An interesting article was posted this past summer at 24/7 Wall St. about brands that are projected to disappear in 2012. Sears, Sony Pictures, Nokia and MySpace are on the list but on a more serious note Kellogg’s Corn Pops made the list as well.
Debuting in 1951 as “Sugar Pops”, the cereal was re-titled ”Sugar Corn Pops” in the late 1970s before finally settling on “Corn Pops” in the 1980s. I remember a few years back they changed the name yet again, this time simply to “Pops” (which I always found strange). Luckily, the cereal was restored to “Corn Pops” after only a few months.
Surprisingly, in the United States alone the cereal had a number of mascots over the years: Woody Woodpecker, Newt the Gnu, Sugar Pops Pete (a prairie dog cowboy), Whippersnapper (a cowboy), Big Yella (another cowboy) Poppy (a female porcupine) and most recently Sweet Toothasaur. Poppy was a mascot during the ’80s yet I have no recollection of her or anything of these other mascots. I can only remember tag-lines such as “Gotta have my Pops!” and “It’s hard to stop when it’s my Pops!” and the use of the JAWS theme in the commercials.
So what’s the reason Corn Pops is in mortal danger? Well, sales are down because people are looking towards healthier cereals and when you’re using BHT (something found in embalming fluid) as an ingredient you can’t really claim to be all that good for anyone to eat. Never mind the fact that everyone knows Corn Pops are covered in sticky, sweet sugary glaze. Falling sales are only half of it though. The price of corn is on the rise and that makes it harder for this brand to turn a profit.
Truthfully, there was nothing in the article that said Corn Pops was definitely going extinct. All the article was saying was that the brand was having a hard time and they were suggesting it’d be a wrap in 2012. Although I don’t eat Corn Pops as much as I did when I was a kid, I still get cravings for it and pick up a box every few months. It’d be a shame to think I could no longer do so come 2012.
So here’s to ya, Corn Pops. I tip my cereal bowl to you and I hope you can somehow find a way to soldier on in a world of raising costs and where people are choosier about what they consume.
It’s been awhile, let’s get going…
The Addams Family (Ralston, 1991)
Another licensed cereal from Ralston, this one was tieing into the first Addams Family movie. The cereal actually looks pretty cool with all those skulls. The cereal had a pretty cool giveaway – flashlights in the shape of Fester, Cousin It, Thing and Lurch. Not sure how this one tastes, I don’t remember ever having any but I do remember seeing it at dollar stores. That’s where all Ralston cereals go. In fact, I bet I could go to the local dollar shop today and find a box.
Cabbage Patch Kids (Ralston, 1985)
The selling point for this cereal was that it was low in sugar. Even though I would have been turning four years old that year, I seem to have memories of eating this. Not exactly sure of the taste, but it seems like it may be like Kix. There was a number of different boxes for this cereal featuring photographed Cabbage Patch Kids in action. I remember the commercial too.
Dino Pebbles (Post, late 1980s)
On the other end of the spectrum from low sugar Cabbage Patch Kids cereal, supposedly, this particular cereal had move marshmallows per box than any other cereal. Sounds like a winner to me! I know I had it at one point or another but I’ve never been a big fan of the Pebbles cereals, so I didn’t eat it much.
It’s Saturday morning. Turn the TV on, find a cartoon and grab a spoon, we’re digging in again!
Bigg Mixx (Kellogg’s, 1990)
A cereal that featured a weird mascot who was named “Bigg Mixx”, he was a combination of a number of animals. I never touched the stuff (neither the cereal nor the creature), but I definitely remember the box art and this crazy moose-pig-chicken-wolf thing.
The cereal itself was nothing more than scraps from the rest of Kellogg’s cereals they were producing at the time (honest!), though you could buy Bigg Mixx with or without raisins. Gee, no wonder it didn’t sell. What if Pepsi had left over soda and bottled the various flavors into one 2 liter and tried to sell it? No one wants a pick ‘n’ mix box of cereal. Save that for the Brach’s candy displays at the grocery store.
…Sometimes They Come Back for Second Bowls
I love a good sequel almost as much as Connie loves another bowl of cereal! So here I am, to shed the light, once again, on those golden cereals (not Grahams) of yesteryear. I have seen I am not the only one to harbors strong feelings for the cereals of the past. Why is this? Why are there so many people and websites that catalog their retro-cereal habits?
Is it because the nectar of time and childhoods long ago have only made those crunchy, sugary cereals even sweeter? Is it the cute little cartoon mascots and the bright colorful boxes art that captured our imagination? Could it be fond remembrances of the thrill of the chase to get a few glow-in-the-dark stickers or a sticky wall-crawling toy that has kept us longing for what we can no longer have? Or do we just refuse to accept change and step aside for a younger generation of cereals to rise to prominence?
Debate amongst yourselves. But, I do know this–a decade where there was a purple, blue, orange, and green colored smiley-face cereal with pink marshmallow stars is a decade I am proud to have been a part of.
So in continuing my venture into the realm of pop culture, I’ve decided to talk about cereal. Why cereal? Why not? IT’S DELICIOUS! Some people like to eat it the old boring way… with milk. Not me! Although I occasionally get the urge to splurge with milk, any good cereal should be able to stand on its own as a dry snack. Kix, Cheerios, Crispix… These are the kings of cereal & serial snacking!
But I’m not here to talk about those classic breakfast cereals. No, today I will be showing you The Forgotten Ones. Those flash-in-the-pans, those licensed character driven cereals whose time was cut short due to the fact that they were based on a fad, those sweet crunchy gimmick cereals… Yes, these types can all be found to this very day, but being a child of the 1980s, I have a special spot in my heart for all those that came and went rather quickly nearly 20 years ago. This is their story.