Perhaps no other cereal has ever hit the market with as audible a bang as Rice Krispies. A staple of breakfast tables for over 80 years, their welcoming morning cacophony has put smiles on the faces of millions of kids over the years. Quite the feat considering that the original Rice Krispies are not coated in sugar like many of their competitors (assuming you stick to the original, that is).
Kellogg’s first introduced Rice Krispies, which consist of toasted rice grains, all the way back in 1928. The “Snap, Crackle and Pop” catchphrase was included on the front of each box, and referred the sound the cereal makes when it comes in contact with milk. Science tell us that what we are hearing are the cellular walls of the cereal collapsing as a result of the temperature change.
Scientific explanations may satiate the curiosity of intellectual folks, but every kid alive since 1963 can tell you that the sound is made by a trio of friendly elves, named (you guessed it) Snap, Crackle and Pop. Granted, these elves have been on the box since 1939, but we didn’t really get to know them until they started appearing in animated commercials of the 60s. To date, they are the longest-running cartoon mascot in Kellogg’s history.
As we’ve mentioned, the original Rice Krispies come unsweetened. Perhaps realizing that most kids put sugar on them anyways, Kellogg’s has also introduced Frosted Rice Krispies in recent years, as well as Cocoa Krispies to compete with those pesky Cocoa Pebbles that Fred and Barney keep hawking. Other less-successful versions have appeared in the past, including Marshmallow Rice Krispies (complete with Lucky Charm-esque dried marshmallows), as well as Strawberry Krispies, Banana Krispies, Razzle Dazzle Rice Krispies, Berry Krispies and Honey Rice Krispies. Whew.
Of course, no mention of the cereal would be complete without a nod to the uber-popular Rice Krispies Treat, a rectangle of gooey goodness made by mixing the cereal with melted marshmallow. So popular are these treats that Kellogg’s now makes a pre-made, foil-wrapped version of this homemade favorite. Rice Krispies may not have sugar, but these babies definitely don’t lack in the sucrose department.
Cereals come and go, but Rice Krispies has stayed afloat for decades, much longer than most of its competition. So beloved are they, so engrained into our culture, that when a poll was taken in 2002, the results showed that most Americans knew the mascots by name, but couldn’t name three of the nine sitting Supreme Court Justices – a prime example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, if there ever was one.
Did you start your childhood mornings serenaded by a bowl of Rice Krispies? Share your memories of this beloved breakfast cereal with all of us at Retroland in our comments section, as we tip the hat to a trio on noisy, yet noble mascots and their nutritious wares.