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The Legend Behind “Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day”

By Julie Fink
Posted On Jun 23, 2016
The Legend Behind “Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day”

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In all actuality, so are lunch and dinner. So how did breakfast become the shining glory of meals? Where did the highly regarded claim “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” come from? The truth comes down to one thing: marketing.

Once upon a time, in 1944, a company called General Foods launched a campaign for Grape Nuts. The ads spread like wildfire across American media proclaiming “Eat a Good Breakfast – Do a Better Job.” Grocery stores handed out pamphlets that promoted the importance of breakfast while radio advertisements announced that “Nutrition experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

And thus, cereal took the throne of the breakfast kingdom. The rise of cereal established breakfast as a meal with distinct foods and created the model of processed, ready-to-eat breakfast that still largely reigns today.

Soon, the looming rivalries took notice and began to fight back; and the battle of the breakfasts began. The Kellogg brothers, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg took the first move by catapulting corn flakes through the grocery store aisles of America. Post Cereals hit back by coating all their cereals with sugar.

Kellogg not only copied Post and coated their corn flakes with sugar, but they then started adding cartoon mascots to the boxes. Tony the Tiger (Frosted Flakes) and Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Rice Krispies) had pioneered a new era of advertising directly targeting children as their number one consumers.

Cereal Boxes

Both of them became wildly successful thanks to two key ingredients: sugar and advertising.

The two companies continue to wage war on breakfast until this day. The royal CEO’s of cereal like Kellogg, Post, and General Mills are more interested in gaining your brand loyalty because most people eat the same thing every day. Morning routines are habitual, and they know that. The battle of the breakfasts is a ferocious one.

So, in conclusion, we are still pretty uncertain about the scientific basis or validation of the claim that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, I think we can safely say, that breakfast is the most marketed meal of the day.

Resource: This article originally appeared in The Business Insider.