The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 14, Number 3 Thanksgiving 2012

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Thanksgiving 2012 Index

Illustration: "Cereal Gang" by Landis Blair

1. Digging For Prizes
2. Four Cereal Mascots Come To Life
3. The Science Behind Color-Changing Cereal
4. The Most Important Meal Of The Day
5. Don't Wait To Buy "The Great American Cereal Book" For Christmas!
6. "Good Morening" From Post

Cereal Reviews:
1. General Mills - Frosted Toast Crunch
2. Post Marshmallow Pebbles
3. Kellogg's VROOMS
4. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Chocolate - Choco Zucaritas
5. Kellogg's Trix - Fruitalicious Swirls
6. General Mills - Cinnamon Toast Crunch
7. Post Great Grains Protein Blend: Honey, Oats & Seeds
8. Kellogg's 2012 Team USA
9. Quaker Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch

What's New in Cereal?
Cereal Muffin Mixes

Send Us Your News

"Cereal Gang"
by Landis Blair © 2012
Landis Blair - Cereal Gang
We are pleased to welcome award-winning pen & ink illustrator Landis Blair to our staff. Saying he likes cereal is an understatement. He recorded eating 1,015 bowls of cereal on campus in a single college year, consuming a one-day record 18 bowls of Trix. Enjoy this exclusive illustration entitled "Cereal Gang". You can see more of Landis' work at

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Digging For Prizes
by Mike DeGeorge, Suzanne DeGeorge, Greg DeGeorge, Steven DeGeorge, John DeGeorge, David DeGeorge, Jenny DeGeorge

Freakies[Editor's Note: Digging for prizes used to be a rite of morning when you'd open a new box of cereal and search out the prize before your siblings had a chance to snag it. Some folks did a "smash-and-grab" where they rip open the box and plunge their hand down to the depths of the box where their fingers would feel amongst the cereal for the plastic wrapped prize and pull it out along with any cereal clinging to their arm. There was "the gravity dump" where you simply poured cereal into a large bowl (and all over the table) until the prize fell out. And there was my modus operandi: the "visual search". I'd open the top, squeeze the box, and shake and shift the cereal around until I could spot the prize. The DeGeorge family had this method down to a science. Here's their play-by-play.]

It all starts before you even open the box. First you squeeze the sides, loosening up the paper surrounding the cereal inside the box. Then you open the box top ever so slightly. You want to prevent any cuts in the cardboard. Once these flaps are open correctly they will allow for an additional 3 inches for the cereal to slide out of the box. Next you open the plastic wrap or wax paper wrap... Not really sure what it was back then. Squeeze the box and allow all the air out of the plastic sack. Next remove the plastic bag out of the cereal box, roll up the opening on the top, turn it upside down inside the cereal box. Cautiously shake the bag to allow cereal to fall out into the empty box. Now your cereal has room to move and breath, giving you the opportunity to see the toy in a smaller plastic bag. Now bring the box toward you, tilt it and squeeze the sides of the box. Roll box and repeat if necessary to see the toy surprise. Reach with your right hand up along the interior wall of the cereal box, now your eyes are fixated on the corner of the plastic wrap housing the toy surprise. Pick it up using your index and middle finger... slowly remove your arm from the box paying close to the cereal below your forearm.

It was a true art back then to be able to pull that off. Very few kids could posse that skill. This process, if done correctly can be completed in just under 4 minutes. I think Mike holds the record at 2 minutes 48 seconds...

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Four Cereal Mascots Come To Life
by Topher
Fajardo / Li GalleryPeruvian Artist Guillermo Fajardo has reimagined cereal spokescharacters as "actual real life moving and dramatic creatures" in his Breakfast Time - Cereal Series. He started with Cap'n Crunch and then added Tony the Tiger, Count Chocula, and the Trix Rabbit to complete the quadrilogy. Take your time and visit the detail in each of the images. There is a set of four images which present these characters with their imagined breakfast table setup. Although I thought the Trix breakfast with the thick orange carrot in the cereal bowl was the best of these breakfast table vignettes, my personal twisted favorites are Cap'n Crunch and Count Chocula. (I hadn't previously ever imagined Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit as humans wearing animal skins). The detailed photography is by Jieying Li.

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The Science Behind Color-Changing Cereal
by Topher
Cap'n Crunch Carnival BerriesIt's always been easy to change the color of your milk. But what if we want to change the color of your cereal? Your cereal might be blue, but add milk and it changes color! Quaker holds at least 2 patents (4853235, 7648722) on this process and showed off this concept with the releases of Cap'n Crunch's Carnival Berries (2004), Cap'n Crunch's Polar Crunch (2006), and Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch (2007). The later also turned your milk green.

