These Vintage Cereal Boxes Reveal The Evolution Of America’s Breakfast Icons

Editorial Director, Life
03.07.17 4 Comments

Cereal is pretty much the perfect internet food. It’s mobile, it’s cheap, it’s bad for us, and it’s coated with nostalgia. I still get excited when I buy a box of Trix — the one “sugar cereal” we got as kids (only on vacation). These tiny pieces of puffed corn have the transformative power to make us feel both old and young in one bite. Also, the stuff tastes good — mostly because the cereals we love are, essentially, dessert.

The boxes themselves offer fascinating snapshots of a bygone era. As a food and design geek, I love looking at them — which is pretty easy to do because there’s a whole cult of old-cereal-box-design-lovers online. I don’t know who decided to save a 1952 Frosted Flakes box for posterity, but I’m glad someone did.

When I look at these, I like to check for a few things:

  • Is there anything that absolutely wouldn’t fly in 2017? (Oh, like say the FREAKING GUN on the Sugar Smacks box below.)
  • How does the marketing speak on the front relate to sugar and health?
  • How have the iconic mascots evolved?

And of course…

  • Does it look cool?

Let’s peruse a few boxes, then you can go over to our Cereal Power Rankings to argue with me about OHS! — which, after Trix and Grapenuts (with a spoonful of sugar) — are the best cereal ever.

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