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10 Untold Truths About Your Favorite Cereal


10 Untold Truths About Your Favorite Cereal

Most mornings were spent with a bowl of cereal between our legs and eyes locked to cartoons, or hardly open. Something that made getting out of bed for school or work was going and pouring a bowl of your favourite cereal, most have interesting facts you never even knew of. 

10. Honey Nut Cheerios Are Trying To Save The Bees

It’s been an alarming fact that the honey bee is on the verge of extinction, and with them, everything else, so it’s no surprise that a company whose mascot is a bee wants to help. Ever since 2014, Honey Nut Cheerios and Burt’s Bees, have been working together to raise awareness about the rapidly declining honey bee population through the Save The Bees campaign. The rapid decline in bees is mostly due to harmful pesticides that keep them away from the flowers they need to survive. Habitat loss is also a huge factor as forests are cleared away for urban development and humans pick and destroy most of the weeds and flowers they require. To highlight their message, Cheerios removed their bee mascot from the box leaving a white cutout of him and a plea to save him. The company has also given out around 1.5 billion packets of bee-friendly flower seeds with each box, encouraging people to plant them in their gardens and fields. Unlike wasps, bees can only use their stingers once and then they die, so it is pretty unlikely you will get stung by one, unless you are agitating it. Since bees help to pollinate many plants, including the fruits and vegetables that we eat, we need them in order to survive. The company has been praised for using it’s platform to bring awareness to such an important cause.

9. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Originally Had Three Bakers

Back before Cinnamon Toast Crunch was represented by little cannibalistic cinnamon squares, it was represented by three bakers, not unlike rice krispy squares. Starting in 1985, a year after the cereal was launched, the company introduced three animated bakers who each sang a word of the cereal’s title. Only one of the three was ever named, Wendell, and he was the oldest of the three, he is also the only one to go on to appear in future commercials. In 1991, the other two chefs disappeared completely from the advertisements and only Wendell remained, something that many cereal lovers found very suspicious. A somewhat dark joke began to swirl that Wendall had become so overwhelmingly jealous of his younger, thinner, counterparts that he had drowned them in a cinnamon swirl river. Obviously the company did not approve of that speculation and released a statement claiming it was actually due to customer feedback rendering the younger chefs unpopular, but who really knows, they could just be trying to cover for him.

8. Frosted Flakes Sponsored Superman And Barney

Tony the Tiger is a figure that pretty much every single child since 1952 has grown up with, even if you didn’t eat the cereal you know his slogan by heart. Over the years Tony has been featured in almost every type of sponsorship, including the company’s current NHL Playoffs one, however Tony isn’t the only famous figure to be associated with the name. Throughout the years the cereal has been promoted by a number of famous faces and the company sponsored some of the most iconic kids shows. Superman fans from the 50’s might remember seeing the superhero himself from television show Adventures of Superman, George Reeves, appearing in numerous commercials, many of which can be seen on the first season’s DVD release. More recently, 90’s kids will remember growing up and watching the show with everyone’s favourite purple dinosaur Barney and Friends or even Dragon Tales. Throughout the 1990s until around the mid 2000s, Frosted Flakes was a major sponsor of both of these shows and gave them some serious financial backing, as well as Sagwa, so that we could reminisce about them 20 years later.

7. Lucky Charms Were The First To Have Marshmallows

The best part of Lucky Charms, and really any cereal that have them, are the marshmallows! Many of people’s favourite childhood cereals, including the Pokemon Cereal in the UK and Count Chocula, feature some seriously sugar-coated and colourful marshmallows, but did you know that Lucky Charms was the first? Yup, that lucky little Leprechaun was the first one to have marshmallows in the cereal, which they introduced to our bowls in 1964. The idea for the cereal was based on a challenge to figure out a way to rebrand and enhance plain Cheerios, the charms are based off the idea of a charm bracelet. Originally, the cereal contained four distinct marshmallows: a yellow moon, a pink heart, an orange star, and a green clover. Over the years the marshmallows have changed, with the yellow moons being the first to go and the clover and shooting star being redesigned. Today there are eight distinct shapes including the pink heart, a unicorn, a shooting star, a horseshoe, a green clover, a blue moon, a red balloon, and a rainbow, each with their own superpower. There has also been limited edition versions of the marshmallows, which included the sold-out all marshmallow version. 

6. Froot Loops Are All The Same Flavour

Even though they are all different colours and may even seem like they taste different, all the froot loops taste the exact same, this would actually make a really good example for the placebo effect. The reason they are called Froot Loops instead of Fruit Loops, is because there is no actual fruit in them, instead the colours are artificial, hence the no taste. Although, the colours in the UK are different because of EU guidelines that only allow for natural colouring, since there aren’t really any natural ways to colour yellow, it was replaced with purple across much of Europe. Despite the marketing team selling the idea for decades that each colour of the different coloured Froot Loop has an individual taste, the company did quietly acknowledge back in 1999 that they are really all the same. After some blind testing, researchers discovered that there is no difference in taste and they all taste like a weird sweet-cardboard, this is what ultimately led the Kellogg company to admit the awful, awful truth. So the next time someone says they don’t like a certain colour of Froot Loop, remind them it’s in their head.

