IHOP said Friday it is expanding its Simple & Fit menu with more whole-grain offerings, including a new line of oatmeal.In a first-time partnership, The Quaker Oats Company has developed three new oatmeal dishes for 1,557-unit IHOP. The varieties blend different types of oats, offering flavors and textures unique to the Glendale, Calif.-based family-dining chain, Quaker said. “We are excited about our new association with The Quaker Oats Company. By bringing together two beloved food brands, we have created an exciting product that is full of flavor and nutrition,” said Natalia Franco, IHOP’s senior vice president, marketing, in a statement. “IHOP has something to satisfy every taste and diet, and we are committed to continually introducing new, delicious, low-calorie and smart options to the menu.”
IHOP is seeking to regain its dominance at breakfast after declining traffic in recent years. Earlier this year, officials at parent company DineEquity Inc. said a menu overhaul was in the works, and an advertising campaign launched in May attempts to refocus on the brand’s breakfast heritage.
IHOP’s three new styles of oatmeal, which are priced at a recommended $2.99 each, include:
• Super Fruit Oatmeal, with a blend of dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins and golden raisins, lightly sweetened with cinnamon sugar, at 290 calories
• Super Fruit Oatmeal with Almonds and Walnuts, including the five dried fruits in Super Fruit Oatmeal and cinnamon sugar, plus almonds and walnuts, at 330 calories
• Banana Brown Sugar Oatmeal, featuring fresh banana slices and served with brown sugar and milk, at 260 calories
Oatmeal has become an increasingly popular quick-service breakfast item that appeals to health-minded consumers. Chains like Starbucks, Jamba Juice and McDonald’s have added oatmeal to morning menus in recent years. This week, Dunkin’ Donuts added two oatmeal varieties.
IHOP has long offered oatmeal, but the new offerings broaden the options as the chain adds more healthful and lower-calorie dishes to its menu.
In addition to the new oatmeal, other new offerings on the Simple & Fit menu include more whole grain options and combo meal deals, including:
• A whole-wheat pancake combo, with two whole-wheat pancakes topped with lightly sweetened blueberries and powdered sugar, served with egg substitute and two strips of turkey bacon, at 460 calories.
• A kid’s whole-wheat pancake combo with one pancake topped with blueberries and powdered sugar, plus egg substitute and one strip of turkey bacon, at 260 calories.
• A whole-wheat waffle combo with one waffle topped with blueberries and powdered sugar, served with egg substitute and two strips of turkey bacon, at 510 calories.
• A whole-wheat crepe filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with blueberries and powdered sugar, at 380 calories.
IHOP launched the Simple & Fit menu, which includes items under 600 calories, in 2010.
The chain plans to promote its new oatmeal varieties in October with a Facebook app that will live on both the IHOP and Quaker Oats Facebook pages, inviting fans to create their own oatmeal creations — like making a face out of fruit — and take a photo and add captions. Participants have the chance to win an IHOP gift card.
Source: National Restaurant News