Mind on Media #1: The Economic Shift of Breakfast

As we all settle into the new year I’ve decided to start a new blog series entitled Mind on Media. I read many articles in relation to food and nutrition and I usually have a few thoughts go through my head. I figure why not write and share my ideas, pose a question or two and hopefully I will read your ideas as well 🙂

The Article:
Breakonomics: How our abandonment of breakfast cereal is shaking up the economy

Published on December 31, 2015 in the National Post, on the front page of the financial section.

The Economic Shift of Breakfast

Cereal anyone?

The answer is most likely ‘no’ in most homes, so what are we eating now and why has it changed?

1) Convenience
This is one of the key words in our society today. Sitting down at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal doesn’t quite fit the bill.

Now a days, both parents have to work, a student has full time classes as well as a job, and commute times to and from work have increased drastically.

Whatever anyone’s reason is, everything has got to be on-the-go, and a single serving. Whether it be a smoothie, a yogurt with package of grains and nuts or a breakfast bar/sandwich/wrap. You don’t even have to get out of your car as all of these options are available through most drive thrus.

Even at the grocery stores you can buy packages of single serving whatever. Bad? Not necessarily. Though you are better off health wise if you make these yourself. But even the homamade health guru has ways of producing convenience. Make ahead smoothie freezer bags (See: Hello Glow) or baking trays of breakfast bars (See: Love and Zest). Whether you’re health conscious or not, convenience is the key to getting some breakfast in you.

2) Health
As you’ve heard of many times before, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Let’s take a look:

Cereal = processed carbs = low protein, low fibre, high sugars and who knows what else.

Today many studies say you basically need the complete opposite of that: high protein, fibre and good fats; low in sugars and anything artifical. Foods such as eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds and yogurt have become the foods of breakfast.

There is also a growing emphasis on the “fresh” aspect of food. People are wanting more foods that are real and natural (as we should be!). The packaged processed carbs that most cereal has to offer isn’t cutting it in our pantries anymore.

And that leads us to…

3) Economy
In order to stay in business, food companies are in the midst of changing not only the product itself but how the product is packaged. As stated in the article above: General Mills now does a variety of breakfast bars, individual wrapped of course. Kellogg offers frozen breakfast sandwiches, as does Nestle.

Even places like McDonalds and Tim Hortons have seen breakfast sandwich sales sky rocket over the past few years.

Food companies are also shifting their focus on labeling. More and more you see the positive health aspects on packaging (“contains whole grains” or “all natural ingredients”). There is also a focus in promoting what “bad foods” are not included (“no artificial flavours” or “no trans fats”).

The popularity of grocery stores that offer fresh and organic produce has increased over the ones who simply offer cheaper prices. To tie in the convenience aspect – an increasing amount of cities have organizations that deliver organic produce to your door every week (if you are in the Toronto area check out Mama Earth Organics)

So it would appear that breakfast has shifted on many levels. Will cereal eventually disappear from the shelves? What have you noticed in your area with this shift? Let me know your thoughts!

Also what do you/your family have for breakfast? Please share a favourite morning meal of yours by commenting with a picture, a recipe or a link 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Natural Groove Gal


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