Grape-Nuts is a breakfast cereal developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, a patient and later competitor of the 19th-century breakfast food innovator, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Despite its name, the cereal contains neither grapes nor nuts; it is actually made from wheat and barley. Post believed that sucrose (which he called "grape sugar") formed during the baking process. This, combined with the nutty flavor of the cereal, is said to have inspired its name. Another explanation originates from employees at Post, who claim that the cereal got its name due to its resemblance to grape seeds, or grape "nuts." The cereal originally prepared by C. W. Post when he was developing the product was a batter that came out of the oven as a rigid sheet. He then broke the sheet into pieces and ran them through a coffee grinder to produce the "nut" sized kernels.
Grape-Nuts was initially marketed as a natural cereal that could enhance health and vitality, and also as a "brain food." Its lightweight and compact nature, nutritional value, and resistance to spoilage made it a popular food for exploration and expedition groups in the 1920s and 1930s. In World War II, Grape-Nuts was included as a component of the lightweight Jungle ration used by some U.S. and Allied Forces in wartime operations before 1944.
A 1939 ad campaign by cartoonist Walter Hoban continued his Jerry on the Job comic strip in Woman's Day magazine and daily newspaper comics pages. General Foods also marketed Grape-Nuts through a comics-style advertising campaign (a trailblazer in this regard) featuring a recurring character named Little Alby, who gained inordinate strength after consuming a bowl of Grape-Nuts.
During the 1960s, advertising for the brand promoted Grape-Nuts as the cereal that "fills you up, not out". Brand users, particularly mother/daughter look-alikes, were shown engaged in fitness activities such as tennis, horseback riding, skiing, and swimming. Also appearing during the "fills you up, not out" campaign were Andy Griffith and Don Knotts as their characters from "The Andy Griffith Show," Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife. Ironically, Grape-Nuts has a glycemic index of 71, which is higher than of table sugar (sucrose, GI 60),. Some nutritional researchers argue that high-glycemic index foods promote blood sugar spikes and might induce insulin resistance, thereby contributing to obesity (although this claim is controversial, and other researchers disagree). If true, this would mean that Grape-Nuts would "fill you out" more strongly than most other sweetened foods.
This ad campaign produced at least one television commercial featuring a catchphrase that became a target for numerous sketches and satires in other media. Spanning the ensuing two decades, "Oh no, Mrs. Burke! I thought you were Dale!" was parodied in the film The Kentucky Fried Movie and continued to appear in comedy routines. This line is remembered most today by those who saw the 1968 through 1970 commercial.
A subsequent ad campaign generated another catchphrase, as Euell Gibbons became the spokesperson for the brand, promoting Grape-Nuts as the "Back to Nature Cereal". The line "Ever eat a pine cone? Many parts are edible" proved to draw increased attention to the product from consumers, as well as from comedians of all sorts.
Grape-Nuts is credited with being the first widespread product to use a coupon in sales promotion when C.W. Post Company offered a penny-off coupon to get people to try their cereal in the late 1890s.
At one time, Grape-Nuts was the seventh most popular cold breakfast cereal, but sales declined as Post was sold from one company to another. Circa 2005 it held less than 1% of the market. About this time the formula was changed: The husks from milled grain were ground into the flour so it could be pitched as "whole grain," albeit at the cost of roughening the cereal's texture and detracting significantly from its mouth feel. The addition of vitamins and minerals allowed it to qualify for food-stamp programs. Ralcorp, the current owner of Post, has undertaken new advertising campaigns to try to revitalize sales of the Post cereals.
Ice cream 
Grape-Nut ice cream is a popular regional dish in the Canadian Maritimes, the Shenandoah Valley, and New England. One origin story is that it was created by chef Hannah Young at the The Palms restaurant in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1919. She created it when she had run out of fresh fruit to add into the ice cream, and instead decided to throw in some of the cereal. It proved popular at the restaurant and the Farmers Dairy company began mass producing the ice cream variety, and it spread across the region. Different variations of ice cream with Grape Nuts are also called brown bread ice cream.
See also 
- Kearny, Cresson H. (Major), Jungle Snafus...And Remedies, Oregon Institute (1996), pp. 290-291
- "Gallery of Graphic Design". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Funny Business: The Rise and Fall of Johnstone and Cushing," Hogan's Alley, 1999
- "GI Value of Grapenuts™ Breakfast Cereal". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Glycemic Index Sugars". Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Newman, B., Wall Steet Journal, June 1, 2009
- Vranica, S., Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2009
- "Ice cream company scoops grapenut ice cream from Hannah Young." Hantsport News and Views. July 2010, pg. 12
- Jones, Evan (1981) American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Random House, Inc. ISBN 0-394-74646-5
- Grape-Nuts site
- Post Natural Advantage site promoting Grape-Nuts
- Gallery of classic graphic design featuring Grape-Nuts cereals
- Burke Family Grape-Nuts TV Commercial Archives
- Straight Dope answer on "No grapes and no nuts"