What Were The Most Popular Breakfasts In The Decade You Were Born?

What Were the Most Popular Breakfasts in the Decade You Were Born?

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.


During the Depression, products including Bisquick (which didn't require buying separate ingredients), creamed chipped beef on toast, Kix, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Mott's apple juice and apple sauce, and Nescafé caught on as popular breakfast foods and drinks.


During wartime rationing, popular breakfasts included Spam, toast with margarine, Cheerios (which were introduced in 1941), concentrated orange juice, and soy (instead of rationed cornmeal) grits. After the war, consumption of bacon, eggs, and cheese came back with a vengeance.


During the 1950s, Eggo Waffles provided a hot breakfast option from the toaster that wasn't toast,  Dunkin' Donuts and Denny's both launched, and popular new products included Jif Peanut Butter and Lender's Bagels. Sweet 'N Low also emerged as a calorie-free sugar replacement for coffee. 


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. 


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.


Bacon came back with a vengeance in the early years of the twenty-first century, and the novelty still hasn't worn off. Smoothies, green tea, whole grain bread, artisanal cheese, Vitamin Water, Kashi cereal, energy drinks, and McGriddles were all also super-popular breakfast options in the aughts.