On May 2, 1941, General Mills began shipping Cheerioats, their new dry cereal, to different test markets. The breakfast cereal was later renamed Cheerios. Here are 5 delicious facts you probably didn’t know about Cheerios…
They Were Originally Called CheeriOats A physicist named Lester Borchardt worked in Minnesota for General Mills in 1941 and helped invent the soon-to-be popular breakfast cereal. His team’s contribution was in developing a gun-shaped machine that caused oats to puff into an “o” shape. The original name of the cereal was Cheerioats, but a trademark infringement claim by Quaker caused General Mills to change the name to Cheerios in 1945.
Mascots for Cheerios First Appeared in The 1940s Cheeri O’Leary was the name of the little girl who first appeared in the 1940s as the mascot in ads for Cheerios. During the 1950s and 1980s, television commercials featured the Cheerios Kid and a sidekick named Sue, where the Kid ate Cheerios and then went on to solve problems — similar to Popeye eating his spinach. Those two characters were revived in 2012 to explain to viewers how Cheerios could help lower cholesterol.
Rocky and Bullwinkle Appeared on the Box in the 1960s Cartoon programs were used by General Mills to promote their cereals about 1959. It must have been successful because the company began making commercials using Rocky and Bullwinkle in the 1960s. On the cereal boxes appeared Hoppity Hooper, who was featured in activities for children to do on the backs of the boxes.
A Fifth Grade Student Named "BuzzBee" General Mills only produced plain Cheerios for about 30 years, but began selling Cinnamon Nut Cheerios in 1976 and Honey Nut Cheerios three years later. The Honey Nut Cheerios were a big hit and a bumble bee became recognized as its mascot. For nearly 20 years, that famous bee went mostly unnoticed because he didn't have a name. In 2000, Kristine Tong, a fifth grade student from Coolidge, Texas, won a national contest to name the bee, dubbing him "BuzzBee". Honey Nut Cheerios has outsold the original flavor since 2009, and has been the #1 selling breakfast cereal in America every year since 2009. In 2016, BuzzBee was removed from the Honey Nut Cheerios boxes in protest of the decline of bees in the United States.
There’s a “Cheerios Effect” A Harvard University mathematician and graduate student attending Cambridge University used the name Cheerio Effect to demonstrate three physics concepts: surface tension, the meniscus effect and buoyancy. If one Cheerio is placed in a bowl with milk, its weight makes the cereal dip a little, which forms a dent in the milk, while an additional Cheerio will do the same thing. However, if the two pieces of cereal come close to each other, they will touch as though they are attracted to each other.