By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo published
I pity the fool who forgot about these gems.
1906: Corn Flakes
Developed by brothers Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg, this cereal was first introduced as Sanitas Toasted Corn Flakes in 1898. Will Keith eventually bought out his brother's share of the company and changed the name of the company to the Kellogg Company.
1909: Puffed Rice
The public first got a look at Quaker Puffed Rice at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904, when eight bronze cannons exploded rice over the heads of a huge crowd. How flashy!
1915: Bran Flakes
Its hilarious original slogans were "for that bran new feeling" and "the delicious way to gentle regularity." So good luck looking at a box of this stuff the same way again.
In magazine advertisements at the time, this cereal was described as "packed with nature's own health-bringing elements. Keeps you robust, alert, alive!" And also, that "Pep preserves the family pep."
The famous slogan, "Breakfast of Champions," was first used to promote Wheaties via a billboard for a minor league baseball team in Minneapolis. And it actually wasn't until 1958 that people (read: all-star athletes) appeared on the front of this bright orange box.
1928: Rice Krispies
Rice Krispies was known as "The Talking Cereal" because of its distinctive popping sound when milk is poured on it. So it makes sense that the famous "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" slogan was then used a year later in 1929.
Fun fact: This now iconic brand was originally known as "Cheeri Oats" until General Mills decided to change the name in 1944.
1942: Raisin Bran
Though this number has been around since the '40s, it wasn't until 20 years later that the brand started boasting "two scoops of raisins in every box."
1952: Frosted Flakes
Tony the Tiger arrived hand-in-hand with the debut of Frosted Flakes. The distinctive tenor voice that's so easily recognizable came from singer/actor Thurl Arthur Ravenscroft.
Before becoming an animated cereal spokesman, the Trix Rabbit was first a floppy hand puppet that filmed introductions (sponsored by General Mills, of course) for popular TV show at the time, like Rocky & Bullwinkle and Captain Kangaroo.
1955: Special K
Special K was the first cereal fortified with seven vitamins and iron, thus giving it its "special" designation.
1958: Coco Puffs
General Mills had a stroke of genius after it developed Kix: Make different flavored versions of its corn puff pieces. And Cocoa Puffs is the chocolate-flavored brainchild of said idea. (P.S. Trix is also essentially souped-up Kix cereal.)
Quaker came out with this colorful box that contained "the good oat cereal—tiny bite sized pieces of shredded oats with sugar crystals locked inside" and brought us one of the cutest food commercials of all time: Mikey Likes It!
1962: Froot Loops
The rainbow of rings wasn't always as full as it is today. When introduced, Froot Loops included only red (cherry), orange (orange), and yellow (lemon) pieces. But now we have more fun flavors like purple (grape)—though the validity of whether they're all one flavor is still sort of up for debate.
1963: Cap'n Crunch
Captain Crunch's full name is Horatio Q. Crunch and he actually came before the cereal, which was created as a response to a survey that said kids hated soggy cereal.
1964: Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms was the first cereal to add marshmallows to the mix. The original sugary pieces were pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.
When it first launched, Honeycomb lauded itself for being bigger than bite size with this jingle: "Honeycomb's big. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's not small. No, no, no. Honeycomb's got...a big, big taste...a big, big crunch...for a big, big bite!"
1965: Apple Jacks
After discovering a competitor's plans to introduce cereal with an apple-cinnamon coating and dried apple pieces, Kellogg's decided its newest cereal would have an apple-cinnamon flavor.
1969: Fruity Pebbles
Introduced first as only Pebbles, this cereal is simply an amped-up version of Post's Rice Krinkles. Coincidentally, the creators of the animated series The Flinstones were looking for licensing partners and things just clicked.
1970: Coco Pebbles
Like Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles are a modification of Post's more simple Rice Krinkles thanks to added chocolate flavoring.
1971: Count Chocula
Every year, sales of this chocolate-frosted cereal with marshmallows pretty much double in October.
1972: Sugar Smacks
Dig'Em is the mischievous frog with a big voice that arrived on the scene back in 1972 as the spokescharacter for Sugar Smacks. He was an instant hit with the kids—mostly because he was energetic, savvy, and liked playing pranks on adults. He was so well loved that when the cereal's name was changed to Honey Smacks in 1984 and the frog was replaced by Wally the Bear, public protest brought Dig'Em back.
