some consider the perfect on-the-go addition to a school lunch, McKee Foods’ Little Debbie brand likely comes to mind. The Collegedale, Tenn.-based bakery offers resealable bags of its mini donuts in Frosted and Powdered varieties. Consumers can also enjoy smaller six-packs of the mini donuts in Coconut Crunch, Frosted, Glazed and Powdered options.

Little Debbie also has a mini muffin line for the grab-and-go consumer. Available in Chocolate Chip and Blueberry, consumers can purchase five pouches of mini muffins per package. Consumers looking for a larger bite and a bit more variety can turn to Little Debbie’s individually-wrapped, full-size muffins in Blueberry, Banana Nut, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry and Orange, Double Chocolate and Pumpkin.

Care to share?

Even when they aren’t individually wrapped, donuts are still one of the top on-the-go breakfasts. It’s easy to grab a quick dozen to bring to a breakfast meeting or a morning meet-up with friends.

Krispy Kreme, Winston-Salem, N.C., is one of the brands consumers gravitate to when picking up some on-the-go pastries. The company offers six-packs of its donuts in several options: Dipped Cake; Chocolate Iced Original Glazed; Chocolate Iced with KREME Filling; Raspberry Filled; Lemon Filled; and Original Glazed.

For a limited time, customers can show how much they really care about others by purchasing Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed Heart-Shaped Doughnuts. According to a recent press release, the donuts will be dress for Valentine’s Day in a special Valentine’s Day-themed box that contains six Valentine cards to accompany the six-pack of holiday-appropriate donuts.

Consumers can also purchase six-packs of their favorite baked goods year-round from Franz Family Bakery, Portland, Ore. Available in classic options like Old Fashioned, Old Fashioned Chocolate, Old Fashioned Maple and Raspberry Filled, Franz Family Bakery’s website describes these donuts as its most popular offerings.

For those who want just a small treat for themselves or a group, Franz Family Bakery’s Donut O’s donut holes provide a tasty alternative. Consumers can choose from Powdered, Glazed, Chocolate and Crunch varieties.

Muffins and donuts still hold the lead as consumers’ favorite choices for on-the-go breakfast pastries, but are quickly becoming the choice for a lunchbox treat or convenient snack or lunch as well.