It’s one of the oldest adages in the book: If you want to have a productive day, you need to eat a good breakfast. But this crucial first meal of the day has really evolved over the years, with new innovations and trends transforming breakfast faster than you probably realize.
New and popular breakfast products that were introduced or rose in popularity in the roaring 1920s included Wheaties, shredded wheat, Wonder Bread, Aunt Jemima pancake mix, Rice Krispies, and Yoo-Hoo.
Tang was all the rage in the early 1960s thanks to its use by the space program, while other popular new products introduced during this decade included Pop-Tarts and Carnation Instant Breakfast. Towards the end of the decade, healthy and natural breakfast foods including granola, whole grain toast, herbal tea, and zucchini bread began to catch on thanks to the influence of the hippies.
The Me Decade was all about brunch, and brunch was all about quiche. Egg McMuffins were also introduced during this decade, ushering in the era of the fast food breakfast, and this was also the decade of sugary cereals, including Fruity Pebbles and long-forgotten ones like Fruit Brute and Crazy Cow. Crepes and yogurt both began to enter the mainstream during the 70s, and Quaker Oats introduced the first line of mass-produced granola. Cholesterol became a four-letter word in this decade as well, so consumption of bacon and eggs also began to decline.
Slim-Fast Foods Company / ItemMaster
We tried to be as healthy as possible for breakfast in the Thighmaster ‘80s, when oat bran, fresh fruit, low-fat and skim milk, SlimFast, and cantaloupe and cottage cheese dominated the breakfast landscape. Novelty film and TV show tie-in cereals also had a moment during this decade, like E.T. Cereal, Strawberry Shortcake Cereal, and Ghostbusters Cereal.
Artisan bread began to catch on in the 1990s, while the Frappuccino was the trendy new drink. Kids of the ‘90s ate Berry Berry Kix and Oreo O’s as part of their “complete balanced breakfast,” and other new products included instant oatmeal packets, Kudos bars, Toaster Strudel, and Nutri-Grain Bars, all washed down with Nesquik or Pepsi AM. Healthy Choice Cereal came on the scene for adults looking for a healthy breakfast cereal.