There are few foods that evoke nostalgia quite like cereal. Most kids grew up eating it before heading off to school, or while watching their favorite Saturday morning cartoons, and have very fond memories of the stuff. Unfortunately, in the food industry, cereal is one of the most frequent victims of discontinuation. As a result, many of the cereals that people loved in their childhood are no longer being produced. Let’s take a journey down memory lane and reminisce about some of the cereals we miss the most.
10. Breakfast with Barbie
As one of the most popular toys of all time, Barbie has appeared in several movies, on half the T-shirts in the kid’s section of Wal-Mart and even has her own shampoo. As a marketing tool, the doll is one of the most effective – slap the Barbie logo on anything, and children everywhere clamber to buy it. Or, at least, pester their parents to buy it for them. Thus, the existence of this cereal should be surprising to no one. Breakfast with Barbie made its debut in 1989, and, while its Barbie theme made it uber appealing to kids, it also put considerable effort into pandering to parents. The box listed the cereal’s several health benefits: it was lower in sugar than most other kid’s cereal, it contained four “wholesome” grains and no artificial flavors or tropical oils were used. The pink cereal box also depicted Barbie in full eighties attire about to dig into a massive bowl of Breakfast with Barbie cereal. The cereal itself came in various shapes, including hearts, cars, bows, stars and the letter “B”, with the colors of the pieces including yellow and several shades of pink. During the “Got Milk?” campaign, Mattel released a Breakfast with Barbie doll in 1999. While the doll had no official ties to the fruit-flavored cereal, it would definitely be fun for kids to get to enjoy their favorite breakfast alongside their favorite doll.
9. Ice Cream Cones Cereal
Some cereals on this list had long runs and are looked back on with nostalgia by many. Others were discontinued before they ever really had a chance to make it, and exist only to a few people with particularly good memories, mostly followed by the question “did I dream that?” Unfortunately, Ice Cream Cones Cereal falls into the latter category. Introduced and discontinued in 1987, this cereal had a run shorter than its shelf-life. Available in either vanilla, chocolate, or chocolate chip, the pieces of this cereal where shaped like tiny scoops of ice cream and cones. While the ice cream scoops and the cones were separate, they actually fit together perfectly to form miniature ice cream cones. The ice cream pieces were pretty sugary, and didn’t really taste of anything, while the cones pieces tasted like, well, ice cream cones. The optimal way to eat this cereal was to ensure that you got a mixture of ice cream and cones with each mouthful. Ice Cream Cones Cereal’s animated mascot was a man named Ice Cream Jones, who, instead of driving an ice cream truck, delivered ice cream cones from his bike. The cereal was revamped in 2003, to honor the 100thanniversary of the ice cream cone. Only the chocolate chip version was made available, and Ice Cream Jones was no longer included on the packaging. Even the 2003 release of this cereal was for a limited time only, so, if you got to try this cereal, be it original or reboot, count yourself very lucky.
8. Rocky Road
Keeping with the theme of ice cream inspired cereals, Rocky Road cereal drew its inspiration from one of the most beloved ice cream flavors of all time. The ice cream originated in 1929 and was named “Rocky Road” with the hopes of bringing some joy to people’s lives after the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. The ice cream flavor consists of nuts and marshmallows mixed into chocolate ice cream, and the cereal did a great job of emulating all the necessary components. Rocky Road cereal was made up of chocolate and vanilla corn puffs, as well as marshmallows covered in a dusting of a nutty chocolate coating. On the box was an illustration of the cereal’s mascots: The Rocky Road Breakfast Band. The band members included a vanilla corn puff named Van, a chocolate corn puff named Choco and a chocolate-covered marshmallow named Marsha. The two corn puffs played guitars while the marshmallow wielded a microphone. In the Rocky Road commercials, the animated band performed the cereal’s jingle, which claimed that “waking up to Rocky Road makes your breakfast sing.” Rocky Road cereal was a huge hit in the eighties, but it was pulled from shelves because it contained too much sugar. When you consider the fact that it was based on an ice cream flavor, it’s not too surprising that it didn’t exactly make for a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Following that logic, it’s also not surprising that kids everywhere were very upset when it disappeared from grocery store shelves. Their parents probably weren’t too broken up about it though.
