Cinnamon Toast Crunch
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Cinnamon Toast Crunch (previously called Cinnamon Grahams in the UK but now called Curiously Cinnamon), known as Croque-Cannelle in France and as a different-tasting but similar-looking variant called Cini Minis in other European countries where available, is a brand cereal produced by General Mills and Nestlé. The cereal was first produced in 1984. Cinnamon Toast Crunch aims to provide the taste of cinnamon toast in a crunch cereal format. The cereal consists of small squares or rectangles of wheat and rice covered with cinnamon and sugar. Because of its rice content, when immersed in milk, one can hear "snap" sounds coming from it, similar to Rice Krispies. In most European countries the product is sold in boxes but in Poland the cereal is sold in bags. The product is currently marketed outside Europe with the mascot of a jolly baker named Chef Wendell.
Chef Wendell has appeared in several children's books, including "Chef Wendell, Where Are You?"
Originally the cereal featured plain squares but currently features artificial "cinnamon swirl" coloration in each piece. Starting in 1987 there were three animated bakers as the mascots, none of which were originally named; the two besides Wendell are sometimes incorrectly credited as Bob and Quello. The other two bakers were considerably more youthful in appearance than Wendell. One of them was tall and thin with brown hair and the other had black hair and a stocky build. According to an inquiry response from General Mills Customer Service:
"These little guys were cute bakers complete with chef hats and aprons. Wendell was the only baker that was named, and due to consumer feedback, we chose to feature him as the 'Cinnamon Toast Baker' where he has remained in this title role since 1991."
The cereal's original slogan was "I'm feeling like Cinnamon Toast Crunch." During this time, the three bakers were the mascots, it had no real slogan, but it featured the three bakers singing the cereal's name with each baker singing one word in its title. Starting in 1995, it was given the slogan: "The taste you can see." In January 2007, Cinnamon Toast Crunch experimented with a new slogan, "It's That Intense," but switched back after poor reception. In 2009 the slogan became "Crave those crazy squares".
In 1997, appealing to adult-oriented programming, a campaign featured the slogan "The adult thing to do", mostly centering on their adult things going back to kids' stuff, including cereal (which a fictional "adult" cereal named "Health Pellets" was featured before replacing it with Cinnamon Toast Crunch). This was changed around 2004 to "Breakfast on a whole other level", which was replaced with the "Crave those crazy squares" in 2009.
Current advertisements for this cereal portray adults in some form unable to "see what makes them so popular," the adult guesses something completely off the wall, and usually related to the adult's profession, whereby the kids correct them and loudly say "It's the cinnamon sugar swirls in every bite!". However, the cereal is also currently advertised directly to adults, as a healthy breakfast choice with a great taste they grew up with. They also advertise Cinnamon Grahams with Golden Grahams which features two brothers arguing over which is best, Golden or Cinnamon Grahams. As of 2010, the advertisements include usually 2 cinnamon toast crunch cereal pieces themselves and the result is always one eating the other.
Spin-offs of the cereal
There have been three off-shoots of the cereal: French Toast Crunch in 1995, Peanut Butter Toast Crunch in 2004 and 2013, and Frosted Toast Crunch in 2012. French Toast Crunch was usually shaped like many little French toast slices, reminiscent of the style of Cookie Crisp. More recently, it resembles Cinnamon Toast Crunch, only lighter in color. Peanut Butter Toast Crunch was a cereal consisting of flakes similar but darker to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Frosted Toast Crunch resembles Cinnamon Toast Crunch with vanilla coating. This cereal was discontinued by 2006. French Toast Crunch was discontinued in May 2008. It was re-introduced into Canada later on. As another offshoot, Monopoly Cereal was a limited edition product created in April 2003 by General Mills. The cereal was like Cinnamon Toast Crunch but with the addition of marshmallows based on the pieces in the Monopoly game, such as houses and hotels. Recently General Mills started selling Peanut Butter Toast Crunch again.
In Germany, where a variant of the cereal is known as Cini Minis, a strawberry flavoured variant named Erdbeer Minis exists. It replaced a previously existing apple flavoured variant called Äpple Minis. This strawberry flavoured variant was later released in the UK as Curiously Strawberry.
One serving of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, equal to ¾ cup or 31 g, has 130 calories, or 170 calories with ½ cup of skim milk. A single serving has 3 g of total fat, no cholesterol, 220 mg of sodium and 45 mg of potassium. One serving has 25 g of total carbohydrates with 2 g of dietary fiber, 10 g of sugars and 1455r g of other carbohydrates, along with 1 g of protein. This cereal contains trisodium phosphate.
- General Mills Website
- Nestlé Cereals Website
- Cereal Partners Website
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Product Page
- Curiously Cinnamon Product Page
- Cini-Minis Product Page