Thursday, March 8, 2012


The days of jumbo breakfasts seem to be numbered if the new trend in eating becomes more and more popular. Food industry which has the pulse of the consumer most of the time appears to be sensing a change in the consumption pattern of breakfast by people and accordingly is re-calibrating the product basket to suit the consumer. There appears to be a perception among people that consuming breakfast in several sittings is much more healthy than gorging a large portion at one sitting. What is the scientific basis for this belief is not yet clear. If the current market launches are carefully scanned many established brands are reducing their pack size or the serving size so that it becomes convenient for eating spread over a period. Here is the take on this curious trend emerging in the US.

"Sometimes one breakfast isn't enough. So why not sneak in a second or a third? On-the-go Americans increasingly are consuming their morning calories over several hours instead of sitting down to devour a plate of pancakes, bacon and eggs in one sitting. The case of the morning munchies is being fueled by the belief that it's healthier to eat several smaller meals instead of three squares a day. What qualifies as a snack or a meal is a matter of perspective, of course. But food companies are rolling out smaller bites that feed the growing appetite for morning treats. General Mills, Quaker Oats and others are adding to their lineup of breakfast bars and yogurts. Sara Lee's Jimmy Dean this summer introduced mini-breakfast sandwiches. And fast-food chains like McDonald's in recent years have expanded their breakfast menus to include morning snacks like smoothies and a fruit-and-walnut pack. "It's breakfast in stages,"says Liz Sloan, president of Sloan Trends, a food industry consulting group. "They'll eat something at home, then stop at Starbucks or a convenience store for coffee and maybe a little snack." The deconstruction of breakfast is happening as more Americans eat their meals outside of the home. After all, it's easier and less time-consuming to pop a few snacks in your purse or backpack for later rather than to sit down for a prepared meal.The number of times Americans snack is expected to rise faster in the morning".

Diabetic people are always advised to spread their eating sessions in a day to prevent glucose spikes in the blood and consequent development of hyperglycemia. Nutritionists and health professionals recognize the importance of "spaced" eating for normal healthy people also so that the body can metabolize the food slowly and help to consume lesser quantities of food. This has the added advantage of preventing over eating, a major reason for developing widespread obesity in the long run. Slow eating of restricted quantities of food also known to prolong the life span to some extent. According to some scientific studies chewing the food for extended time leads to early satiety and reduced appetite thus achieving a quantum reduction in the food intake. The current trend of scaling down the serving size is a welcome development and food industry can take pride in sustaining this desirable change that will benefit the people in general.


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