Five beloved cereals, then and now
We take National Cereal Day seriously here at General Mills.
It’s a chance to celebrate what we love most about cereal, and how our brands have evolved over the years.
We give a lot of love to our new cereals – like Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros – and there’s a good reason for that. What’s not to love about Churros’ crunchy texture, snackable size and classic cinnamon-y flavor? Having just hit shelves in December of 2018, it’s a newbie to the cereal family at General Mills.
But all of our cereals, even our classic Wheaties that go back to 1922, enjoyed a time when they were new, too.
So today, in honor of National Cereal Day, we’re looking back at five of our beloved cereals – to see how they looked when they first appeared, and what they look like today.
Trix was first introduced in 1954 as the first fruit-flavored cereal on the market.
A little-known fact is that the Trix Rabbit, the cereal’s equity character, has only ever eaten two bowls of Trix cereal in the cereal’s advertising – once in 1976 and again 1980 – as the result of a box top mail-in contest titled “Let The Rabbit Eat Trix.”
Most recently the brand reintroduced Trix’s “Fruity Shapes” to show some love to consumers who were fans of the limited-edition fruit shapes over the cereal’s original ball shape.
Lucky Charms was introduced in 1964, but the cereal’s mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun (originally L. C. Leprechaun), didn’t appear on the front of the box until one year after its launch.
The cereal was the first to have marshmallow bits, or as we call them, “marbits.” It launched with four original marbits: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers.
Rice Chex and Wheat Chex
Wheat Chex was first released in 1935, followed by Rice Chex three years later. Due to a lack of ingredients and manpower, both cereals were briefly discontinued during World War II, and subsequently relaunched in 1950 with the familiar Chex shape.
Chex was acquired by General Mills when Chex and Chex Mix were purchased from Ralcorp in 1997.
Wheaties was first introduced as Washburn’s Whole Wheat Flakes in 1922, and the title was abbreviated to Wheaties three years later, in 1925.
In 1933, the box featured its first face – a fictional character named Jack Armstrong, or “the All-American Boy” – who was an invented character for the brand’s radio adventure series. Lou Gehrig, the legendary baseball player, was the first real person and athlete to appear on the box in 1934.
The most recent athlete to be featured on the Wheaties box is Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
Kix was introduced in 1937 as the second General Mills cereal. It was made using a puffing gun, and its unique light, airy bubble shape was new on the scene for ready-to-eat cereals.
Today the cereal still retains its round shape and stays true to its 70-year-old recipe of wholesome grains.
If these cereal flashbacks haven’t given you enough reason to celebrate the holiday, Lucky the Leprechaun has a few ideas on how to infuse some fandom into your day.
Once you’ve been inspired by Lucky’s passion for cereal, up your own game by downloading one of our National Cereal Day-themed wallpapers to your phone, by clicking here.
Today’s holiday also makes a great opportunity to recognize some of the leaders who make our cereal business possible. Our latest episode on the “A Taste of General Mills” podcast features our three business unit directors for cereal.
Listen as they talk about their favorite General Mills cereals and share their thoughts on cereal taste, innovation and trends.
Listen (7 min)
SHOW NOTES – Episode 44: March 7, 2019
Link: Cereal wallpapers
Video: Lucky loves cereal
Podcast: Is there a right way to eat cereal?
It’s easy to listen to our podcast when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for General Mills), including Apple Podcasts, or right here on our blog.
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