I took World History 101 three times in college . . . not because I loved it but because I could never get through the entire course without giving up. I blame part of it on a monotone-voiced professor and a 1:00 p.m. class time every semester, both of which just made me want to nap out. But, I also didn’t see much value in looking back at the accomplishments and mistakes of past civilizations.
All these years later, I have a new appreciation for history, albeit on a smaller scale. It matters. It helps put things into perspective. College for me was the late 70’s and early 80’s. I was there amidst the disco craze with platform shoes and sequins, and shortly after that, I was cleaning out my closet to go urban cowboy. I look back now and laugh at how it seemed so important to follow trends from the movies we watched, in the fashions we wore and even the food we ate.
History shows us that food trends have been all over the board, especially for what’s been considered the best ways to live healthier or maintain your weight. There was even a time when smoking was encouraged. Lucky Strike said “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!”
I remember when the cabbage soup diet was all the rage and then diet pills were the “harmless answer.” Looking to be healthier? There’s low carb, gluten free, no sugar, low fat, high protein, vegetarian, no white food and the ever-popular “Grapefruit diet.”
Being in the Bread Business, food trends and fad diets can affect our sales, sometimes for the better . . . sometimes not. But if history has taught us anything, it is that fads come and go. Here are a couple of examples:
Fashion Trend vs. Staple: While platform shoes will now and then make a short comeback, they aren’t going to be the year-to-year standard that you’ll find in every closet. The staple is a comfortable walking shoe that basically hasn’t changed over several decades.
Healthy Eating Fad vs. Staple: A refrigerator with nothing but grapefruit and cabbage soup won’t be the year-round norm either (thank goodness!). Meanwhile, staples like whole grains, fresh veggies and fruits have stood the test of time.
Because fads garner so much attention, I’ve often been asked, “Do you think it’s a bad time to be in the Bread Business?” My answer has always been and will continue to be “No, not all.” Bread will continue to be the norm on the kitchen counter, and our Great Harvests will continue to bake the most phenomenal whole grain breads on the market. We also continue to evolve our product lines utilizing fresh vegetables and fruits to build unique salads, grain bowls and other made-to-order foods that complement our core breads.
Check out your world history. Bread baking is one of the oldest and most respected crafts dating back to the earliest of civilizations. You’ll find references to it in prehistoric research, the oldest Biblical texts, and on the walls of the pyramids.
So, is it a good time to be in the Bread Business?
Yep . . . for the last several thousand years or so.
We’ve updated our Franchise Info Packet. Get your copy here:
- Is Now the Right Time to Start a Bakery or New Business?
- Is the Gluten-Free Diet Fad Already Going Bust?
- Bread is Back — Again!