Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Is Not an Excuse to Skip Breakfast

You’ve heard it. You’ve felt it. You know it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, 93% of Americans agree, but only 44% say they eat breakfast every day, according to recent MilkPEP research.

I am going to guess that this number is even lower in the summer, when later nights turn in to lazy mornings. But this might be the time of year where breakfast is even more crucial, in particular increased intake of fluids to start the day fully hydrated. And this does not mean more tea or coffee, as caffeine functions as a diuretic.

Milk makes breakfast simple. Milk hydrates, nourishes and even provides protein. The latter is a nutrient we need more of in the morning, according to research presented by Donald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my alma mater, at the Dairy Council of California Functional Foods Task Force in April, of which I am a member. Layman says that data support higher protein intake levels than the Recommended Dietary Allowance, which is based on minimum needs to prevent deficiency, and suggests that daily protein intake should be spread equally between morning, midday and evening meals. This is a huge opportunity for dairy, particularly in the morning, when protein intakes need to be boosted. This could easily be accomplished by a cold glass of refreshing milk.

Of course, milk pairs well with cereal, but it also does a fantastic job of washing down pancakes and scrambled eggs. Dairy product marketers—processors and retailers—would be smart to promote the inclusion of milk in the morning with all these types of breakfast foods. MilkPEP has the tools to help.

Breakfast at home is the primary occasion opportunity to grow milk sales as it represents the time of day when more than half of daily milk consumption occurs, according to MilkPEP. Recognizing this opportunity, earlier this year, MilkPEP began a multi-year campaign that encourages consumers to establish a breakfast-at-home routine that includes milk. This consumer campaign is called “The Breakfast Project.”

According to data from the NPD Group, breakfast products account for a mere 8% of grocery store sales. Yet, consumers also recognize that products from grocery stores offer real cost savings. Out-of-home options are nearly three times as expensive. Milk is a nutrient-dense, affordable breakfast food.

The goal of The Breakfast Project is to keep the milk and breakfast conversation flowing by creating real-time content and conversation about breakfast at home that processors and retailers can easily leverage. Check out the website,, which serves as a “content hub” or home base for all MilkPEP Breakfast at Home consumer content, including tips, articles, recipes, videos, statistics, celebrities, experts and more.

Throughout the year, Salma Hayek will represent The Breakfast Project to both general market and Hispanic moms for themselves and their families. Salma will promote the idea that “every good day starts with milk” across all media, from TV to print and from PR to digital channels. Check out the first commercial HERE.

So, if you have not had breakfast yet, grab a glass of milk and embrace the day!

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