7. Smurf Berry Crunch
It seems that the key to a successful cereal is to base it off of a popular movie or TV show. The Smurfs was a hit cartoon back in the day, and this cereal rode that popularity to great heights. The cereal first hit shelves in 1983, two years into the TV show’s eight-year run. In the cartoon, smurfberries are one of the primary sources of nutrition for the Smurfs. They’re small round berries which are harvested from bushes. On the box, Papa Smurf is pictured holding a bowl of the cereal (which contains both red and purple pieces), while three other Smurfs, including Smurfette, pick smurfberries in the background. While this cereal doesn’t actually contain smurfberries (due to them being fictional and all), its sweet, fruity flavors are designed to make it taste like it is. A follow up cereal, Smurf Magic Berries was released in 1987, and was very similar to Smurf Berry Crunch, except for the fact that it contained star-shaped marshmallows alongside the berry-flavored cereal. With the trilogy of Smurfsfilms released in the past decade garnering decent success, it might be time to bring this cereal back for round two. The kids who grew up on the movies would probably go crazy for it – and, if they grew up watching the show or eating the cereal, nostalgia might actually push their parents to buy it for them.
6. Waffle Crisp
When given the choice between French toast, pancakes, and waffles, everyone in their right mind would choose the latter option. So, step aside French Toast Crunch (which, after being discontinued in 2006, was brought back due to popular demand in 2014) and make room for Waffle Crisp. The two cereals are hilariously comparable, but there’s enough of a difference that teams emerged on either side. It was a real Edward versus Jacob situation. Like the better-known French Toast Crunch, Waffle Crisp was composed of miniature versions of the breakfast food it aimed to emulate, in this case, waffles. The corn cereal pieces contain a maple flavoring in order to maintain the illusion that you’re actually eating waffles drenched in syrup, instead of settling for cereal. The most recognizable mascot for Waffle Crisp was Waffle Boy, an anthropomorphic waffle in red sneakers (who bears a suspicious resemblance to the Mini-Wheats mascot), but his predecessors were far more interesting. Originally, the cereal was advertised with a group of grandmothers who spent their days making waffles – implying that each piece of the cereal was a homemade, mini waffle. The wholesome group of grannies seems far more endearing than Waffle Boy, who is about as generic as cereal mascots get, but that’s beside the point. A fun fact about Waffle Crisp (and further testament to how great it was) is that is made an appearance in an episode of Friends! Joey can be seen holding a box of Waffle Crisp while lounging in his apartment. Apparently, the cereal is Joey approved, and, if anyone knows food, it’s him!
5. Cröonchy Stars
The Muppet Show was a revolutionary television series of the seventies, and this cereal stars one of its most popular characters. The Swedish Chef’s skits are always a crowd-pleaser, and using the character as the mascot for a food item was a genius move. Cröonchy (which is of course the proper Swedish translation of the word “crunchy”) Stars is described by the Swedish Chef as being “cinnaomonnamony”, which, for those of you not cultured enough to understand his highly sophisticated dialect, means that it’s cinnamon-flavored. It actually sounds pretty similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch in terms of both flavor and texture. At the time of Cröonchy Star’s release, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was already a well-established and incredibly popular cereal. The significant resemblance between the two may have contributed to Cröonchy Star’s ultimate discontinuation. On the back of every cereal box were a variety of puzzles and games. In keeping with the ridiculous nature of the cereal, many of them were actually unsolvable. This is both absolutely hilarious and slightly infuriating, but we love it all the same. Unfortunately, as great as the marketing was, this star-shaped cereal wasn’t a hit. It was discontinued a year after its 1988 release and made a brief reappearance in 1992 before disappearing permanently. The popularity of the Muppets is timeless, so there’s a chance that future attempts at creating another Muppet-themed cereal might someday be made.
Nerds are a small rock-like candy that come in boxes separated into two flavors, with the iconic pairing being grape and strawberry. If you were a kid at any point during the period of 1983 to present, odds are your childhood was ruled by these little guys. The candy is so great that in 1985, two years after its release, it was named “Candy of the Year” by the National Candy Wholesaler’s Association. If you take anything away from this list, let it be that if a candy, movie, cartoon or toy is successful, the next move is always to slap it on a cereal. And that’s exactly what happened to Nerds in 1985. Just like the candy, Nerds cereal boxes where divided to hold two different flavors. The two pairings were orange/cherry and strawberry/grape. You could opt to eat one at a time, or you could live on the wild side and mix them together. If you wanted to enjoy both flavors without cross-contamination, you could purchase the Nerds Cereal Nerd Gate Bowl. The bowl had a division across the middle, so you could fill each half with its own flavor of cereal. The divider could then be lifted manually to let milk flow from one side to the other. Yes, this really did exist. It’s quite possibly the most extra food accessory out there, but we don’t hate it. We’re sad to say that Nerds cereal wasn’t sold for very long before being discontinued. Luckily, there are still several flavors of Nerd candy to keep us satisfied.
