A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.
Nutrition facts
Serving size 1 cup (28g)
Servings per container 9
Amount per serving
Calories 100 Calories from fat 15
% Daily value*
Total fat 2 g 3%
   Saturated fat 0 g 0%
   Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 160 mg 7%
Potassium 170 mg 5%
Total carbohydrate 20 g 7%
   Dietary fiber 3 g 1%
   Sugars 1 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 10%      Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 10%      Iron 45%
*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Cheerios is a brand of breakfast cereal by General Mills introduced on May 1, 1941 as the first oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal. Originally named CheeriOats, the name was changed to Cheerios in 1945 because of a trade name dispute with Quaker Oats.[1] The name fit the "O" shape of the cereal pieces. In some other countries, including the United Kingdom, it is sold by Cereal Partners under the Nestlé brand. This was also the case until mid-2009 in Australia and New Zealand, but Cheerios are now branded as an Uncle Tobys product. In 2008, Cheerios released a line of Snack Mix, in Original and Cheese flavors. All Cheerios shipped to the east coast of the United States are manufactured in the General Mills plant in Buffalo, New York. In 2009, a dispute developed regarding the FDA considering Cheerios an "unapproved new drug" because of its marketing and health claims.[2]



Many of the television commercials for Cheerios have targeted children and have included animated characters (such as an animated Honeybee). Also, Hoppity Hooper was featured in ads briefly during the mid-1960s, as General Mills was the primary sponsor of his animated program.

The Cheerios Kid

Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing through the early 1960's, "The Cheerios Kid" was a mainstay in their commercials, ranking alongside most of the characters created for rival Kellogg's cereals. At first, the Kid was a clumsy, absent-minded tinkerer much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Sue, but was able to find his footing after eating Cheerios.

In later years, In numerous commercials, the Kid and Sue (more often just Sue) would get into trouble (at which point Sue would nonchalantly shout "Help, Kid...") and the Cheerios Kid, after eating his cereal to "power up", would quickly deal with the problem, often in a rather creative way.

The Cheerios Kid was revived briefly in the late 1980's with similar commercials.

"Just Cheeri-yodel"

In the late 1970s, Cheerios released a series of commercials that featured an animated "stick-man" chasing a yodeling cereal box with the word "Cheerios" written on the side. The box kept zooming by the stick-man singing "Cheerio-ee-oh-ee-ohs" and "Yummy Oaty-oh-ee-oh-ee-ohs". The man would try unsuccessfully to catch the elusive box before attempting the Cheeri-yodel himself, at which point the box would land by his side. Later commercials would be of stick-y would be back at their peak.

The Peanuts Gang

A bowl of Multi-grain Cheerios.

During the 1980s, a popular series of Cheerios commercials surfaced featuring the Peanuts gang and a new slogan, "You're on your toes with Cheerios". Some of them included:

  • Charlie Brown in a baseball game having trouble pitching until Lucy gives him breakfast with Cheerios, at which point Charlie Brown was actually pitching strikes saying "All I ever needed was a manager".
  • Schroeder, wearily playing "Chopsticks" on his piano, is treated to a similar breakfast by Lucy. Afterwards he's back to his old musical self with Lucy remarking "Supporting the arts is so gratifying."
  • Charlie Brown teaches a run-down Franklin how to surf at the beach. After Franklin is treated to a Cheerios breakfast, he quickly learns to surf like a pro and zooms by Charlie Brown, splashing him. Charlie Brown wipes the spray off his face and mutters, "Beginners Luck".
  • Peppermint Patty is running out of steam pedaling a tandem bike with Marcie until Cheerios. Afterwards, Patty is chugging away on the pedals saying "We make a great team, huh, Marcie?" Marcie, lounging away in her seat replies, "Indeed we do, Sir."

Shawn Johnson

In 2009, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion gymnast Shawn Johnson became the first athlete featured on the cover of the Cheerios box. The limited edition cereal box was distributed primarily throughout the Midwestern region of the United States exclusively by the Hy-Vee grocery store chain.[3]

UK 2009

Cheerios packaging sold in the U.K.

In the UK, a new slogan, "Give those O's a go", is now used, with ads featuring Stop-Motion/CGI characters.

Varieties and flavors

From the late 1970s until the present, General Mills has introduced a succession of cereals that are versions of the original Cheerios. In Europe, unlike America (In which is made of oats and rice.) the cereal is separated into four wholegrain, corn, oat, rice and wheat.

Cinnamon Nut Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios

Cinnamon Nut Cheerios was the first departure from regular Cheerios in mid 1976. Second was Honey Nut Cheerios which was introduced in 1979 geared towards adults as well as children. It is sweeter than the original, with a honey and almond flavor. Cinnamon Nut Cheerios was only out briefly in 1976 and 1977 and was not successful.

All Varieties

Currently on Market

  • Cheerios (1941)
  • Honey Nut Cheerios (1979) (see above)
  • Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (1988)
  • MultiGrain Cheerios (original 1992, relaunched 2009–2010)
  • Frosted Cheerios (1995)
  • Yogurt Burst Cheerios (2005)
  • Fruity Cheerios (2006) (Cheerios sweetened with real fruit juice.)
  • Oat Cluster Crunch Cheerios (2007) (sweetened Cheerios with oat clusters)
  • Banana Nut Cheerios (2009)
  • Chocolate Cheerios (2010) (Cheerios made with real cocoa)
  • Cinnamon Burst Cheerios (2011) (Cheerios made with real cinnamon)

Snack based Products

  • Cheerios Snack Mix – Original (2008) (Cheerios, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, round crackers, pretzels and cracker sticks in a garlic and onion flavor powder)
  • Cheerios Snack Mix – Cheese (2008) (Cheerios, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, triangle crackers, pretzels and cracker sticks in a cheese flavor powder)

Non General Mills derivatives

  • Purely O's (Organic Cheerios, manufactured by General Mills subsidiary Cascadian Farms) (1999)
  • Oat Cheerios (UK ONLY, Manufactured by Cereal Partners Worldwide, sold under Nestlé brand)


  • Cheerios and X's (no longer available) (1993)
  • Team Cheerios (formerly Team USA Cheerios, no longer available) (1996)
  • Millenios (Cheerios with "2"-shaped cereal pieces, no longer available) (1999–2000)
  • Berry Burst Cheerios (including variations of Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Cherry Vanilla and Triple Berry, no longer available) (2003)

Labeling controversy

In May 2009, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter[2] to General Mills indicating that in their view Cheerios was being sold as an unapproved new drug. This was in response to the labeling of the Cheerios box, which read in part:

• "You can Lower Your Cholesterol 4% in 6 weeks" " • "Did you know that in just 6 weeks Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent? Cheerios is ... clinically proven to lower cholesterol. A clinical study showed that eating two 1½ cup servings daily of Cheerios cereal reduced bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol."

The FDA letter indicated that General Mills needed to either change the way it marketed Cheerios or apply for federal approval to sell Cheerios as a drug. General Mills responded with a statement that their claim of soluble fiber content had been approved by the FDA, and that the claims about lowering cholesterol had been featured on the box for two years.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Researchers and General Mills Fight Growing Epidemic of Heart Disease Among Hispanic Americans." BusinessWire HealthWire. 29 March 2001. Look Smart - Find Articles. 22 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b "General Mills, Inc., Warning Letter" 5 May 2009. Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Popular cereal is a drug, US food watchdog says". AFP News. 12 May 2009. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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