2009 comebacks: Brown-bag lunches

lunch box
lunch box

In years past, power lunches and quick meals on the go were standard fare, with brown bag lunches relegated to second-class citizen status. A cold meat sandwich could hardly compare to a delicious burger and fries. That began to change in 2008, and 2009 is set to be the comeback year for brown-bag lunches. Thanks mainly to the economic downturn, those of us packing our lunches will have more company in the break room this year. Prepackaged food companies haven't missed this comeback, either, and are in the process of rolling out new options to meet the demands of the modern brown bag lunch.

While I write this, I'm eating my brown-bagged peanut butter and jelly, but thanks to several companies and the Internet you can get much more creative.

Prepackaged lunches are no longer limited to the frozen dinner fare of our parents; companies are stepping up and offering appropriately portioned lunch meals in a variety of culinary styles. My new favorite lunch is a Red Baron French Bread Single which is easily heated in a microwave. Kraft's Oscar Mayer Deli Creations and the new Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers round out the new prepackaged offerings with tempting sandwiches and several rice and pasta creations to keep lunch interesting.