Cinnamon Toast Crunch
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|Product type||Breakfast cereal|
|Introduced||March 5, 1984|
|Tagline||"Crave those crazy squares"|
Cinnamon Toast Crunch (known as Croque-Cannelle in French Canada, Curiously Cinnamon in the UK (previously Cinnamon Grahams), and as a different-tasting but similar-looking variant called Cini Minis in other European and Latin American countries where available), is a brand of breakfast 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 and North America the product is sold in boxes but in Poland and Russia the cereal is sold in bags. The product was originally marketed outside Europe with the mascot of a jolly baker named Chef Wendell, but was replaced with sentient Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares as mascots, who would often eat each other in commercials.
Originally the cereal featured plain squares but currently features artificial "cinnamon swirl" coloration in each piece. The cereal was originally invented by scientist John Mendesh and by General Mills assistant product manager Elisabeth Trach. Starting in 1985 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. Quello, who was Wendell's second-in-command, was tall and thin with brown hair, and Bob, the youngest of the group, 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.
Originally, the three bakers were the mascots. The cereal did not have a 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 children's stuff, including cereal (which a fictional "adult" cereal named "Health Pellets" was featured before replacing it with Cinnamon Toast Crunch). This was changed in 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 children 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. Either way, the portrayal has worked; it is favored in 54% of states in the United States.
Spin-offs of the cereal
There have been four offshoots of the cereal: French Toast Crunch in 1995 and again in 2015, Peanut Butter Toast Crunch in 2004 and 2013, Frosted Toast Crunch in 2012, and Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch for the 2014 holiday season. French Toast Crunch is shaped like many little French toast slices, reminiscent of the style of Cookie Crisp. It was discontinued in 2006, but made a return in 2015 due to its cult popularity among its fans. 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. 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. Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch was like Cinnamon Toast Crunch except with a sugar cookie taste.
In Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Israel, where a variant of the cereal is known as Cini Minis, a strawberry flavoured variant named Erdbeer Minis/Strawberry Minis exists. In Germany and Austria 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 (177 mL) or 31 g, has 130 calories (544 kJ), or 170 calories (711 kJ) with ½ cup (118 mL) 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 and 9 g of sugars with 14 g of other carbohydrates. A single serving also contains 1 g of protein.
- Hunt, Kevin (2014-10-23). "The story of Chef Wendell". A Taste of General Mills. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
- "Breakfast Cereal Limbo - Progressive Boink". Archived from the original on 10 December 2004. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "8 Things You Should Know Before You Buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch". Delish. 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
- "French Toast Crunch is back - A Taste of General Mills". A Taste of General Mills. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "Cinnamon Toast Crunch Product List". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- Soto, Jessica (September 21, 2015). "Cinnamon Toast Crunch presents the selfie spoon stick". KSAT-TV. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
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