Cocoa Krispies (known as Choco Krispis, Choco Krispies, Coco Pops, or Choco Pops outside of the United States) is a breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's, coming both as a boxed cereal and as a snack bar with a 'dried milk' covered bottom to make the cereal-with-milk tradition portable. It is a cocoa-flavored version of Rice Krispies. Containing a substance imitating milk chocolate, the cereal can turn milk "chocolatey."
The cereal was introduced in the United States in 1958. In 2003, the cereal was renamed "Cocoa Rice Krispies" as Kellogg's endeavored to unite their Rice Krispies variations under a single marketing schema. In 2006, the name was returned to Cocoa Krispies. Kellogg's has released variations of Cocoa Krispies such as "Cocoa Krispies Cereal Straws", "Cocoa Krispies Choconilla", and Chocos.
The cereal is known as Choco Krispis in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and Choco Krispies in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It was introduced in the United Kingdom as Coco Pops in 1961, and is also known by that name in the Netherlands, Denmark, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Ghana, Malta, New Zealand, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Israel, Belgium, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Australia, Turkey and Republic of Korea and as Choco Pops in France. Later in the 1960s, the name was changed to "Coco Krispies," but subsequently reverted to Coco Pops. In 1998, the cereal was briefly renamed again in the UK, this time to Choco Krispies. However, in 1999, after falling sales and a telephone poll in which the British public voted, its name reverted to Coco Pops.
The cereal was available in Canada for a time, but was discontinued at some point in the early 1990s. Instead, Kellogg's sells a variant called Rice Krispies Cocoa, which is simply Rice Krispies with a light chocolate flavor.
Several spin-off cereals using the "Coco Pops" name, such as Caramel Flavoured Coco Pops, Coco Pops Crunchers, Coco Chex, Coco Rocks, Coco Pops Straws, Coco Pops Moon & Stars, Coco Pops Choc-N-Roll and Coco Pops Croc Prints (shaped like Crafty Croc's feet) have also been released by Kellogg's in some countries. Chocos were introduced in some countries as Coco Pops Mega Munchers. A chocolate-flavor porridge variant had been available in the late 2000s called Coco Pops Porridge, but didn't last long. Since 2014, they have been brought back.
Cocoa Krispies first appeared in the United States in 1958, represented by a chimpanzee named Jose. He was quickly replaced by Coco the Elephant in 1959 when Mexican-Americans complained. In 1963, the Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss took over as the mascot. Ogg the Caveman took over in 1968. In 1971, Tusk the Elephant became the mascot of the cereal, and he remained until 1982. Snap, Crackle and Pop (the mascots of Rice Krispies) also became the mascots for Cocoa Krispies starting in 1982. In 1991, the mascot became Coco the Monkey. In 2001, Snap, Crackle, and Pop returned, and they remain the product's mascots.
The cereal was introduced in the United Kingdom under the "Coco Pops" name in 1961, with Mr. Jinks as the mascot. Later in the 1960s, Sweep (a dog hand puppet from the popular UK children's TV programme The Sooty Show) became the mascot for "Coco Pops." In 1963, Coco the Monkey was introduced, and he remains the mascot in those countries where the cereal is known as "Coco Pops," "Choco Krispies", and "Choco Pops." In recent years, the design of Coco has been refined to give him a younger look. Coco's friends are Shortie Giraffe, Randy Rhino, Alan Anteater, Heftie Hippo, Fanny Flamingo, Osmelda Ostrich, and Kylie Kangaroo, while Crafty Croc and the gorillas are his arch-enemies.
In 1986, the cereal introduced the mascot Simmo. It became popular quickly, with a short stint on the face of the merchandise and packaging for "Cocoa Krispies." The Simmo mascot featured on various materials for around about three months. Simmo also starred in an advert for the company in 1986 alongside a female companion who only appeared once named "Heapo", a cartoon Hippopotamus.
