The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 2, Number 1 January 2000

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Reader's Poll
If a character prize were offered "free inside", would you be more likely to buy the cereal?


Results Posted In February 2000 Issue
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January 2000 Features

Breakfast Cereals I Hope They Never Make!
1961: My First Post Cereal Baseball Card
Y2K New Year's "Wish List" Resolutions
Cereal Review - Post Grape Nuts
What's New in Cereal?

Breakfast Cereals I Hope They NEVER Make
by Donnie Neiswinger

Well, OK, I guess I can put up with the occasional marshmallow chunk in my bowl of cereal, even though I don't really think marshmallows have any earthly reason to be in milk. This odd combination has somehow found its way to normal status in society, and some of you might even like it. You might also enjoy cereals with bits of hard, dry fruit or raisins in them or even (gasp...) slivers of almond. All I can say to that is, "Yuckkk!!"

So maybe we don't agree on everything cereal-wise. That's no problem as long as we can see eye to eye on a few things that should never be mixed with breakfast cereal. So please don't send petitions to the cereal companies demanding or even suggesting these, and if you happen to know that some of them already exist, please don't tell me. It would just upset me, and I wouldn't want to be the first person in history to lose his mind over prepackaged foods.

Here's my current "Please Don't Manufacture Any" list --

1) Crispy Rice and Gummi Bears: I can just picture the sickeningly catchy slogan... "It Stays Crun-Chewy, Even in Milk!!!"
2) Cheese and Crackers Crunch: Crackers and milk just don't mix well. This would be a sloppy mess unless, of course, they coated it all with that special, tasty, no-sog shellac and varnish we all love.
3) Beef Jerky and Bran: I won't say that most marketing people are dumb enough to try this, but then again they did add green and blue Froot Loops, lobotomize the Booberry ghost, and change the frosting on Cocoa Puffs...
4) Jalapenee-O's: The truth is, I've never really understood the mind of the hot-pepper lover, so maybe I'm wrong on this one.
5) Little Tiny Fish Sticks and Wheat Flakes: It sounds pretty unlikely, I know, but after they came up with Low-Fat Pop Tarts, I gave up on ruling out anything. I suppose it might depend on what they used for breading on the fish sticks.
6) Sugar Coated Corn Puffs and Coffee Beans: I'm sure they've already considered adding addictive substances like caffeine to breakfast cereal. And, well, coffee and milk does sound like a workable combination. Somehow it still doesn't seem right to me, though.

I think I'd rather just eat plain old Frosted Flakes given these kinds of choices. If I'm feeling really bold, maybe I'll shuffle together some Corn Chex and Rice Chex... with plenty of sugar mixed in, of course.

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Editor's Note: Please e-mail us your list of "cereals you hope you never see".
(By the way, Donnie, I love nuts in my cereal. Especially pecans and almonds.)

1961: My First Post Cereal Baseball Card
by Dan W. Mabey

I was startled back to the present as a firm but gentle hand grasped my left shoulder, "Let's go, son, your mom is waiting in the car." As I looked up, my dad met my glance with a faint smile that conveyed he understood the torment of his ten year old son. But his expression also clearly communicated that the brightly colored cereal boxes with the baseball cards were to remain on the grocery store shelf. Sighing heavily, I instinctively reached out and lightly touched the small package of Post Toasties as if bidding a final farewell to the family dog or cat. Dejectedly dropping my eyes to the brightly polished linoleum floor of the Boy's Market and studding my hands into the pockets of my blue jeans, I trudged off down the aisle with my father to the checkout counter. Maury Wills would have to wait.

It was the spring of 1961, and I had just made my first contact with the Post Cereal baseball card set. Initial failures to induce my parents to acquire the cereal packages taught me the value of planning, team work, diplomacy, and negotiation skills. And to think that all General Foods had in mind was to increase sales and market share of Post cereals against its chief rivals Kellogg, General Mills, and Nabisco!

