Well, it can be traced back to Quaker oats in the 1800s when they launched their first nationwide advertising campaign (1877). Their problem was that not enough people were eating their oats consistently and this caused their profits to be unstable. They then devised a clever campaign that encouraged us to eat oats because it would provide us with amazing amounts of energy throughout the day. The only catch was that we had to eat them everyday to be able to reap these benefits.
Once they established that the best time for us to eat their oats was first thing in the morning that was it. An ingenious way to build a habit in society, that turned a whole nation (and eventually the whole planet) into consumers of a specific product/brand.
The power of this campaign can still be felt to this day as people are willing to fight to the death in defence of this fabricated meal... coming up with all the reasons why it's important and why they need have it. The funny thing is that science wasn't the driving force of this meal but money. And it seemed to have worked pretty well.
Eventually other companies caught on such as Kellogg’s and other big brands who have given us this ingrained notion that breakfast is a must. This is how powerful advertising is! When we trace back to where this habit came from, we can see that it was implemented over the course of a couple of centuries.
The hammering of advertising and the consistent spreading of a specific message finally convinced us that we couldn’t survive without breakfast, which is absolutely ludicrous.
Just remember that when we have influential members of society and authoritative figures promoting a message, we are more inclined to accept what they propose as true. This can still be seen today in advertising, the media and all other types of public relations.
Have you ever wondered why actors, doctors, physicians or musicians endorse products?