When Kellogg's "invented" adding sugar to cereal

Hard to believe they didn't win a Nobel prize for this.

Simple Discovery



    The old Tony the Tiger was so much cooler looking than the new.

  2. I really love the illustration on that old-school cereal box. It’s one of the items that is in ‘Krazy Kids Food’, which is an entire book full of package design for heavily sugared eats for children.

    1. If this is the 50s, then that would be a lead crystal bowl…just make sure you let the milk sit so you get all the poisoned lead goodness!

  3. You know this add would also work if you removed the sparkling bowl of sugar frosted cereal and replaced it with a sparkling bowl of THC frosted buds.

    “Simple discovery leads to great new taste sensation in cereal”…

  4. Boingboing, I hope you’re getting paid to shill for Kelloggs coz I’m going out this morning to buy a box of the damn stuff. I’m going to sign up for Standard Life full-coverage as well. Thanks a lot.

  5. They didn’t just add the sugar to the cereal, they *toasted* it in, making Frosted Flakes the perfect breakfast cereal to eat with Lucky Strikes.

    What is it about the 50s and toast? Does “toasted” have some meaning modern folk don’t understand?

    1. good question.
      Maybe the toasting of the sugar into the cereal would mean that the sugar (at least partly) caramelizes?

      1. That was my first thought, too — anybody who has baked cookies knows that caramelization is the miracle that transubstantiates plain old sugar into pure, toasty deliciousness!

  6. Cory, If Obama can win the Nobel Peace prize, Kelloggs surely earned the Nobel for this too.

  7. That sugar was toasted into the flakes through a special atomic process. That sparkle is not just sugar it’s radiation. That’s what makes ‘um taste so good.

  8. Calvin: “Look, it says right here, Part of a wholesome, nutritious, balanced breakfast.”

    Hobbes: “And they show a guy eating five grapefruits, a dozen bran muffins…”

    Gotta say, Retro Tony the Tiger’s design beats the modern ‘cheap Saturday morning cartoon’ version.

  9. At an offhand guess: the difference in price and availability of hot v. cold food was probably considerably greater in the Depression years and during WW2. Possibly “toasted” implies “warmed up” implies comfort/safety/lagniappe?

  10. Born and raised in Battle Creek; got ready and walked to school to the smell of the corn-y, sugary goodness of Kellogg, Post, Ralston factories (hundred+ in the late 19th century) – the very smell of literally tons of toasted corn wafting through my bedroom window at night, reportedly sugar-coating cars in Postumville. After walking past Tony at the fountain, headed to their famous factory tour (reportedly closed because of Int. Property worries), the visuals and smells and everything Kellogg-y was a tour-de-force of kids breakfast cereal and 1950s factory automation – Feeding you ice cream topped with Rice Krispies or IIRC Froot Loops, giving you a hat and little boxes of cereals (their variety pack), they sent you on your way home to work off the rush. You’d never forget it; I haven’t.

  11. I’m amazed that we’re up to comment 16 already, and word search doesn’t find ‘diabetes’ anywhere on this page.

  12. Many people don’t realize what a huge rift this miracle invention caused within the Kellogg family. John Harvey Kellogg was a medical doctor/holistic health nut/fanatical anti-masturbation evangelist who co-created corn flakes with his business-savvy brother, W.K. Kellogg.

    Needless to say, the good doctor was not very keen on the idea of taking a product he conceived as a health food and coating it with sugar. By the end of their lives the two men were barely on speaking terms.

    1. Heh, heh…not surprised to hear that about the Kellogg brothers. A lot of the extreme health-foodie types I know have the same personality flaws as religious fanatics – a complete slah, burn, and salt the earth response to anyone who doesn’t buy in to their “faith.”

  13. Hey, I remember as a kid in the 1960s how the Kool-Aid commercials were so proud that their product was “pre-sweetened” — so you didn’t have to mix up some colored drink AND THEN put sugar in it.

  14. Wait… Tony walking on all fours?
    In under half a century he has evolved into a bipedal upright walking talking mammal. Didn’t it take Homo erectus something like 6 million years to do that?

    Either the tiger’s evolutionary strides are something to fear or someone at Kellog’s is incredibly intelligent about design!

  15. Anybody can add sugar to cereal. When I was growing up, we all sprinkled some sugar on our corn flakes in the morning. As I recall, it cost quite a bit less to do it that way than to buy the pre-sweetened stuff, and it seemed to be a common practice at the time.

    I presume the sugar cost the cereal company no more than it cost us. If a cereal company could convince its customers that “toasting” it in (which you couldn’t do at home) tasted better, they could enjoy larger profit margins on the higher-priced pre-sweetened stuff.

    I think they still sell unsweetened Kool-Aid as well, though I don’t know offhand if the margins are much different between that kind and the more common pre-sweetened kind.

  16. Yes, but aren’t those golden crispy frosted flakes just as — or perhaps even more — sparkly than a Nobel Prize?

  17. A few years ago, Kelloggs rad a TV ad here where Tony tempted us by saying the Frosties were “carbo-loaded” and therefore good and wholesome.

    “Carbo-loaded” translates from ad-speke to “there’s *absolutely nothing* in this breakfast substance apart from carbohydrates.” Very nutritious when sprinkled on food, as Not The Nine o’ Clock News had it.

  18. @John Mark Ockerbloom, 33

    That was still typical when I grew up, and I was born in ’83. Might be that the cereal selection in Norway was skewed towards having fewer of the pre-sweetened variants (there is a tax on sugar here, but I don’t know if it only applies to candy).

    I don’t eat overly much cereal at the moment, so I haven’t paid attention to what, if anything, has happened since.

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