10 sugar-filled cereals from the 1950s you will never eat again

Sugar Jets, Sugar Smiles, Sugar Krinkles…

As the Happy Days theme song sang about life in the Fifties, "The weekend comes, my cycle hums." Well, that was not the only think humming on Saturdays back then. Kids were buzzing from the shamelessly sugary cereals hitting grocery shelves.

Sugar Pops, Sugar Smacks and Sugar Frosted Flakes were all introduced in the 1950s. Those still survive in some form today.

Let's look at some sweet bowlfuls that we'll probably never eat again.

1. Sugar Krinkles


Krinkles the Clown pushed this rice cereal that hit shelves in 1950. It boldly declared itself the "candy-kissed" cereal, setting the tone for the sugar-rich breakfasts to follow.

Image: Post

2. Corn-fetti


It may not have had "Sugar" in the name, but Corn-fetti touted its "Magic Sugar Coat." It also featured a sailor mascot named Captain Jolly, who in his blue coat looked like a forerunner to Cap'n Crunch.

Image: Post

3. Sugar Smiles


"Sugar Smiles" sounds like an orthodontic condition brought about by eating too much cereal in the 1950s. This General Mills box brought together two common themes of the time — sugar and clowns.

Image: General Mills

4. Sugar Jets


The clowns eventually gave way to pilots and astronauts as America entered the Space Age. "Major Jet" was the man of action promoting Sugar Jets. The box depicted two children zooming around in a sugar rush.

Image: General Mills

5. Rice Honeys


It was made with honey, but just to reassure children, the description on the box read "Sugar Sweet." Rice Honeys and its sister cereal Wheat Honeys would later put Mary Poppins and the Beatles on the box before evolving into Winnie-The-Pooh Great Honey Crunchers and later yet Klondike Pete's Crunchy Nuggets.

Image: Nabisco

6. Cubs


Here's one that likely sold well in Chicago. It might have been merely shredded wheat, but kids were lured in by giveaways like "Battling Knights" toys. Collect all six!

Image: Nabisco

7. Surprize


This was the final cereal introduced by Eugene McKay, the man who created Rice Krispies. He purchased the "Battle Creek Food Company," a health-food brand originally founded by sanitarium director Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Though, let's not get carried away. The nutrition info explained that Surprize was "84.9% Carbs." Not to mention, it was "3.3% Moisture" and "2.76% Ash." Ash?! No wonder they had to put a special toy inside.

Image: Battle Creek Food Company

8. Juniors


Juniors and Cubs were quite similar. This 1958 introduction leaned a little harder into cartoon mascots, "The Spoonmen" — Munchy, Crunchy and Spoon-Size. Check out the free Tobor robot prize inside!

Image: Nabisco

9. Orbits


Now you are really starting to see the space theme in the late-'50s. Orbits were akin to Chex. Largely available in Canada, Orbits declared itself, "Spoon-sized cereal that's out of this world! K-K-Krunchy waffles that stay K-K-Krisp to the last bite!"

Image: Nabisco

10. Frosty O's


New for 1959, Frosty O's came branded as "goodness in a sugar-charged oat cereal." Early boxes labeled it as "The Sugar-Charged Cheerios." Later, the cereal compared itself to "little frosted donuts." That reminds us, we should go brush our teeth…

Image: General Mills

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Snickers 27 months ago
I don't remember ever eating any of these.
Karen 46 months ago
These are before my time, but the prizes were great in Freakies cereal!! My favorites were the balloon powered car and boat with the weird, collectible characters. (1970s)
bewest169 49 months ago
Did not know the group insane clown possie was hacking cereal
kimmer 49 months ago
Hmmmmmm....I don't recall any of those...
teacher36870 kimmer 48 months ago
Loved to eat Sugar Jets while I read and watched Saturday cartoons way back in 1954 and 1955...telling my age now.
kimmer teacher36870 48 months ago
Oh sage one.....what knowledge you bestow......I love it!! LoL
AlF 50 months ago
That Sugar Krinkles ad is creepy! You can find it on YT...

What I want to know is if anyone is selling a sealed box of any of these cereals on eBay, and whether it might not be worth a try!
Mirramanee AlF 42 months ago
Actually, the only one of these I recall Rice Krinkles (and I was not born till 1968), but it had a different mascot. Some sort of Asian character who probably would be considered offensive in today's world. Rice Krinkles were basically Rice Krispies with a honey/sugar coating. They were great to eat right out of the box. I believe they were discontinued by Post in the early '70's.
textilewhiz Mirramanee 16 months ago
I always wanted a t-shirt with that character. For those of you who don't remember the Linus the Lionhearted cartoon, his name was... wait for it... So Hi. The whole cartoon was CEREAL MASCOTS! Linus' cereal was... wait for it... Crispy Critters! Cereal, So Hi, Crispy Critters, and making a saturday morning cartoon out of them? Something at Post Cereal was getting baked.
jholton30062 50 months ago
"Ash" refers to the amount of bran and germ that's left in the flour after it's been milled. It's not like cigarette ash...