5. Nesquik Cereal Actually Began As A Powder

Although most people are familiar with Nesquik powder, and have likely poured way too much of it into their milk, many people don’t know that the cereal actually started this way. The name Nesquik isn’t even really the cereal name, but a blanket term for a bunch of Nestle products that range from drink powder, to the cereal, to breakfast bars and candy bars. The drink powder first launched in America back in 1948 and quickly became a favourite of Americans everywhere. Many morning classes were filled with hyper active children who had wolfed down an especially large bowl of Nesquik for breakfast and would probably be having more for lunch in the powdered version. The cereal was first introduced by Cereal Partners in 1999 based off the idea of Cocoa Puffs, who also happened to be their most direct competition. This idea was of a wheat or whole grain cereal covered in chocolate that melts in the bowl and turns the milk into delicious, and obviously super healthy, chocolate milk! What more could a kid want for breakfast? Today it is sold in 43 countries and mainly manufactured in France, there is even a white chocolate version. The powder is still made and super popular all around the world and comes in more flavours than any of the other products, you could always mix more chocolate powder into your cereal right?

4. The Trix Bunny Won A Bicycle Race

Everyone knows the phrase “silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” Even if you have never had the cereal you know about the product, and more importantly, the silly bunny. The first commercial to feature the iconic, long-eared rabbit debuted in 1959 and has been the cereal’s mascot ever since. The idea is that he would find children who had Trix cereal and attempt to trick them into giving him some, every time he almost pulled it off though, he would explode with excitement and give himself away. It’s actually very similar to a Greek mythological king named Sisyphus who was punished for his tricks and deceit by being forced to redo the same task over and over only for it blow up in his face each time. The company had held two previous children’s contests that rewarded those who voted with pins to determine if Tricks should actually get the cereal for once in his tricky little life, the popularity of these ultimately led to the Tour de Trix Bicycle Race. In 1991, Tricks the bunny entered into the Tour de Trix Bicycle Race, a pun on the annual men’s bicycle Tour de France race. At the end of the race there seems to be some sort of confusion over whether or not the little rabbit had won and should get the prize with two judges arguing over the result at the end. The choice was put to a children’s vote who overwhelmingly decided, thankfully, that he deserved his hard earned prize. It seems only right after all the poor guy goes through to get some cereal, only to have it stolen away by kids every single time.

3. Count Chocula Was Part Of A Monster Series

If you are one of those people who just ate straight sugar in the morning, you most likely remember this choclatey-marshallow cereal. Launched in 1971, it featured a very muppet-looking Count ‘Chocula’ an obvious pun of Dracula, and featured little bat and ghost marshmallow shapes. What you may not remember is that the cereal was actually part of a bigger line-up of monster themed products. Each were released seasonally, around Halloween, with Count Chocula being the most popular version, sometimes being available for longer parts of the year. The cereal was extremely popular with kids and inspired Betty Crocker fruit roll ups and Count Chocula cereal bars. The line-up also contained many cool prizes like vinyl figures, posters, paint sets, cars and more. Originally the series featured Count Chocula and Franken Berry, the two would argue over who had the better cereal in television commercials, although the Count would later be featured more prominently. The Chocula cereal proved more popular and the Franken Berry version took a hit for making children poop pink, although both versions were just a full of sugar and not at all healthy. The series also featured Boo Berry the ghost who was supposedly the first ever blueberry cereal, Fruit Brute the werewolf, and Yummy Mummy the mummy who replaced the werewolf before being discontinued itself. The last two were officially discontinued in 2014 but you can still purchase Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry every Halloween. DC Comics fans might recognize the art style for the more recent versions, as they were created by the comic illustration legend Jim Lee.

2. Special K Faced Criticism For Their Diet Campaign

Special K is pretty well known for it’s take-that attitude towards unhealthy and generally gross diets. The whole idea behind their initial Special K challenge was to provide an easy, delicious way to effectively lose weight in a healthy way. The only problem is that both the diet and the layout was extremely unhealthy and not at all long term. The company faced many health related controversies as a result of the health claims made during and after the campaign. Some of these controversies included the claim that Special K had a nutritional amount of iron in it, when if reality it had metallic iron in it, not something that is suitable for the human body. The goal was for the user to lose six pounds in two weeks by eating specific Special K products throughout the day, each product had a certain amount of sugar and skim milk in it that would supposedly meet the required daily value. However, the products were not filling and didn’t provide enough long term nutrition to have lasting effects. Users ended up feeling hungry throughout the day and usually broke it while on the other side there was no guidelines for curbing unhealthy eating, both over and under. People were critical about the lack of education surrounding health and health lifestyle changes that would normally accompany a diet. Due to this, the diet wasn’t seen as any more beneficial than regular diets, with some even saying it was worse because it didn’t include or highlight any sort of exercise. The diet was mainly based of the results of an experiment that showed how eating certain cereals can cause overweight individuals to lose weight around their hips and thighs.

1. French Toast Crunch Was Saved By The Fans

French Toast Crunch was actually a spin-off cereal of Cinnamon Toast Crunch launched in 1995. The cereal was naturally flavoured like french toast and featured little french toast shaped cereal pieces that were later changed to look more like the small, cinnamon covered squares of its sister cereal. The back of the box even featured the Cinnamon Toast Crunch baker, Wendell, showing people how he ‘created’ the mini french toast flavoured cereal. The cereal ran until 2006 when it was sadly discontinued in the United States. The french toast flavour was achieved through the use of syrup and was very sweet and very delicious.  However, the cereal remained available in grocery stores across both Canada and Australia, something that left American lovers feeling pained. The die-hard french toasters turned their pain into protest and made a very big noise about it to the company. Thankfully, they listened and announced in 2014 that the cereal would return to American breakfast tables by the end of 2015. People were obviously super happy about this and praised the company’s decision, the CEO even put out a message thanking their fans for being so loyal and passionate about the product. The relaunch even saw the original shape come back to the cereal, much to the joy of fans.

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