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Goodbye to marmalade on the breakfast table

March 2017

Golden Shred marmalade

Hands up if you like marmalade! Evidently it has now become the preserve of the elderly (excuse the pun!).

It seems that six out of ten marmalade buyers are over 65 and people in their twenties and younger hardly bother with it at all.

Another sign of changing times for sure. When we were kids marmalade was a staple on pretty well every breakfast table, and interestingly had been for our parents and probably our grandparents as well.

Most of us will remember the lovely Robertson’s marmalades and jams which carried the Gollywog logos which you could collect and then send off for a little golly metal badge.

Robertson's golly

Robertson’s golly came from a book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls written by American author Florence Kate Upton in 1895. The book sold well in the UK and first became the brand logo for Robertson’s jams in 1910. Throughout our childhood gollies were hugely popular and collecting golly badges was really popular with children.

No longer. Not only are gollies rightly relegated to history, but it seems marmalade is now following suit. It is all due to new food fashions including the ubiquitous peanut butter and Nutella chocolate spread plus vigorous warnings about sugar content in our diet.

Modern parents often prefer to give peanut butter rather than marmalade because it is deemed to be far more healthy and nutritious, containing good monounsaturated fats and a range of nutritious vitamins and minerals. Nutella is not so good, containing lots of sugar and modified palm oil (beware if grandchildren demand too much!). However, for modern children who often seem very demanding in food likes and dislikes, some parents see Nutella as a way to get youngsters to at least eat something before school.

Marmalade has some nutritional values of course, mainly vitamin C from the orange content, and it contains no fat at all which can be beneficial in today’s high fat world.

Recent figures from Kantar World Panel, which monitors the behaviour of shoppers across the world, show that the reduction in sales of marmalade is increasing year on year, with sales down nearly 5 per cent in just the last four years.

In contrast, sales of honey have stood up well over the years, boosted by the positive publicity surrounding Manuka honey from New Zealand.

Who knows what the next breakfast craze will be, but when the current young generation offer their children peanut butter for breakfast, they may just find that another new trend has taken over...and it might even be lovely orange marmalade making a comeback!

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