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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Breakfast Cereal


The English word cereal is derived from 'Ceres', the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture.

Dr James C. Jackson was a follower of the Seventh-day Adventists, who wished to avoid consumption of animal foods . In 1863 Jackson created at the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan, the first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, which he is called “Granula”. Granula is whole grain flour dough baked into dry loaves, broken into chunks and baked again, and then ground into still smaller chunks. But it was far from convenient; it had to be soaked overnight before it was even possible to chew the dense, bran-heavy nuggets.

A Denver, Colorado lawyer, Henry Perky, who suffered from indigestion and had become converted to health foods  invented in 1892 a new product, Shredded Wheat biscuits and a machine for making them. His original intention was to sell the machines, not the biscuits, which he gave out from a horse-drawn wagon in an attempt to market the idea. It was known at the time as The Cereal Machine Company. The biscuits proved more popular than the machines, however, so Perky opened in 1893 his first bakery in Boston, Massachusetts.

Seventh-day Adventist surgeon John Harvey Kellogg was the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanatorium. Kellogg was interested in nutrition, and he was earnestly striving to develop bran-rich foods that weren't too bland. A vegetarian, he wished to replace meat on the breakfast table. Eventually, in 1895 John Harvey Kellogg along with his younger brother and general office assistant at the Sanatorium William Keith Kellogg developed a breakfast food that was easy to chew. It was a cereal flake made of wheat, which they called Granose.

Around the same time a former patient of Kellogg, Charles William Post developed Postum, a wheat and molasses based hot beverage. Post advertised it widely claiming there was no limit to the number of physical and moral ills (even divorce or juvenile delinquency) caused by coffee, but it could all be improved with Postum.

Postum was a success, and Charles William Post's, Postum Cereal Company then had an even greater achievement. Grape Nuts was a failure as a grain beverage, as Post originally marketed it, but it turned out to be a very popular breakfast cereal. (It was sweetened with maltose, which Post erroneously called grape sugar, and he thought it had a nut-like flavour as a result of toasting, hence the name.)

C.W. Post introduced the grocery coupon in 1895 when he offered “once cent off” to kick off sales for his new cereal, Post’s Grape Nuts.

In 1901, Dr Alexander P. Anderson developed the method for making puffed rice in New York, and he introduced it to the world at the St. Louis World's Fair. Anderson had made the discovery that rice kernels, after being heated to a high temperature, then quickly cooled would immediately expand to several times their normal size making a tasty breakfast cereal.

In 1906 William Keith Kellogg developed a new cereal, an improvement on the Granose idea. This new product came about by accident, after some boiled corn was left alone, one of his cooks found it had broken into crispy flakes. The profit-minded younger Kellogg broke away from his brother to found the Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company to market the cereal.

The very first cereal gift offer was made available in 1909. The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet was offered with the purchase of two packages of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The first puffed cereal went on the market in the 1937, with the introduction of Kix. They were created using a “puffing gun” that expanded doe pellets into different shapes.

Cheerios was first introduced by General Mills on May 1, 1941. They were originally called “Cheerioats.” The name was changed to its current one in 1945, because of a trade name dispute with Quaker Oats.

Sugar Bear (the mascot for Golden Crisps) first appeared in the 1940s when the cereal was called Sugar Crisp.

The first cereals for the sweet tooted were introduced in 1958, General Mills’ Cocoa Puffs and Kelloggs' Cocoa Krispies.

The original flavor for Cap'n Crunch cereal was created in 1963, by Pamela Low, a flavorist at Arthur D. Little, and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a microbiology degree. The flavor was inspired by her grandmother, who used to serve brown sugar and butter over rice.

The cereal 'Cookie Crisp' was created in 1977 by Purina, the pet food company.

In 2004, Special K was banned in Denmark for being fortified with toxic doses of nutrients.


When actor John C. Reilly was 12 year old, he and his friends stole 500 boxes of Corn Pops from a freight train.

In 2004, Special K was banned in Denmark for being fortified with toxic doses of nutrients.

A cornflake the shape of Illinois was sold on eBay in 2008 for $1,350.

The rooster on the Corn Flakes box is called Cornelius. They chose a rooster because the word ceiliog, Welsh for cockerel, sounds a bit like Kellogg.

Honey Nut Cheerios don't contain nuts, they contain a "natural almond flavor" made from peach and apricot pits.

It would take approximately 3,155,524,416 Cheerios to circle the Earth at the equator.

In 2008 a marketer for Kraft Foods rotated their square Shreddies cereal 45 degrees, and re-marketed them as the new “Diamond Shreddies”. The new product showed a large increase in sales and test groups even reported a difference in flavor.

Cereal packets are placed on shelves at the eye height for a reason. Researchers have found consumers are 16% more likely to trust a brand of cereal when the characters on the boxes on the supermarket shelves look them straight in the eye.

It costs more to make the cardboard box that Shredded Wheat comes in than it does to make the Shredded Wheat itself.

Battle Creek, Michigan is referred to as the "Cereal Bowl of America." The city produces the most breakfast cereals than any other city in the world.

Pebbles was actually named after the shape of the cereal and not the Pebbles Flintstone character.

Cheetos are naturally gray before they're given a bright orange artificial color.

Even though Froot Loops are different colors, they are all the same flavor.

Some breakfast cereals, like Wheaties, are fortified with enough iron that individual flakes can be lifted and carried using common magnets.

After four years of eating Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries, a woman sued the distributor of Cap'n Crunch because she discovered that she was eating brightly-colored cereal balls, and that "Crunchberries" aren't a real fruit like she had thought.

In Spain, it is common to pour chocolate milk or cafe au lait on cereal for breakfast.

The average American will eat about 11.9 pounds or 160 bowls of cereal per year.

A study of 700 pregnant women found that women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87% more likely to have a boy than those who ate no cereal.

9% of us skip breakfast.

Sources Food For Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World by Ed Pearce,

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