It's National Cereal Day!

March 7, 2019

ID 77678494 © Tzogia Kappatou | Dreamstime.com

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Today is the day to celebrate cereal! Cereal began to be eaten around the time of the Civil War, as many Americans were experiencing gastrointestinal issues due to a large consumption of meat. Reformers also began to speak out that eating too much meat was physically and spiritually harmful. At the time, before sugar began to be added, it was considered a much healthier breakfast alternative. Cereal is now the most popular breakfast food in the country.

  • The first cold cereal was invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackson, and was made of hard bran nuggets that had to be soaked overnight and were difficult to digest. As an alternative to leaving it out overnight, the practice of adding milk began.
  • Kellogg's Corn Flakes had the first breakfast cereal prize. The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book was given by merchants to customers who purchased two packages of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Kix cereal issued its atomic-energy inspired Lone Ranger ring in 1947. The ring actually contained trace amounts of radioactive polonium which glowed. Since the material inside the rings had a short shelf life, none in existence today still work.
  • Nearly half of the more than 314 million people in the U.S. start their day with a bowl of cereal.
  • Astronauts from Apollo 11 boosted their brain power while in space with a cereal breakfast. The cereal was mixed with fruit and pressed into cubes since the lack of gravity kept the astronauts from pouring it into a bowl with milk.
  • There are 2.7 billion boxes of cereal sold every year. That's enough to circle the globe 13 times.
  • Annual sales of breakfast cereal are 7.7 billion dollars.

The 3 best selling cold cereals in the U.S. are:

  1. Honey Nut Cheerios
  2. Frosted Flakes
  3. Honey Bunches of Oats

Some of the most popular (and longest running) character mascots are:

  • Snap was introduced in 1933, Crackle & Pop were added later (Rice Krispies)
  • Tony The Tiger (1951 - Frosted Flakes)
  • The Trix Rabbit (1959 - Trix)
  • Toucan Sam (1963 - Fruit Loops)