3. Sprinkle Spangles
This cereal wasn’t a direct Aladdin product, but it came out at just the right time to bask in the hype surrounding the Disney movie. The Sprinkle Spangles cereal box depicts a genie who, other than the fact that he’s purple instead of blue, bears a striking resemblance to the Aladdin character. In the Sprinkle Spangles commercials, the Sprinkle Genie was voiced by Dom DeLuise, and famous for saying “you wish it, I dish it!” Unfortunately for the Sprinkle Genie, he was dropped as a mascot before the end of the cereal’s rather short run. Released in the mid-nineties, Sprinkle Spangles was nixed by 1998. Sprinkle Spangles stood out from the crown because its pieces, which were shaped like stars with small holes in the middle, were covered in tiny, colorful sparkles. Sprinkles may be a great draw for the younger crowd, but the fact that parents might not be so into the idea of their kids consuming them for breakfast probably contributed to the cereal’s downfall. The sweetened corn puffs were quite sugary, as is to be expected from any cereal targeting children, but also had a surprising and enjoyable crunch to them. Though the sprinkle-covered cereal had a short run, it still made a significant impact. On a blog post about Sprinkle Spangles, a commenter revealed that they loved the cereal so much during their childhood that they once asked for a box for Christmas!
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal
First there were the comic books, then the cartoon. Action figures, video games, movies, and, you guessed it, a cereal. The crime-fighting turtles named for Italian Renaissance artists took the world by storm during the eighties and nineties, and from 1989 to 1995, its cereal was a major hit as well. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal was composed of “ninja nets”, pieces of cereal that were netted in a way that resembles Chex, and marshmallows, which came in various shapes and colors. Not long after the cereal’s release, they added marshmallows in the shape of pizza slices – the TMNT’s food of choice. Several of the boxes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cereal included collectable cards from the 1990 film, which, while they might not hold much monetary value today, would probably be of great nostalgic value to many long-time fans of the franchise. This wasn’t TMNT Cereal’s only gimmick, however. On the back of many boxes was a from that could be filled out and submitted to give you a chance to win an entire set of TMNT action figures. Additionally, several prizes could be found at the bottom of the box, including mini comic strips and a packet of “green ooze,” a sugary topping that you could drizzle on your cereal. The most popular prize had to be the Turtle Bowl, which was a cereal bowl shaped like a Ninja Turtle. Interestingly enough, although this cereal was available throughout the United States, it was very hard to find in Canada. Canadians weren’t completely deprived, however, as they actually had a TMNT cereal of their own. The Canadian version was more akin to Froot Loops, with the pieces shaped like the ninja turtles’ heads. The weird thing about that cereal was that all the pieces were ninja-turtle green, which definitely isn’t the most appetizing color out there.
1. Pop-Tarts Crunch
The most efficient way to summon nineties children in to say the word “Pop-Tart” three times in a row. During that decade, this jam-filled pastry was at the height of popularity, filling the role of breakfast, afternoon-snack and dessert for kids everywhere. Curious to see how the food item would do fare another form, Kellogg’s decided to concoct a Pop-Tart cereal. The resulting product was Pop-Tarts Crunch, which was first introduced in 1994. It was available in frosted strawberry and brown sugar cinnamon, and each piece resembled a miniature Pop-Tart. Needless to say, the cereal was a hit. No one really knows why it was discontinued, but we can’t say that anyone was all that happy about the decision. If this was one of your favorite cereals back in the day, well do we have some news for you. Recently, Kellogg’s announced that the cereal would be making a comeback in 2019. It’s being rereleased in the two original flavors, and with the promise of “filling and frosting in every bite!” You may have already heard the good news, but in case you were unaware, Pop Tart Crunch is currently exclusively available at Wal-Mart. So, now that you’re done reading this list, feel free to hop in your car and head out to buy a box of this long-lost cereal. We thought we’d end this list on a positive note. Just to remind you not to give up on your old favorites. You never know when a discontinued food item from your childhood might make its return.