Post cereal: food fit for a monster

Love this spooky Hallowe'en ad for Post cereals from 1959!

Post Alpha-Bits, 1959


  1. How I long for the days when sugar in the name meant great cereal. Now we are ashamed of our super sugar crisp, sugar frosted flakes, etc.

    Now my hippy mother only allowed carob and whole wheat type foods into the house. It still gives me a head rush thinking how I would dump 1/2 cup of brown sugar in my cold oatmeal and milk in the morning. Sure showed my hippy mom! The stupid thing is my wife who got all the chocolate frosted sugar bombs has no craving for the anymore, and that is the first thing I really want still.

  2. rebdav, I’m with you. One of my favorites: Sugar Corn Pops. Rarely got them because they were so expensive compared with GrapeNuts and Corn Chex or the store brands.

    One of my favorite treats now is Lucky Charms. Yum. Cereal must have some kind of addictive additive because I sure love it.

  3. Holy crap, they had those in ’59?

    They were a vacation speciality in the
    70s. You could be hanging out on the tailgate of your station wagon on the beacb, and (assuming you follow directions properly) eating out of the package/bowl that those mini-boxes were.

    In retrospect, I wonder if they were more or less ‘green’ than the usual packaging.

    1. I wonder if Sargent was using oil or tempera for his illustrations? It looks like oil on canvas, but the texture could be owed to the printing process.

  4. Those multi-packs of little boxes sure bring back memories.

    My family used them on camping trips. They were basically the only time that my brother and sisters and I were able to get sugary cereals. And because the multi-packs that Mom bought were a mix of sugary stuff and boring crap like Raisin Bran and Corn Flakes, squabbles broke out over who got what.

    I don’t know if they’re still around. They had a primitive portable built-in-bowl technology. You split open the back along perforated lines, then ripped a slit on the waxed paper liner. Widen the hole just right and you had a shallow bowl-box that you’d pour milk in and eat from. Do it wrong and milk would leak out onto the picnic table or your lap.

    * * *

    ACTUAL REAL FACT: That ad copy was written by Don Draper.

    1. When I was a Cub Scout (the late 60s dude!), we all brought one of these for breakfast on our overnight hike.

      I think I was first or second in line to get some milk for my cereal in the morning.

      The Cub Master pours powdered milk into my carefully prepared box and then pours water in. I look at him in disbelief and he gruffly informs me to, “Mix the damn stuff up.”

      Didn’t work too well. Blech!

  5. Am I the only one that read this as “post-cereal”? With the monster reference added, I was thinking it would be some sort of post-modern twist on monster-themed cereals, maybe a post-cereal line marketed towards mummies and vampires.

    What would post-cereal be? Fiber and vitamin pellets? Maybe a nutrient-delivering epidermal patch?

  6. Gosh, I had completely forgotten about those little box-bowls until reading this. I always thought cereal tasted better out of those contraptions than out of a glass bowl. Maybe it was the tailgate atmosphere more than the container…

  7. Mental Floss has a good quiz called ‘Spoon Candy’. You can test your knowledge of forbidden breakfast cereals.

    I was never allowed sugary cereals as a kid and now I beg my husband to let me buy them, even though they make me shake by 10 am due to hypoglycemia. It’s pathetic. And I would totally eat KISS Crunch if I could find it.

  8. I thought it was about the picture. I loved the illustration of an American child trick or treating. Still, obviously an ad, cause we want sugar and chocolate on Halloween, not cereal. Still, nice picture.

  9. They do still sell these little boxes of cereal, at least in Calgary. They are usually on the top shelf though.

  10. They still sell these small boxes of cereal, at least at my local Safeway. They are on the top row of the cereal isle. The boxes are identical, with the perforated “I” shaped cut to convert it into a bowl.

    My favourite thing to get on Halloween was a juice box, because I was usually sooo thirsty from running and eating sugar and chocolate.

  11. No small boxes for me. Half a big box of Cocoa Crispies in a large glass bowl with plenty of milk. That and Sat morning cartoons. A slice of life.

  12. Hmmm. I still have friends who don’t believe me that companies had the moxie to put “sugar” in the title of breakfast cereal.

  13. Damn, every last box features SUGAR on the label. Guess his upper teeth will soon go the way of the lowers.

  14. They still sell these in Canada. Picked up a pack a couple weeks ago as a treat for the kids. Included 8 boxes, 2 each of Rice Krispies, Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran. Found them in Shoppers Drug Mart. Brings back a lot of nostalgia, as we used to use them for camping too. Glad they still sell these for my kids to enjoy. I think they still sell Jiffy Pop too. This is one of the few times my kids get sugary cereal. Most of the time it’s Cheerios or Rice Krispies.

  15. Now I know where the witch masks in Peanuts came from! Must have been a common mask to show up in both places…

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