Definitions

shredded-wheat

Shredded Wheat

Shredded Wheat is a breakfast cereal made from whole wheat. It comes in two sizes, bite sized (3/4 in x 1 in), and normal size, which are sometimes broken into small pieces before adding milk.

Both sizes are available in a frosted variety, which has one side coated with sugar and usually gelatin. Some manufacturers have produced "filled" versions of the bitesize cereal containing a raisin at the center, or apricot or cranberry filling.

In the United States, shredded wheat is most heavily advertised and marketed by Post Cereals. Kellogg's sells eight varieties of miniature, or bite-sized, shredded wheat cereal. In the United Kingdom, Shredded Wheat is a Cereal Partners product, although there are many generic versions and variants by different names. It was first made in the US in 1893, while UK production began in 1926.

"Never Eat Shredded Wheat" is a common childhood mnemonic for remembering the Cardinal Points on a compass.

North American manufacture

Henry Perky invented shredded wheatley cereal in 1893. The wheat is first cooked in water until its moisture content reaches about 50%. It is then tempered, allowing moisture to diffuse evenly into the grain. The grain then passes through a set of rollers with grooves in one side, yielding a web of shredded wheat strands. Many webs are stacked together, and this moist stack of strands is crimped at regular intervals to produce individual pieces of cereal with the strands attached at each end. These then go into an oven, where they are baked until their moisture content is reduced to 5%. The Natural Food Company was based at Niagara Falls, NY in 1901. It became the Shredded Wheat Company in 1904. It was bought by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) in December 1928. US production moved to Naperville in Illinois in 1954, where it is still made. In 1993, Nabisco sold the brand to Kraft General Foods. Canadian production has been at Niagara Falls, Ontario, since 1904 due to nearby hydro-electric power. US production is also at Jonesboro, Arkansas.

UK manufacture

The original company opened a factory in Welwyn Garden City (UK) in 1926, which became part of Nabisco in 1928.The tall concrete cereal silos that form part of the factory are a local landmark and are listed structures, built by Peter Lind & Company of London. In 1988 Nabisco sold the UK site to Rank Hovis McDougall (who made own-label cereals for supermarkets), whose breakfast cereals division briefly became The Shredded Wheat Company. In 1990 RHM sold the site to Cereal Partners. Some Shredded Wheat is made at Staverton near Bath, where all Shredded Wheat will be produced from 2008, when the Welwyn Garden City site is shut down.

UK advertising

Shredded Wheat has a particular place in UK popular culture due to a long-running TV advertising campaign. The Three Shredded Wheat advert suggested that the cereal was so nourishing that it was impossible to eat three. Even a black hole was shown as exploding when the third biscuit was sucked into it. Phrases such as I bet you can't eat three and He must have eaten three were in common use as humorous remarks in the 1970s. A later UK poster advert for Carling Black Label showed a bowl with four Shredded Wheat and the caption "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label".

Bernard Manning, the UK comedian, made this into a joke: Why does Arthur Scargill eat three Shredded Wheat? Answer: He eats two, the other one he puts on his head; (Scargill was known for having a particularly bad toupee).

Trademark of the term "Shredded Wheat"

Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111, 39 USPQ 296 (1938). In that case, the Court found that “since 1894 the article has been known to the public as shredded wheat. For many years, there was no attempt to use the term ‘Shredded Wheat’ as a trade mark.” 39 USPQ at 298-99, 305 U.S., at 113.

See also

  • Weetabix - another wheat-based biscuit cereal.

External links

References

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