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Breakfast Cereals That Have Been Around for Generations

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Colorful corn rings in bowl with milk and spoon on pink background
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Breakfast That Goes the Distance

Bacon and eggs are delicious, but there isn’t always time in the morning to cook a big breakfast. Enter cereal. Offering an easy morning meal, cereal has been a household staple for families everywhere for more than a century. The market has seen a lengthy list of varieties come and go over the years, but some breakfast cereals that your grandparents might have enjoyed as children are still around today. Here are some of our favorites.


Related: Childhood Cereals We Wish They'd Bring Back

Shredded Wheat
Walmart

Shredded Wheat

Year Introduced: 1890

Dating back to the late 19th century, Shredded Wheat was invented by Henry Perky in 1890 and debuted at the 1893 Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition. Perky then started the Cereal Machine Company. Many brands have created their own version of the cereal over the years, but the original recipe is now in the hands of Post Consumer Brands.


Related: 30 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favorite Childhood Cereals

Corn Flakes
Walmart

Corn Flakes

Year Introduced: 1894

If you’re a sucker for a good old-fashioned family feud, you’ll get a kick out of the backstory of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. While W.K. Kellogg is credited with the creation of Corn Flakes, his brother John also claimed involvement. The brothers argued so intensely over the matter that they entered into a relentless legal battle, ending with W.K. buying the recipe for Corn Flakes from his brother, and going on to form the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company — now the Kellogg Company.


Grape-Nuts
Walmart

Grape-Nuts

Year Introduced: 1897

Once a patient of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s — one of the brothers behind cereal behemoth Kellogg’s — C.W. Post became a competitor, developing Grape-Nuts cereal. Grape-Nuts were included in the Allied Forces’ rations during missions to Panama and other tropical locations during World War II and have been considered one of the healthier cereal options for more than a century.

Wheaties
Walmart

Wheaties

Year Introduced: 1924

The “Breakfast of Champions” was actually created by accident — at least according to company lore — a wheat bran mixture that spilled on a hot stove, crackling and turning into a crispy flake. The Washburn-Crosby Company spent three years recreating flakes strong enough to remain intact during packaging. The popular cereal is now known for featuring big-time athletes on its boxes.

Rice Krispies
Walmart

Rice Krispies

Year Introduced: 1928

Before they became the key ingredient in one of the most beloved treats, Rice Krispies burst onto the cereal scene in 1928. While other products might make changes over the years to stay relevant, Rice Krispies has maintained its original integrity for nearly a century. The brand has even stuck with the same mascots since 1932: Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

Cheerios
Walmart

Cheerios

Year Introduced: 1941

General Mills debuted Cheerios in an effort to veer away from bran cereals and oatmeal, which were prominent during the post-Depression era. Cheerios was introduced as the first puffed oat-based cereal and has remained a stalwart in the cereal aisle for decades.

Frosted Flakes
Walmart

Frosted Flakes

Year Introduced: 1952

Kellogg’s created a sweeter version of Corn Flakes, coating the cereal in sugar to create “Sugar Frosted Flakes,” dropping the “Sugar” in 1983 to simplify the brand. The cereal’s name is actually so generic that it cannot be trademarked, so many competitors use the same name for their copycat versions.

Trix
Walmart

Trix

Year Introduced: 1954

When Trix first emerged, it was made up of an astonishing 46% sugar and included three flavors: orangey-orange, lemony-yellow, and raspberry red. Trix eventually added grapity-grape, lime-green, and wildberry blue to the mix and adopted a flamingo mascot which has since been changed to the iconic white rabbit.

Cocoa Puffs
Walmart

Cocoa Puffs

Year Introduced: 1956

Chocolate for breakfast seemed taboo in 1956, but it was every kids’ dream, especially since chocolate cereal created chocolate milk to slurp down once they finished eating. General Mills’ Cocoa Puffs made waves with the rich, decadent breakfast option, made with real Hershey’s chocolate. The cereal has also featured the same legendary mascot since 1960: Sonny the Cuckoo bird.

Life cereal
Walmart

Life

Year Introduced: 1961

Quaker Oats’ Life has been a pantry staple for decades. The cereal exploded with popularity during the ‘70s amidst an ad campaign featuring a difficult-to-please young boy named “Little Mikey.” Despite its simple composition, the multigrain cereal remains one of the bestselling varieties.

Froot Loops
Walmart

Froot Loops

Year Introduced: 1963

Originally called “Fruit Loops,” the colorful cereal was forced to change its name after being hit with a lawsuit which claimed that the product was misleading since it was seemingly presented as a fruit product when it was mostly made up of sugar. Kellogg’s ended up settling, agreeing to rebrand as “Froot Loops.”

Cap’n Crunch
Walmart

Cap’n Crunch

Year Introduced: 1963

“Just like Grandma used to make it” is a sentiment pretty much everyone can understand. While Pamela Low was working as a flavorist for a firm hired by Quaker Oats to create a new cereal, she channeled her grandma’s cooking. Low’s grandma used to make rice with a brown sugar and butter sauce and it’s that very sauce that she drew on to derive the perfectly sweet flavor of the original Cap’n Crunch.

Lucky Charms
Walmart

Lucky Charms

Year Introduced: 1964

This magically delicious cereal was actually inspired by Circus Peanuts. Product developer John Holahan created the first prototype with Cheerios and chopped up pieces of Circus Peanuts, his favorite candy. The fan-favorite cereal features a beloved leprechaun mascot and some seriously delicious colorful marshmallow tidbits.


Find more fun food trivia and history right here.