Baguettes so yeasterday for French

Consumption has dropped to an average half a baguette per day per adult. Photo / Getty Images
Consumption has dropped to an average half a baguette per day per adult. Photo / Getty Images

The French are increasingly shunning the traditional baguette, opting instead for cereal at breakfast, biscuits at tea time and pasta and rice dinners.

Consumption has dropped to an average half a baguette per day per adult, down from almost a full baguette in 1970 and more than three at the start of the last century.

Despite the baguette remaining one of the country's most inexpensive staples at an average cost of US89c ($1.13) , less than half of French people now eat bread twice a day, according to Credoc, a French research centre on living conditions.

"Lifestyles are changing," said Pascale Hebel, head of the consumers' department at Credoc. "More and more French people skip breakfast, notably young adults, whereas it's the meal where the biggest quantity of bread is consumed."

She said baguette has been "at the heart of our nutrition for centuries".

The bread lobby's national campaign to increase sales is called: "Coucou, tu as pris le pain?" (Hi there, have you had your bread?").

The slogan will be put on more than 7000 billboards across France, on bread bags and even written on the pavements of big French cities.

It wants to "remind people that to take fresh bread on the way home is a simple means of showing loved ones that you are thinking of them at the end of the day". It also wants to counter claims that bread is bad for the waistline by reminding consumers it contains "slow-burning carbohydrates and improves satiety".

- Daily Telegraph UK

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