A ten year old boy momentarily disappears from his mother's side at a Market Basket grocery store. Within five minutes, he races up the aisle where his mother has just placed a carton of eggs and pound of bacon into her shopping basket. Victoriously waving a package of cereal, he exclaims: "Mom, look at the neat cards on this box! It's got Don Drysdale!" Patiently, the woman reaches toward the outstretched hand holding the package and examining the box says, "Dan, you don't even like Raisin Bran." Smiling broadly, the kid responds with a quick: "Well, now I do!" Resigning herself to her son's endless devotion to Big "D" and baseball cards, the mother simultaneously sighs, gives Dan a wary look, places the cereal box in the cart, and announces: "You are going to eat every single bit of this cereal, young man!" And our smug ten year old negotiator thinks, "Alright, I got mom on my side. Only 194 cards to complete the set. Now, if I can figure out how to get my dad and brothe rs to eat Alpha-Bits, Sugar Crisp, Post Toasties, and Grape-Nuts Flakes instead of french toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage..."

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Y2K New Year's "Wish List" Resolutions
by Topher, Editor

Here's what we'ld like to see our major cereal manufacturers resolve to accomplish in the year 2000.

1. Promote Cap'n Crunch to Admiral... He's been selling the seven seas for Quaker Oats since 1963. Isn't it time he got a raise?
2. Shine On, Yellow Moons... L.C. "Lucky" Leprechaun should magically recreate the original yellow moons that disappeared in 1994 after a 20-year run.
3. Return Big Yella to the Big Box... Big Yella is a respectable blond-haired cowboy with a 50-gallon cowboy hat. He's been missing from Kellogg's Corn Pops since 1979.
4. Free Prize Inside!... Where have all the good character prizes gone? Santa stuffed our stockings, but it's not enough! We want our cereal boxes stuffed with free prizes too.
5. Cereals of the Century... Bring back the great characters of the 20th Century! Freakies, Quisp, Quake, Jean LaFoote, Fruit Brute, Yummy Mummy, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Baron Von RedBerry, Sir Grapefellow and others. We miss you!

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Cereal Review
by Topher

Post Grape-Nuts

Grape-Nuts Box Post Grape Nuts (one of the few nonsugar-infused cereals in Post's lineup) is one of my favorite cereals. Athough it contains no grapes or nuts, this crunchy wheat and barley cereal does have a nutty taste. It also packs a mighty crunch. (Some might say, "yeah, like rocks"). Granted, it's one of the few cereals you actually want to allow to sit around a few minutes in milk before consuming. I prefer the crunch, although I've heard some people wait for it to turn to mush before eating it.

For an even better flavor, add a couple of tablespoons of Quaker Oat's Kretchmer Wheat Germ to your Post Grape Nuts. The two make for a great combination. If you like either, you'll love this. Pour yourself a bowl of Grape Nuts, spoon on 2 or 3 large tablespoons of Wheat Germ, mix, add milk, and enjoy. Not only will you get a better tasting breakfast, you'll get more nutrition as well!

FYI: C.W. Post created Grape-Nuts in 1897. He named it Grape-Nuts: "Grape" because it contained maltose, which C.W. called "grape sugar" and "nuts" due of its flavor.

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Quaker Oats King Vitaman

Quaker Oats King Vitaman Quaker Oats has brought back an animated King Vitaman! The human king, George Mann, who wore a crown of spoons and a red-and-white checkered tablecloth robe, had appeared on boxes since 1971. According to Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide the original characters included King Vitaman, his two knights: Sir Laffitup, and Sir Cravenleigh, and their foes: Blue Baron, and Not-So-Bright Knight.
The original animated characters lasted only one year (1970) before they were replaced by the human king. King Vitaman Cereal was touted as "the 100% vitamin and iron cereal" with "sugary sweet tasty little love'em!"

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Reader's Poll Results
What Do You Do With The Leftover Milk In The Bottom Of Your Cereal Bowl?
I usually drink it. 50%
I usually throw it away. 33%
Other 17%
This is an unscientific survey based upon 6 voluntary responses in our December 1999 Reader's Poll.

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© 1999 - 2000 Topher All rights reserved.

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