Spoiler Alert! This cereal-color-changing feat is accomplished by coating a colored cereal bit in a thin, edible, milk-soluble opaque powder of another color. Once immersed in milk, the outer coating dissolves instantly, revealing a new color!

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The Most Important Meal Of The Day
by Topher
Eat UpDid you know that "the average American spends 67 minutes a day eating and drinking, but 43% of people spend under 4 minutes on breakfast, and 27% spend less than 1 minute on it"? These and other interesting facts at present a visually interesting and data-filled infographic on the importance of a good breakfast. It's aimed at the college student but the lesson is for everyone. "If you're a breakfast skipper, you may want to rethink your morning routine".

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Don't Wait To Buy "The Great American Cereal Book" For Christmas!
by Topher

Don't wait to buy "The Great American Cereal Book" for Christmas, because frankly, this awesome book could already be sold out by then, and you'll have to buy your loved one their second choice gift (like jewelry, a car, or a big screen TV). We had a first printing of just 9,000 copies. While we are hopefull Abrams Books will order up a second printing, we can't guarantee it. "Hey kids, get your copy today while supplies last!"

"The Great American Cereal Book", a full color 368-page hardcover tome of breakfast cereal. Co-authored by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, the book features stunning photography from Rob Ritzenthaler and Don Chick.

The Great American Cereal Book350 images of cereal boxes, advertisements and premiums from 1863 to 2010 are gloriously presented along with historical information (complete with dates, ingredients, slogans, spokescharacters, and interesting facts) on all of your favorite, not so favorite, loved, and forgotten cereals.

Printed on high quality paper and strategically priced under $20, this massive (a whopping 1.5 inches thick and weighing in at almost 2.25 pounds) encyclopedia of cereal is available now at your favorite bookstore, online, or specialty retailer.

Mentioned and reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Times, Reader's Digest, Smithsonian Magazine, and countless other quality publications and websites. Wow!

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"Good Morening" From Post
by Topher
Good Morenings Cereal 1Good Morenings Cereal 2
Post has introduced a new series of cereals called Good MOREnings. The six cereals are (from left to right) Vanilla O's, Strawberry & Creme, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Cinnamon Crunch, Waffle Crunch, and Berry Loops. They all tout 10 or 11 vitamins & minerals and the absence of high fructose corn syrup. Post doesn't currently include these cereals on their website leading me to believe that these mega boxes (available only at Wal-Mart) are intended to be a branded generic cereal (a new oxymoron). The most interesting of the Malt-O-Meal competitors appears to be Cocoa Cinnamon Crunch.

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Cereal Review
by Ryn & Dana

General Mills - Frosted Toast Crunch
General Mills - French Toast CrunchGeneral Mills brought this Cinnamon Toast Crunch sequel to market in January 2012 featuring Wendell the Baker. These flat frosted vanilla squares are dusted with cinnamon and made from whole grain wheat, sugar, and rice flour. They are nicely crunchy in milk but lose some of the heavier fresh out-of-the-box cinnamon flavor when wet. These are very similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch except that the powdered frosting were more tasty. These are very good and rate 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.) Hint: We'd like them even better with a little more powdered sugar.

Cereal Review
by Maddie, age 6

Post Marshmallow Pebbles
Post Marshmallow PebblesPebbles have been around since 1971. In 2012 Post started introducing a set of limited edition Marshmallow Pebbles boxes featuring cast members other than Fred Flintstone. So far, we've seen Wilma Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Pebbles are made from flattened puffed rice and sugar, and are colored yellow, orange, and red. The white marshmallows are yummy. Pebbles are a little crunchy but get a bit soft in milk and get a bit stuck in your teeth. I would like this cereal even more if it had more marshmallows. 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase)

