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What was the first cereal to ever be advertised on television?

Wheaties

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General Mills
Wheaties


Wheaties From: General Mills
Introduced in 1924

  • The famous slogan "Breakfast of Champions" was first used to promote Wheaties Cereal in the 1930's. The slogan debuted on a billboard for a minor league baseball team in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Michael Jordon has appeared on more Wheaties Cereal boxes than any other athlete with 18 different depictions. Tiger Woods maintains second place with 14 boxes to his credit.

  • In 1939, Wheaties became the first cereal to ever be advertised on television. The ad took place during the very first televised baseball game (The Cincinnati Reds vs The Brooklyn Dodgers). It was delivered by announcer Red Barber who was shown eating a bowl of Wheaties between innings.

  • In 1958, Olympic pole vaulter Bob Richards became the first athlete to appear on the cover of a box of Wheaties.

  • The first jingle for a cereal was sung for Wheaties on Christmas Eve in 1926. The live commercial aired on WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lyrics were:

    Have you tried Wheaties?
    They're the whole wheat with all of the bran.
    Won't you try Wheaties?
    For wheat is the best food of man.

Wheaties began it's life under the name Washburn's Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes. As General Mills tell the story on the Wheaties website... the cereal was the invention of a Minneapolis clinician who accidentally spilled a wheat bran mixture on a hot stove which resulted in tasty wheat flakes.

The new invention found its way to the Washburn Crosby Company (a predecessor of General Mills). There, the recipe for the cereal was improved upon and prepared for mass production.

By the time the cereal was introduced in 1924, it was decided that the name Washburn's Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes was too long. An employee contest to name the cereal was won by an executive's wife, Jane Bausman, and Wheaties were born.

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In 1931, Wheaties was the first cereal to use radio soap operas to sell cereal to children. The same advertising man who arranged for Ovaltine drink mix to be sold on the Little Orphan Annie radio show hooked Wheaties up with it's radio character - Skippy.

Skippy was a cross between Beaver Cleaver and Bart Simpson. The 15-minute show was a big success. A half-million kids joined the Skippy Secret Service Society - the application for which required a signed statement from mothers that their children were eating Wheaties.

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In 1933, Wheaties began sponsoring one of the most popular radio serials of all time, Jack Armstrong - the story of an All-American high school student who get's in all sorts of crazy adventures. The show ran for 18 years. During that time 300,000 kids sent in Wheaties Box Tops for a Jack Armstrong Premium Stamp and 1,200,000 listeners sent box tops to receive a Jack Armstrong Hike-o-Meter.

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Wheaties cemented it's association with sports and athletics in the 1930's. By 1939, so many baseball players endorsed the cereal that 46 of the 51 players in that year's All-Star Game had contracts with Wheaties.


Click here to see all cereals from General Mills.


Wheaties Cereal Theater



Now Showing:
1978 Bruce Jenner Wheaties Ad
More Videos For Wheaties

1981 Eaties for Wheaties Ad
1985 Big Boys Wheaties Ad
1989 Michael Jordon Wheaties Ad
1991 Michael Jordon / James Worthy Ad
Ding Dong School Wheaties Ad

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Click Here To Visit The Wheaties DELUXE Theater


Additional Images

These are the most recent images. Click here to see all pictures for Wheaties.


Title: Jerry Kramer 1964 Wheaties Stamp

Submitter: v.f.c.g.
Uploaded: 1/18/2012

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Title: Wheaties Microscope Box

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 1/19/2011

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Title: 1937 Carl Hubbell Wheaties Box

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 12/22/2010

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Title: 1956 Wheaties Mouseketeer Record

Submitter: DeeJay
Uploaded: 12/22/2010

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Title: Joe DiMaggio Wheaties Ad

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 11/28/2010

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Title: 1935 Ladies Home Journal Wheaties Ad

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 11/28/2010

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Title: Vintage Wheaties Champion Ad

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 11/28/2010

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Title: Single-Serve Wheaties Tennis Box

Submitter: jeffrey
Uploaded: 11/23/2010

Additional details



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Comments About This Cereal
What do you think of Wheaties?

Overall Average Rating = 4 (out of 5)

View all 19 comments for this cereal.


By RNMando

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

I grew up on Wheaties and thought they were amazing. Then someone at General Mills thought they should fix what wasn't broke and they introduced the "New Wheaties". Ugh! They now taste just like the rest of field. Oh how I long for the original cereal.

Comment submitted: 3/13/2014 (#16349)



By Loved Wheaties

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

Wheaties used to taste SO good. Somewhere since the 1970's, not sure when, they changed the recipe or something and today I get mad at myself every time I forget how bad they suck and accidentally buy another box. I called up General Mills to ask them how/why could they possibly ruin a perfect cereal. Today's Wheaties are not even comparable to the original Wheaties I remember. I would eat bowl after bowl of the old Wheaties. The new Wheaties reminds me of generic wannabe cereals. Yuk. Throw it away. It is worthless and it makes me think of shorting General Mills stock actually now that I think of it. There is no substitute for absolutely having the best product. They did before, but DEFINITELY do not now. Hard to believe actually.

Comment submitted: 2/25/2014 (#16162)



By Bennett2

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

Where can I find out more about the tin auto emblems that were offered from Wheaties and what were the 31 auto companies that you could collect? Are there any pictures of each emblem and the promotional advertising for these? Appreciate any info you could supply me. - BENNETT@CONRADS

Comment submitted: 9/9/2013 (#13868)



By larry

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

Loved Wheaties when I was young and it remains one of my favorites today.

Comment submitted: 7/11/2013 (#12739)



By Postman

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

I think Wheaties and Total are the same cereal.

Comment submitted: 7/3/2013 (#12646)



By monk

I was wondering if you found info on the 1934 Wheaties car. I have one and find very little about it and it's value. mjkins(at)comcast.net

Comment submitted: 5/1/2013 (#11894)



By Avrige Bear

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

About 20 years ago, I found that GENERAL MILLS was one of the sponsors for THE original MICKEY MOUSE CLUB in it's original network days in the 1950's. I also found that there used to be a MICKEY MOUSE CLUB cut out record on the front of each box. RIP Annette.

Comment submitted: 4/10/2013 (#11579)



By T.B.

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

Great Cereal! A classic.

Comment submitted: 4/3/2013 (#11502)



Official Member: Team BreakfastBy rkade111 (Team Breakfast Member)

Cereal Rating (out of 5):

Good but not great. It is far less interesting than Nabisco Team Flakes, which are now out of production. I would say that Wheaties are bland unless you add a bit of sugar... or fruit.

Comment submitted: 1/15/2013 (#10396)



By k.s.

Can anyone tell me if General Mills changed the Wheaties recipe in the mid 1980s?

Comment submitted: 1/8/2013 (#10327)



View all 19 comments for this cereal.





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