Rice Krinkles eventually ditched Kinkles the clown and went with a slightly less racially sensitive animated Asian boy. One of their giveaways was a little rickshaw...
dmagoon jholton30062 49 months ago
BTW, did Wacky Packages artists(?) ever consider, in the So-Hi days, a spoof called something like "Rice Wrinkles", referring to the Chinese-Americans' laundry business heritage?
dth1971 50 months ago
Frosty O's were later rebooted in 1981-1983 as Powered Donutz cereal and rebooted again in the 1990's as Frosted Cheerios.
Tarakian10 50 months ago
Why do people perpetuate this lie and misguided myth about sugar getting kids high. This was started by Allen Dulles from our CIA because at the time we got over 70% of our sugar from Cuba and later Fidel Castro. Kennedy switched America to Corn syrup and artificial sweete
ners because the corn was a main product of the USA. This falsehood destroyed breakfast cereals and many other businesses that used sugar. Kellogg Cereal nearly went bankrupt until TV allowed them to become major sponsors of TV shows like the Beverly Hillbillies. All of this was done at the courtesy of the FCC changing the rules. What our great government including President Kennedy did not know is that we do not digest corn syrup well and even causes cancer in some people today. Next we tried Sucrose and today we have a few companies going back to pure natural sugar, but the cereal industry is committed to using cheap products because unknowing parents still talk about a fake "sugar high". Sad for us as consumers of ignorance.
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dmagoon Tarakian10 49 months ago
BTW, in "hippie talk" comedy, is "C------" or "j----- C-------" REALLY cooler? (no offense to the real character)
Tlor Tarakian10 49 months ago
I think fake sugar is gross
MadMadMadWorld Tarakian10 49 months ago
You have an incorrect timeline on when High Fructose Corn Syrup became important in use as artificial sweeteners in the United States! It was not until the 1970s, long after the Kennedy administration, and Allen Dulles or the CIA. It was less expensive and easier to use than adding sugar. Here is the link to information on when it started, and I know it was not in the 1960s, because Coca-Cola and other sweet items had sugar in it then, as millions remembered it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup#United_States
Kramden62 Tarakian10 20 months ago
Has anybody seen the 1976 short film "Sooper Goop" on You Tube?

As much as it was funny, it seemed to hit the nail on the head regarding Tarakian10's comment about the cereal industry using cheap products. Also, it shows two young kids pleading with their mother to buy the cereal after listening to some ridiculous claims made in a TV commercial for "Sooper Goop," to which she replies, "When will you ever learn?"
AgingDisgracefully 50 months ago
I always believed Sugar Booger failed because of poor marketing.
This is America, where anybody can be sold ANYTHING.
stephaniestavropoulos 50 months ago
Monkees are on at 3 a.m. on Saturdays. {For those who live in an area that get FETV.} If you don't, I'm sorry for your loss and I hope METV DOES bring the guys back in the very, very near, near future!
Tlor stephaniestavropoulos 49 months ago
I watched a couple of episodes on Me TV when it was on in the afternoon. If it hadn't been for Davy Jones it wouldn't have been on for very long...shows were really lame too
ncadams27 50 months ago
I remember Rice Honeys and Wheat Honeys. The cereal would clump together like caramel corn. They were good though. I’ll bet today’s sugar content is higher, back then they didn’t need to tell you. In 1962, Post cereals had baseball cards on the back of the box that you could cut out. I never waited until the box was empty and often cut through the inner liner. Cereal was everywhere!
MaryAnn 50 months ago
I’m remembering when Sugar Smacks became Honey Smacks and all the yum was gone.
AnnieM MaryAnn 50 months ago
And Super Sugar Crisp became Honey Golden Crisp - and we lost Sugar Bear! :-(
TheDavBow3 50 months ago
Oh great! I just saw Krinkles!! Now I'm gonna have nightmares!! I hope my Mom and Dad will let me crawl in between them .... again! 😉
stephaniestavropoulos 50 months ago
Cubs might've been a big seller "back in the day," in the City Of Wind, but fast forward decades later, and an actual Cub player had his own best selling cereal: Rizz-o's {Anthony Rizzo #44 1st base.} The $$ made for it, went towards Pediatric Cancer, of which he is a survivor.
MaryAnn 50 months ago
Krinkles the Clown looks incredibly creepy!
MaryAnn LucyImHome1951 50 months ago
Very cool! Ronald is not creepy to me at all. A little weird, maybe, but not creepy.🤡
TheDavBow3 MaryAnn 50 months ago
Oh I know, Mary Ann! He's scary as CRAP!! 😬😳
MrsPhilHarris MaryAnn 50 months ago
I don't care for clowns.
Dave MaryAnn 50 months ago
Recognize Ronald? That's weatherman Willard Scott in his first TV appearance!
MaryAnn Dave 50 months ago
Now that I know Ronald was Willard Scott, I STILL don’t recognize him!
AnnieM TheDavBow3 50 months ago
I think he was the model for Pennywise! :-D
LucyImHome1951 50 months ago
I remember Frosty O's in the 60s with chumley from Tennessee Tuxedo on the box.

P.S The Surprize box looks like a box of laundry detergent.
Moody LucyImHome1951 50 months ago
Maybe that was the surprise!
Anybody remember the prizes one could get inside a box of laundry detergent? Silverware, towels, knives, are a few things I remember.
I only know of them because I have seen the commercials. Anyone actually remember owning an actual box {Bringing it home from the store}/with "surprise inside?"
Yes I remember the two tone train whistle, the plastic toy soldiers, the plastic animals from Alpha Bits Cereal, even the plastic Flying Saucer from Quisp Cereal. My Mom got our entire cut glass set of drinking glasses from 3Minutes Oates oatmeal. I was so mad because we ate oatmeal for six months until she got her whole set of glassware.
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