Get your bowl and your spoon ready for March 7 is National Cereal Day. Since the end of the 19th century, cereal has become America’s most popular breakfast food.
Do you remember mornings eating a bowl of cereal, reading the back of the box and trying to find the toy inside the box?
Now, not only is cereal eaten for breakfast, it has become a popular bedtime snack, and some people even have a bowl for an evening meal. Cereal is also used in many cake, cookie and bar recipes. The most popular one is Rice Crispy Bar Treats.
A Little Cereal History:
- Ferdinand Schumacher, a German immigrant, began the cereal revolution in 1854 with a hand oats grinder in the back room of a small store in Akron, Ohio. His German Mills American Oatmeal Company was the nation’s first commercial oatmeal manufacturer. In 1877, Schumacher adopted the Quaker symbol, the first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal.
- Granula, the first breakfast cereal, was invented in the United States in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, operator of Our Home on the Hillside, which was later replaced by the Jackson Sanatorium in Dansville, New York. The cereal never became popular since it was inconvenient as the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.
- The cereal industry rose from a combination of sincere religious beliefs and commercial interest in health foods. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg experimented with granola. He boiled some wheat, rolled it into thin films, and baked the resulting flakes in the oven; he acquired a patent in 1891. In 1895 he launched Cornflakes, which overnight captured a national market.
- In 1906, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s brother, William K. Kellogg, after working for John, broke away, bought the corn flakes rights from his brother and set up the Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company. His signature on every package became the company trademark and insurance of quality.
- Charles W. Post introduced Grape-nuts in 1898 and soon followed with Post Toasties.
- Because of Kellogg and Post, the city of Battle Creek, Michigan is nicknamed the “Cereal Capital of the World”.
- It wasn’t until 1939 that cereal would take on the sweetness that we are familiar with today. The sweet creation was called Ranger Joe Popped Wheat Honnie and was marketed towards children. You could say that the rest is history! From that moment forward cereal has used the marketing tactic of appealing to children through radio and TV ads.
- Cereal is a food made from processed grains that is often eaten as breakfast.
- The word cereal comes from Cerealia, the name of ancient Roman ceremonies that honored Ceres, the goddess of grain.
- Cereal is often eaten cold with with milk, yogurt, and sometimes fruit, but may be eaten dry.
- Breakfast cereal companies make gluten-free cereals for consumers who suffer from Celiac Disease.
- Astronauts from Apollo 11 ate cereal during their mission to the moon. The cereal with fruit was compressed into cubes because the lack of gravity made bowls of milk impossible.
- The average American eats 160 bowls of cereal each year.