1975: Frosted Rice
To meet consumer demands in the 1970s, Kellogg's came up with Frosted Rice and gave us a new cute character to enjoy breakfast with: Tony, Jr.
1976: Golden Grahams
When boxes of this graham-cracker–inspired breakfast first appeared in stores, it was promoted as, "A Honey Of A New Cereal!" and its catchphrase was, "Have a Golden Day."
1977: Cookie Crisp
Before getting bought out by General Mills, this sweet cereal was originally offered under the Ralston brand. The wizard mascot's name is Cookie Jarvis, who often says, "My new cereal tastes like little cookies, but stays crisp in milk. Each bite is sweet, crunchy and unbelievably good."
1979: Honey Nut Cheerios
An answer to other sweet cereals on the market, Honey Nut Cheerios is a honey-and-nut–flavored iteration of the original Cheerio. Until 2006, actual nuts were used for the almond flavoring.
Virtually a frosted version of the Cheerio, Donutz from General Mills were a crispy, sweetened three-grain cereal that supposedly tasted just like powdered donuts.
1983: Smurf-Berry Crunch
A sign of the times, the pop culture savvy Smurf cereal included red and purple corn, oat, and wheat puffs sweetened with fruit flavor.
A crispy, crunchy criss-cross of rice and corn that looks woven, Crispix says it will make you flip in old '80s commercials.
1984: Mr. T Cereal
Capitalizing on the success of the Mr. T character in both Rocky and The A-Team, this Quaker cereal tasted similar to Cap'n Crunch but its catchphrase set it apart: "Teaming up with Mr T. (Cereal)...It's cool" and "I pity the fool who don't eat my cereal."
1985: Strawberry Squares
First came Raisin Squares, which offered the appeal of both shredded wheat biscuit and fruit inside. It became so popular that the product was expanded to include Apple Cinnamon Squares and Strawberry Squares.
1987: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Combining two breakfasts together, these cinnamon and sugar dusted squares have been around longer than you think and are probably sweeter than real french toast.
1989: Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
General Mill's late answer to Kellogg's Apple Jacks, this apple-cinnamon cereal was made with real apples according to advertisements in the early '90s.
1990: Teddy Grahams Breakfast Bears Cereal
Not one, but three flavors were available of this sweet, graham-flavored and bear-shaped cereal, including cinnamon, chocolate, and standard honey.
1992: Berry Berry Kix
Building off of the success of Kix, General Mills created this fruit-flavored riff that included corn puffs shaped into berry and grape clusters.
1994: Pop-Tarts Crunch
Kellogg's smartly turned the two most popular flavors of its beloved Pop-Tarts into a cereal: Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Frosted Strawberry.
1995: French Toast Crunch
Because it elaborated on the already popular Cinnamon Toast Crunch, this sweet syrup-flavored cereal shares the same baker mascot, Wendell.
1998: Oreo O's
Oddly, this Oreo-branded cereal was shaped like donuts but included the chocolate cookie flavor paired with sugar sprinkles. By 2001, Post added disc-shaped marshmallows to sub in for the filling of America's favorite cookie.
2001: Good Friends
This number from Kashi became widely available after Kellogg's acquired the company. The original cereal was promoted as a "high fiber trio of flakes, twigs, and granola."
2003: Green Slime
If this isn't a total time warp to the early 2000s, then we don't know what is. Created in partnership with Nickelodeon to promote the Kids' Choice Awards, this General Mills cereal was sold as "slime-flavored corn puffs" with orange marshmallows.
2006: Fruity Cheerios
It's unclear if this is just Froot Loops 2.0, but the original colors of this self-described sweetened corn and oat cereal flavored with natural fruit flavors included orange, purple, green, red, and yellow.
2010: Chocolat Cheerios
The success of Cheerios is undeniable, which is why created a chocolate-flavored whole grain corn and oat cereal was genius on General Mills' part.
A seemingly healthy multi-grain cereal stuffed with sweet bits like chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut is virtually irresistible.
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