Have you ever wondered why bacon and eggs are considered breakfast food? Believe it or not, positioning eggs and bacon as breakfast was the result of a deliberate advertising campaign on behalf of a pork company.
In the 1920s, the Beech-Nut Packing Company, hired Edward Bernays, a public relations and advertising expert, to increase consumer demand for bacon. To do so, Bernays asked his agency’s internal doctor if a heavier breakfast would more beneficial than a lighter one for the American public.
But because the doctor knew that it was in his best interest to support Bernays suspicion, he confirmed the theory and wrote to 5,000 of his doctors friends asking them to confirm it as well. This ‘research’ of doctors encouraging Americans to eat a heavier breakfast – namely ‘Bacon and Eggs’ – was published in several major newspapers and magazines to great success. Beech-Nut’s profits increased rapidly and we now eat bacon and eggs for breakfast! So, what did people eat for breakfast before this incident? (the article continues after the ad)
Well, before the 1920s, most people, at least in North America, ate oatmeal and porridge for breakfast.
Bonus fact: Edward Bernays was quite fascinating. He is considered the founder of ‘the art of persuasion’, using psychology, tricks, bonus gifts etc. to market goods to consumers or just propaganda in general. That’s why he was hired by President Coolidge to help run his re-election campaign in 1924.