Breakfast cereal

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A breakfast cereal (or just cereal) is a food made from more or less processed grains often but not always eaten with the first meal of the day. It is often eaten cold, usually mixed with milk (e.g. cow's milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk) water or yogurt, but sometimes eaten dry. Some cereals, such as oatmeal, may be served hot as porridge. Some companies promote their products for the health benefits from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. Cereals may be fortified with vitamins. Some cereals are made with high sugar content.

The breakfast cereal industry has gross profit margins of 40-45%,[1] 90% penetration in some markets,[2] and steady and continued growth throughout its history.[3]

Contents

History

Porridge was a traditional food in much of Northern Europe and Russia back to antiquity. Barley was a common grain used, though other grains and yellow peas could be used. In many modern cultures, porridge is still eaten as a breakfast dish.

19th century

Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals have their beginnings in the vegetarian movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which influenced members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States.[4] The first packaged breakfast cereal,[citation needed] Granula (named after granules) was invented in the United States in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson,[citation needed] operator of the Jackson Sanitorium in Dansville, New York, and a staunch vegetarian. The cereal never became popular; it was far too inconvenient, as the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.

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