Curious cereal facts that will have you peering at the bowl differently

Favorite cereals are more than just a meal
Favorite cereals are more than just a meal / James Leynse/GettyImages

From a quick bite to start the day or the sweet memory of enjoying a heaping bowl while watching Saturday morning cartoons, cereal is an iconic food. While today’s shelves are full of smiling faces, bold flavors, and innovative offerings, the stories behind those brands hold more than just a spoonful of interesting facts. Ready to satisfy that curiosity?

Certain cereal brands have stood the test of time. It is more than just Cheerios being the finger friendly food that babies use to first feed themselves. There are stories tied to every serving. From the special meal that helped to fuel success on a school test to a bowl of comfort when life takes an unexpected turn, cereal is and always be there waiting to be poured.

Over the years, classic brands have expanded beyond the tried and true. From Loaded flavors that feel almost like an over the top dessert to putting family connections front and center on the box, the sentiment behind the food is as important as the taste. The cartoon characters on the box might evoke a happy memory, but it is that first bite that creates a connection for years to come.

Looking back at some General Mills cereals, the favorite brands on the shelf hold some tasty tidbits in those boxes. For example, Chex was originally known as Shredded Ralston. That name might have been memorable in the 1930s but it does not roll off the tongue today. Somehow Shredded Ralston mix does not sound quite as appealing as Chex Mix.

Regardless of the name change, the idea has stood the test of time. A pantry staple that can be transformed beyond the cereal bowl has made Chex a favorite. Today, the brand appeals to gluten-free lifestyle options, culinary creators, and people who just want a simple bowl of cereal.

Another classic is Trix. While Trix Rabbit is old enough to apply for Social Security, the silly character still cannot get enough of those fruity, colorful corn puffs. Now available in different formats, the Trix brand still captures the fun that people want. It is not childlike or juvenile, but it is the willingness to just enjoy a spoonful of sweetness.  

Other General Mills characters continue that enthusiasm for simple enjoyment to the bowl. From the Monster Cereals during Halloween to the always fortuitous Lucky Charms, cereal is meant to be joyful. There are few other dishes that can be enjoyed on their own, with milk, transformed into other food recipes, and inspire imagination.

Even newer brands have become part of the pop culture zeitgeist. Cinnamon Toast Crunch partnered with the WWE, Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs collaborated with music stars, and Wheaties has featured some of the world's best athletes. Few other food categories have such a wide range of connections.

From National Cereal Day to any day, a bowl of cereal satisfies, both in sustenance and emotionally. When that meal choice is undecided, grab the box and the bowl. It will always be a good choice.