If I asked you to name two types of foods that people really love, undoubtedly candy and cereal would be near the top of list. It’s no wonder then that these two favorites can be combined to make unique and popular treats. Well, sometimes.
A recent extreme example is a 4.5 lb. box of gummy worms marketed as a breakfast food. This unique breakfast treat is also available in gummy bears. Not that I would call it cereal, but it is an interesting marketing ploy.
There is a more notable true case of candy rearing its sweet head in actual cereal. Cereal history tells us that the marshmallow bits in Lucky Charms were developed when an employee of General Mills shaved some pieces of circus peanuts into his cereal. I guess he liked it, which is a lucky break for crunchy marshmallow lovers everywhere!
You’re probably familiar with the classic recipes that turn cereal into candy (think Rice Crispy treats), but did you know there are and have been several cereals based on candy? One well known example of these candy themed cereals is Reese’s Puffs (formerly known as Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs). Based on the ever so popular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, these puffy chocolate and peanut butter cereal balls have been a popular breakfast choice since 1994, making them one of the longest lasting candy based cereals. Other attempts have not lasted quite as long.
This past Halloween Post introduced a candy corn version of Pebbles cereal. I’m not sure how successful it was, but the review I saw said it tasted more like maple syrup than candy corn. We’ll see if it returns in 2015, either way, points to Post for the effort.
For Halloween 2008, Kellogg’s went the same route with their Corn Pops cereal. They produced a limited edition Candy Corn Corn Pops cereal which mixed regular Corn Pops and crazy, orange, candy corn-flavored Corn Pops. Not only was the cereal itself unique, it had a really weird yet compelling looking box.Again, I am not sure how popular it really was, but it has not returned since.
Possibly my favorite lost candy cereal concept and the only one I know of with its own “bring it back” Facebook page is Nerds cereal. Produced by Ralston in the mid-1980s, Nerds Cereal came in a box that, just like the candy, was divided into two halves. Each half contained a different flavor with two different varieties available: orange/cherry and strawberry/grape. If you really wanted the full split experience, they even made a Nerds bowl with a gate in the middle so you could separate the flavors. It was described by Ralston as being a “tiny tangy crunchy sweetened cereal”. By some reports its demise may have been that it tasted a bit too much like Nerds candy, which you can imagine might not go so well with milk. Whatever the reason, the cereal did enjoy a bit of publicity while it lived, including an actual television commercial.
So as you can see, there is a strong history of candy & cereal crossovers with some unique variations. I for one would like to see new versions that maybe last a little longer most have so far. What kind of candy/cereal combination do you think should come out next? Leave a comment and let me know!
Thanks for Ann Smarty for help with the idea!