Friday, September 22, 2023

Evolution of Breakfast Cereal in United States

In 1863, James Caleb Jackson, a religious conservative vegetarian, doctor, and advocate for health reform, introduced the first manufactured breakfast cereal. He created a product called "granula" by drying and hardening graham flour dough, requiring an overnight soak in milk to become edible. During this period, John Harvey Kellogg, also a religious vegetarian and sanitarium owner, presented his own version of "granula," which he later named "granola" to avoid legal conflicts with Jackson.

Amid increasing competition within the cereal industry, Pillsbury made its entry in 1897 with Vitos, a cereal made from wheat. Simultaneously, The Quaker Oats Company brought innovation to the market during the 1910s with the promotion of Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat, achieved through the expansion of rice grains under pressure.

In 1936, Ralston Purina introduced Shredded Ralston, an early precursor to Wheat Chex. This product underwent a name change to Wheat Chex in 1950. Following suit, General Mills joined the competition with Wheaties in the mid-1920s and Kix in the 1930s.

The period after World War II saw a shift in cereal advertising towards children. General Mills capitalized on this trend with Wheaties and Kix, while Kellogg's played a significant role by launching Frosted Flakes and their memorable mascot, Tony the Tiger. This marked the beginning of a new era in television advertising. Notably, Frosted Flakes was one of the pioneering cereals to feature a cartoon character mascot, paving the way for others like the Trix Rabbit and Lucky the Leprechaun. The subsequent baby boom further drove cereal consumption, with the sugar content of cereals becoming a prominent selling point.
Evolution of Breakfast Cereal in United States