Cereal Reviews
by James Proctor

Kellogg's VROOMS
Kellogg's VROOMSThree different boxes of Kellogg's VROOMS were available exclusively at Target stores featuring racers Dario Franchitti (Formula One), Juan Pablo Montoya (NASCAR), and Scott Dixon (Formula One). This frosted multigrain cereal is made with whole grain oat flour, sugar, cornflour and cornmeal. The red and beige/blue circles (which represent racecar tires) have no aroma, and taste like Cheerios and Cap'n Crunch mixed together. They don't turn the milk any color. VROOMS would be better if they added more frosting. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Chocolate - Choco Zucaritas
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Chocolate - Choco ZucaritasKellogg's succeeded in another brand extension featuring Tony the Tiger. His co-branded (English and Spanish market) frosted chocolate-flavored cornflakes are made of milled corn, sugar, palm kernel oil and cocoa. They have a very chocolate smell and a strong chocolate taste yet still like a Frosted Flake. It's the flavor you would get if you mixed up a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and Frosted Flakes. They're much better in milk than dry out of the box, and they turn your cereal milk into chocolate milk. It's very crunchy and stay crunchy longer than regular Frosted Flakes. These are better than Frosted Flakes. 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Reviews
by Sarah Dean

Kellogg's Trix - Fruitalicious Swirls
Kellogg's Trix - Fruitalicious SwirlsTrix is a fruity, sweet, and round cereal. They are made of whole grain corn, sugar, corn meal, and corn syrup. The crunchy puffed corn balls have multicolored swirls in them and taste fruity. They are very good with milk. The different colors are green, orange, red, blue, and purple. The milk changes color from the cereal. Trix don't get stuck in your teeth or cut your mouth up like some other cereals. I like that this is a sweet cereal and I wouldn't change a thing. 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

General Mills - Cinnamon Toast Crunch
General Mills - Cinnamon Toast CrunchGeneral Mills - Cinnamon Toast CrunchGeneral Mills - Cinnamon Toast Crunch was originally launched in 1984 with three bakers: Wendell, Quello, and Bob. The later two didn't last long and Wendell was recently replaced (perhaps temporarily or in limited markets) with an awesome Cinnamon Toast "Crazy Square" that has big eyes and a long tongue. The cereal is made of whole grain wheat, sugar, and rice flour. I love these because of the cinnamon taste and they are visually appealing --- unique cinnamon lines are baked into each square. They are wonderful with or without milk. Eating the cereal without milk will result in getting your hands dirty but whenever you add milk they become soggy very quickly. These little squares are a fun treat. Dry, the cereal will not get stuck in your teeth but when milk is added it could stick to the roof of your mouth. You might consider buying the "off-brand" version of this cereal, but don't do it. This one is worth it. "Real cinnamon and sugar in every bite!" 9 Boxtops (A classic! Belongs on Every Breakfast Table.)

Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

Post Great Grains Protein Blend: Honey, Oats & Seeds
Post Great Grains Protein Blend: Honey, Oats & SeedsPost added a Protein Blend to its Great Grains lineup. It's full of multi-grain flakes made with whole grain wheat, barley and rolled oats; plus almonds, pumpkin seeds, and crunchy clusters with sunflower seeds. Although it's not overly sweet tasting, there's plenty of sweetness inside: including sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses and (finally) honey. The cereal has a lot of great texture but not a lot of flavor. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kellogg's 2012 Team USA
Kellogg's 2012 Team USAThese are vanilla-flavored multigrain O's in patriotic red, white and blue colors. They are the size of Cheerios on steroids, almost Froot-Loop sized, but inconsistently so. Some were twice as thick as others. (Sort of like some folks who don't eat a balanced breakfast). They are made of whole grain corn and oat flour, wheat flour, and sugar. 2012 Team USA smells like cotton candy and has a heavy vanilla taste, until you pour on the milk, then they lose some of the heavier flavor. They stay pretty crunchy in milk. The backside of this "Collector's Edition" box features trading cards of athletes you can clip out. Due to the colors, they are more fun than Cheerios. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Quaker Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch
Quaker Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll CrunchCap'n Crunch extended his influence a little too far trying to come up with his version of CinnaBuns. These small beige and tan cinnamon-roll-colored puffed corn & oat balls are crunchy, sweet, and cinnaomony flavored. They nailed the aroma as they truly smell like a cinnamon roll. Your milk will pick up the cinnamon flavor too. They don't rip up your mouth but they do get stuck in your teeth easily. Pour on the milk and they get mealy like Kellogg's Krave and lose a little of their cinnamon intensity but that flavor builds up again on your tongue over time. I can't get past the mealy texture. 4 Boxtops ("We Have A Spill On Aisle 4". Feed it to your dog.)

What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Cereal Muffin Mixes
General Mills, which producing cereals as well as Betty Crocker cake mixes, has brought out a line of cereal muffin mixes: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese's Pieces, and Cocoa Puffs. Each makes 12 muffins. These are great-looking boxes that'll have you thinking that the grocer stacked them in the wrong aisle when you first encounter them.
Cereal Muffin Mix

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If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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