Cheerios is a brand of breakfast cereal created on June 19, 1941 and marketed by the General Mills cereal company of Golden Valley, Minnesota, as the first oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal. It was called Cheeri Oats at first, later changed to Cheerios because of a trade name dispute. In some other countries, including the UK, it is sold by Cereal Partners under the Nestlé brand. In 2008, Cheerios released a line of Snack Mix, in Original and Cheese flavors. All Cheerios shipped to the east coast of the United States are manufactured in the General Mills plant in Buffalo, New York.
Cheerios was and still is a very popular breakfast cereal with kids. As such, many of the television commercials for Cheerios were geared toward children, and in many cases these commercials were animated. For example:
The Cheerios Kid
Beginning in the mid-50s and continuing through the early 70s. "The Cheerios Kid" was a mainstay in their commercials, ranking alongside most of the characters created for rival Kellogg's
cereals. At first, the Kid was a clumsy, absent-minded tinkerer much to the annoyment of his girlfriend Sue, but was able to find his footing once he ate a bowl of Cheerios.
In later years, the Kid became more of a heroic figure with Sue by his side. In numerous commercials the Kid and Sue--more often just Sue--would get into some kind of trouble (at which point Sue would nonchalantly shout "Help, Kid...") and the Cheerios Kid, after eating his cereal to "power up", would quickly (and creatively) deal with the problem, whatever or whoever it was.
The Cheerios Kid was revived briefly in the late 80s with similar commercials.
In the late 70s Cheerios released a series of commercials that featured an animated "stick-man" chasing a yodeling
cereal box with the word "Cheerios" written on the side. The box kept zooming by the stick-man singing "Cheerio-ee-oh-ee-ohs" and "Yummy Oaty-oh-ee-oh-ee-ohs". The man would try unsuccessfully to catch the elusive box before attempting the Cheeri-yodel himself, at which point the box would land by his side. Later commercials would be of stick-man figures in varying situations (on a pogo stick, beating a bass drum in a marching band, etc.) beginning to feel run down because they didn't eat a good breakfast, at which point the yodeling Cheerios box would fly by reminding them, and afterwards they'd be back at their peak.
The Peanuts Gang
During the 1980s
, a popular series of Cheerios commercials surfaced featuring the Peanuts
gang and a new slogan, "You're on your toes with Cheerios". Some of them included:
- Charlie Brown in a baseball game having trouble pitching until Lucy gives him breakfast with Cheerios, at which point Charlie Brown was actually pitching strikes saying "All I ever needed was a manager".
- Schroeder, wearily playing "Chopsticks" on his piano, is treated to a similar breakfast by Lucy. Afterwards he's back to his old musical self with Lucy remarking "Supporting the arts is so gratifying."
- Charlie Brown teaches a run-down Franklin how to surf at the beach. After Franklin is treated to a Cheerios breakfast he quickly learns to surf like a pro and zooms by Charlie Brown, splashing him. Charlie Brown wipes the spray off his face and mutters, "Beginners Luck".
- Peppermint Patty is running out of steam pedaling a tandem bike with Marcie until Cheerios. Afterwards, Patty is chugging away on the pedals saying "We make a great team, huh, Marcie?" Marcie, lounging away in her seat replies, "Indeed we do, Sir."
Varieties and Flavors
From the late 1970s until the present, General Mills has introduced a succession of cereals that are versions of the original Cheerios. These include:
Honey Nut Cheerios
Honey Nut Cheerios is a variation of Cheerios introduced in 1979
geared towards adults as well as children. As the first variation from Cheerios, it is sweeter than the original, with a honey
MultiGrain Cheerios is a brand of cereal in the Cheerios family, introduced in 1992
, around the same time Berry Berry Kix
was introduced. The brand name was spelled Multi-Grain Cheerios
, when the hyphen was eliminated in "Multi-Grain", and was spelled in CamelCase
. The cereal originally had 4 whole grains: corn
, until in later years when barley
was added, toasted with brown sugar
Frosted Cheerios were first launched in 1995
, and marketed with the slogan: "Frosted Cheerios tastes so good the box never closes!". The commercials had cameos from celebrities such as Wayne Knight
, Tia and Tamera Mowry
, Melissa Joan Hart
, and Gilbert Gottfried
. Don Pardo
did the commercial's voice over. By 2005
, Frosted Cheerios was made with whole grains and the box's picture changed from that of a spoon, to that of Frosted Cheerios in a blue bowl.
Yogurt Burst Cheerios
Yogurt Burst Cheerios
were introduced in 2005
and are distinguishable from the original Cheerios by having some cereal pieces coated in yogurt
. Currently, Yogurt Burst Cheerios come in 3 different flavors: Strawberry
, and Blueberry
- Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (1988)
- Cheerios and X's (no longer available) (1993)
- Team Cheerios (formerly Team USA Cheerios, no longer available) (1996)
- Purely O's (organic Cheerios, manufactured by General Mills' subsidiary Cascadian Farms) (1999)
- Millenios (Cheerios with two shaped cereal pieces, no longer available) (1999-2000)
- Berry Burst Cheerios (including variations of Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Cherry Vanilla and Triple Berry) (2003)
- Fruity Cheerios (2006) (sweetened fruit flavored Cheerios.)
- Oat Cluster Crunch Cheerios (2007) (sweetened Cheerios with oat clusters)
- Cheerios Snack Mix - Original (2008) (Cheerios, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, round crackers, pretzels and cracker sticks in a garlic and onion flavor powder)
- Cheerios Snack Mix - Cheese (2008) (Cheerios, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, triangle crackers, pretzels and cracker sticks in a cheese flavor powder)