Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals of the day, especially if you’re not a morning person. Yes, that “not a morning person” comment needs a big arrow pointing at me. 🙂 So marketing healthy, convenient breakfast foods is literally a goldmine for food companies. But are most of these products really healthy? Let’s take a closer look at one of the newest “healthy” breakfast products on the block—Quaker Breakfast Flats.
Honestly, these are one of those products I want to love. They’re available in three varieties (Cranberry Almond, Banana Honey Nut, and Golden Raisin Cinnamon), and they sound delicious and healthy.
And boy, does Quaker do an amazing job marketing these breakfast flats. Just look at their TV commercial.
Here’s a script from their ad:
A lot went into perfecting new Quaker Breakfast flats.
We gathered, measured, mixed and tasted.
Because a lot goes into Quaker Breakfast Flats …
tart cranberries, crunchy almonds, sweet bananas
toasted pecans, golden raisins, baked in with our wholesome oats.
Help satisfy your morning hunger with every single bite.
Introducing our newest creation … Quaker Breakfast Flats.
What’s not to like about Quaker Breakfast Flats? Cranberries, almonds, bananas, pecans, golden raisins, and oats … those are pretty much all real ingredients we can get behind, right?
So What’s the Problem with Quaker Breakfast Flats? Lots of Added Sugar!
Unfortunately there’s one important fact that Quaker forgets to mention in their round-up of ingredients. Sugar and lots of it!
One 3 bar package which weighs 30 grams serves up 10-12 grams of sugar. I can even do that math in my head … each serving is over 30% sugar, and mostly from added sugars. For example, the Cranberry Almond flavor has 12 grams of sugar and lists three sources of added sugar on its ingredient label: brown sugar, sugar, and honey. Although its ingredient label is relatively clean for a processed food, that’s still a whole lot of sugar!
Is this failure to share the sugar content a mere oversight? I don’t think so. Quaker might argue that TV ads are expensive and you can only say so much, but they conveniently forget to mention anything about all that sugar on the landing page of their website or the back panel of their box.
Only in the tiny print of the ingredient label and nutrition facts panel is the topic of sugar brought up.
Why Is the Sugar Level in Quaker Breakfast Flats Concerning?
Now I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Unfortunately Quaker has a long history of misleading ads. In fact I’ve written several blog posts about this issue when it’s happened on Quaker Real Medleys Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Granola Bars, Quaker Yogurt Granola Bars, and a variety of other products. Breakfast Flats are just Quaker’s latest attempt at the same game—to market sugar-laden treats made with oats as wholesome and healthy.
And why should we be concerned about the sugar content? Added sugars are one of the leading causes of obesity, diabetes, and potentially many other diseases like cancer, heart disease, and dementia. In fact many health organizations including the American Heart Association recommend we limit our intake of added sugars to no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day for women, and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men. 1 That means one serving of Quaker Breakfast Flats easily sucks up one-third to one-half of your daily recommended intake of added sugar. I think most people would find that surprising since they’ve been led to believe that Quaker Breakfast Flats are a healthy choice.
And to make a bad situation worse … if you follow Quaker’s online suggestion and pair your Breakfast Flats with a cup of coffee and yogurt, you could easily find yourself eating you’re entire day’s worth of added sugar over a “healthy” breakfast.
So what’s the bottom line? Quaker Breakfast Flats Are Cookies.
Let’s be honest. Are Quaker Breakfast Flats evil? No. They are, however, a cookie in disguise and should be treated as such.
I don’t know about you, but I indulge in sweet treats sometimes. I usually try to make them from scratch with real ingredients, but I do eat some processed goodies. The problem, however, is understanding what’s a treat vs. truly healthy—especially given how food products are marketed these days. When we’re pressed for time and looking for quick solutions, it’s easy to fall prey to the misleading claims and imagery.
So if you’re having an indulgent moment and you want a treat, Quaker Breakfast Flats aren’t a horrible choice. In fact, they beat the heck out of an Oreo cookie. But if you’re trying to establish a healthy breakfast or snack routine, I’d steer clear of Quaker’s latest breakfast cookie. Instead, why not try an easy, healthy breakfast option like my recipe for Real Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits! 🙂
What do you think?
Have you tried Quaker Breakfast Flats or one of their other “healthy” breakfast products? What do you think? Share your thoughts below. We’d love to hear from you!