How Did Marshmallows Get Into Our Cereal?

When we think about marshmallows in cereal, what comes to mind is Lucky Charms. But that is just one cereal that comes with marshmallows. The beginning of the idea goes back to 1938, when celebrity chef Malitta Jensen and Kellogg’s employee Mildred Day were brainstorming to come up with a new treat for the Camp Fire Girls. Inspired by popcorn balls, they mixed Rice Krispies with butter and melted marshmallows to create Rice Krispies Marshmallow Squares, which became a huge hit, especially when Kellogg’s put the recipe right on the cereal box.

But it wasn't until 1963 that General Mills took the lead by actually putting marshmallows into cereal boxes. The story involves Cheerios and Circus Peanuts and a process for dehydrating marshmallows so that they reconstitute in milk. Then we got Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and other cereals. Kellogg's followed with Marshmallow Krispies and other cereals. And both companies have been fighting off accusations of feeding children nothing but sugar for breakfast, while raking in tons of money from people buying marshmallow-sweetened cereals ever since. Read how all that unfolded at Mel magazine.  -via Digg


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And. . . It wasn't mentioned, but do you remember the other response from the cereal makers? <Cereal Name> is part of this nutritious (or wholesome) breakfast. . .followed by a picture of two eggs, bacon, couple of slices of toast, small stack of pancakes, glasses of milk and orange juice. Seriously, who had the time (or appetite) for all that? They might as well have included a cup of coffee. Black of course. It's 7am on Saturday, Bugs is on, and the parents aren't even close to getting up. As long as there was milk in the house we were good.
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Interesting read. When Lucky Charms came out, trying to get my parents to buy them was damn near impossible. They were an oh so special treat. Probably because a box might last 3 days; 2 was normal. Then Count Chocula and Frankenberry came, but I wanted the Count and my sister wanted Frank. That was two boxes vs. one so screwed again. So we were stuck with Froot Loops. <chuckle> Turns out we won the sugar sweepstakes. Unless Sugar Frosted Flakes was (somehow) less sugar. Never saw them with marshmallows though, must have been a regional experiment. Finally, and for the record, I rank Circus Peanuts right up there with Candy Corn. Yum!
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