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Breakfast Cereals From The Groovy Era

Culture | December 24, 2018

Boy eating Corn Flakes. (Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)

When you think of the word, “invention,” typically something along the lines of science and technology comes to mind. So, thinking along those lines, breakfast cereal might not be something considered an invention, but it was just that!

Breakfast cereal was an American invention created by James Caleb Jackson.

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The history of breakfast cereal began as the brainchild of an American gentleman named James Caleb Jackson. Jackson was known to be a religious conservative. He was also a vegetarian and was determined to come up with a healthy alternative to traditional breakfast fodder which, at the time, consisted largely of starchy foods and fatty meats.

The first known breakfast cereal was not meant to be sweet and fruity, but rather a healthy way for vegetarians to eat.

Jackson’s version of breakfast cereal may not have been appealing to the taste buds but was a healthy alternative for vegetarians, like himself. He made his invention out of dried graham flour dough. After the dough was dried, it was broken into small, bite-sized pieces. The problem, however, was that it was so hard it had to be soaked in milk overnight in order to eat it without breaking any teeth! Yum!

Jackson called his breakfast cereal invention, “granula.” It would later be called, “granola.”

Fast forward many years to the groovy era and breakfast cereal was considered to be a novelty. Cereal manufacturers like Kellogg's, Quaker and C.W. Post were onboard with marketing their products to children.  They came with plenty of sugar, fruity flavors, brightly colored tidbits, and dried fruit. Kids couldn’t resist and it worked like a charm!

I bet Caleb Jackson never dreamed of including a cool prize, like a mystery decoder, with his breakfast cereal!

Cereal manufactures cleverly marketed their products to children by way of TV commercials, taglines, jingles and fun surprises in every box. Additionally, many of the cereal manufacturers had lively and lovable mascots that went a long way in promoting their brands.

If you were a product of the groovy era, you will remember these famous breakfast cereals and their slogans:

  • Tony the Tiger emerged in the ‘50s but endured throughout the groovy era and beyond. He was a lovable and not so scary tiger who advertised Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. His famous tagline was, “They’re Gr-r-r-eat!” This very well may be the most recognized cereal tagline of all time.

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Plenty of kids from the groovy era must surely remember KABOOM, Quisp and Cocoa Hoots! "Quisp for Quazy energy" was the Quisp cereal tagline.

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  • Remember when Wheaties was “the breakfast of champions?” Who wouldn’t want to be a champion? Wheaties was the first breakfast cereal to advertise a tagline as well as being the first to be advertised on TV commercials.

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  • Cap’n Crunch promised that its cereal would “stay crispy, even in milk!” This was quite a statement for the time (’63) because keeping cereal from getting soggy in milk was quite a challenge then!

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  • “Silly Rabbit, Trix Are For Kids!”
  • Toucan Sam, the Froot Loops mascot, was famous for the taglines, "Follow my nose! It always knows the flavor of fruit! Wherever it grows!”
  • The ‘70s was famous for its cereal brands with monster mascots. Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry were a huge hit with kids.
  • “Can’t get enough Super Sugar Crisp!” This was a great tagline from the ‘60s.
  • Kix, “Kid tested. Mother approved!”

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  • "Honey-Comb's big! Yeah, yeah, yeah! It's not small... no, no, no!" This was Honey- Comb’s catchy jingle that really had kids singing in the ‘70s.
  • Raisin Brand boasted, “two scoops of raisins in every box!”
  • "I'm coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!" Cocoa Puffs was among the first popular chocolate breakfast cereals.
  • Lucky Charms was a dream come true with the tiny marshmallows! “They’re always after me Lucky Charms!  They're Magically Delicious!" 

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  • “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” was the Rice Krispies tagline. It was also the name of the 3 little mascots.
  • Life Cereal had a little guy named, Mikey, who didn’t like anything, help sell a lot of cereal. “He likes it! Hey Mikey!”

Breakfast cereal began as a healthy alternative for breakfast. After the concept took off, it remained an alternative but mostly lost its healthy values. Like with most things in life, what is old becomes new again. In this day and age, breakfast is attempting to come full circle by getting back to being a healthy way to eat. Mr. Jackson would be proud.

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.