More recent advertisements (2009) in the United Kingdom have opted away from using Coco and his friends opting for things such as dancing milkmen and astronauts. Coco is still present on the box of the cereal and at the end of the advertisement but is no longer the feature character. However, the 2009 cereal box has Coco's head as the main feature, with the title 'Coco Pops' and the cereal bowl smaller and on the right of the box. Briefly Coco was seen as a real life chimp. As of 2011, Kellogg's decided to bring Coco and his friends as well as Croc back, under a new space-age style campaign known as the "Coco Pops Promise".
In those countries where the cereal is known as "Choco Krispis," an elephant is the mascot. In 1986, Kelloggs named the elephant "Melvin". Recently, he has been called "Commando Melvin" due to commercials featuring him a space-faring fighter and adventurer, note that this is due to a misunderstanding, as Commando Melvin in the commercials refers exclusively to the organization featured in them whose purpose is to defend the "forti-calcio plus" a supposed ingredient in the cereal from aliens or other such villains.
In Australia the mascot remains as Coco the monkey.
Coco Pops received two stars out of five on the Australian Government's health star ratings.
Kellogg's was criticized by US health authorities and consumer experts in October 2009 when it unveiled a description on its boxes of Cocoa Krispies cereal that stated "now helps support your child's immunity". Kellogg's responded that it didn't create the new copy to capitalize on the H1N1 virus concerns, but added "Kellogg developed this product in response to consumers expressing a need for more positive nutrition." The FDA may yet rule on the Kellogg's claim and some observers deplored Kellogg's marketing tactic. Compared to all claims on cereal boxes, "This one belongs in the hall of fame," said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "By their logic, you can spray vitamins on a pile of leaves, and it will boost immunity."
There is concern that advertisements featuring, for example children in playgrounds target children. LCM bars of the type advertised contain 30% sugar which the advertisement failed to mention. Advertisements by bus stops feature, "Ever thought of Coco Pops after school?" and parents fear children will want Coco Pops instead of healthier foods. Official support by Kellogs for an anti childhood obesity campaign is seen as hypocritical.
In 1998, the British arm of Kellogg's renamed the brand in the UK "Choco Krispies" so it would be similar to the way the product was branded in the rest of the world. Sales quickly declined and research carried out by the company found that 92% of the population wanted the name changed back to Coco Pops. Kellogg's reverted to the original name in 1999.
- "Just like a choco milkshake, only crunchy!" (Coco Pops - UK, New Zealand, Australia)
- "Nothing tops Kellogg's Coco Pops, Kellogg's Coco Pops!" (UK)
- "We'd rather have a bowl of Coco Pops!" (UK) (Variations were used for Choco Krispies Coco Rocks and Mega Munchers and an instrumental version still remains as the jingle for the adverts)
- "Coco Pops and milk make a bowl full of fun" (UK)
- "Coco Pops Crunchers - Can you handle the crunch?" (UK)
- "New Coco Pops Creations make a bowlful of fun!" (UK)
- "Coco Pops make milk go choc!"
- "Coco Pops - what goes on in that bowl?" (UK)
- "Ever thought of Coco Pops after school?" (UK)
- "And that's part of the Coco Pops Promise!" (UK)
- "With every bite so chocolatey, oh, everybody wants my Cocoa Krispies!" (1990-1993)
- "With every taste so milk chocolatey, everybody wants my Cocoa Krispies!" (1994-1995)
- "Coco Pops is so chocolatey, it even makes the milk turn brown." (UK)
- Rice Krispies Cocoa Cereal
- [dead link]
- "Coco Pops®". Cocopops.kelloggs.com.au. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Han, Esther (20 April 2015). "Food health star ratings: Kellogg's reveals the cereal that gets 1.5 stars". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- USA Today, Critics blast Kelloggs, Nov 2, 2009
- WFXT-TV, FoxBoston, Nov 2, 2009
- Coco Pops healthy? Yes, according to the food industry
- Parents furious over 'hypocrisy' of cereal ad
- [dead link]