Corn Pops is a puffed grain breakfast cereal made by Kellogg's, described by the company as "crunchy sweetened popped-up corn cereal." The cereal was introduced in 1950 as Corn Pops. In 1951, the name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops and later it was called Sugar Pops. It was the sponsor for "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" radio and television show. The name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops in 1978, and finally to Corn Pops in 1984, a time when many cereals dropped the word "Sugar" from their titles for marketing reasons. In January 2006, the name of the cereal was changed to Pops, but after a few months of poor reception, was changed back to Corn Pops.
In mid-2007, Corn Pops launched its first line extension in many years called "Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops." In 2012, "Cinnamon Corn Pops" were introduced.
Corn Pops are made from milled corn. Though the name of the cereal is 'Corn' Pops, since January 2004, its ingredients have included wheat starch, essentially making the cereal multigrain. By 2007, Coconut Oil was added to the US ingredients.
The American version has a flattened, smooth, bumpy shape; Canadian Corn Pops look very different; they are spherical and have a porous surface, similar to Kix cereal. The taste and texture of the Canadian and American versions of the cereal differ considerably despite sharing the same name and manufacturer. Kellogg's says this is due to raw ingredients and the regulatory agencies that exist in a particular country, and that its cereal differs by country also by virtue of marketing and culture. Research is done in different countries to determine preferences, and the formula for the cereal is changed accordingly, affecting the texture, color, and nutrition. The fat, cholesterol, and protein content is the same.
Unlike the vast majority of breakfast cereals, Corn Pops in the USA had been packaged in a foil-lined bag until the mid-2010s. This helped to prevent the Pops from going stale and from secreting a sticky substance that caused the corn pops to stick together (a problem caused by the method by which the cereal is processed). Honey Smacks, another Kellogg's puffed grain cereal, used the same bag Corn Pops used. However, the Canadian version of Corn Pops had long been packaged in a standard plastic cereal bag, now used for American pops as well.
Potentially harmful ingredients
Although the cereal contains partially hydrogenated fats, it is marketed as trans-fat free since the amount of trans fat per serving is less than the threshold 0.5 grams/serving. The cereal also contains monoglycerides and diglycerides, used to bind saturated fat, and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a preservative.
Mascots and spokespeople
Guy Madison, the star of The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock television show, appeared on the box from 1951 through 1958, occasionally replaced by sidekick Jingles played by Andy Devine. Between 1959 and 1967, the mascot was Woody Woodpecker. The next mascot for the cereal was "Sugar Pops Pete," a prairie dog dressed as a cowboy with two "six-shooters" with red and white spiral-striped barrels. Pete and the other actors in the commercial sang the jingle: "Oh, the Pops are sweeter and the taste is new. They're shot with sugar, through and through... Sugar Pops are tops!" From 1968 to 1977, the mascot was the "Whippersnapper," a live-action, whip-cracking cowboy. From 1980 to 1983, a female porcupine named "Poppy" represented the cereal. Poppy carried around a yellow suitcase which contained a complete breakfast setting, meeting the by-then industry-standard "part of a complete breakfast" tagline. In early 2009, a live actor dressed up as a Corn Pops puff became the new mascot of Corn Pops. Then, in mid-2009, Kellogg's introduced an alternative mascot named the "Sweet Toothasaur," consisting of the upside down bottom half of an actor's face, with a green felt cap with googly eyes and red paper horns on the actor's chin.
- Sugar Pops Are tops! (pre-1980s)
- Gotta get... POPS! (1981–1988)
- Poppin' in my head. (late 1980s, alternating with "Gotta Have My Pops")
- You've gotta catch new Corn Pops! (UK, 1993)
- It's hard to stop when it's pops. (1992–1999)
- Gotta have my pops. (1988–2000, 2007–present)
- Gotta have pops. (2007)
- It's POPnetic! (present in Canada)
Canada and France
Unlike American Corn Pops, in Canada and in Europe (in France it is called Miel Pops - meaning Honey Pops) the cereal consists of small, spherical, uniform balls. Both versions are crunchier and have a different taste.
In the early 1990s, Corn Pops were introduced in the United Kingdom, but by the late 1990s were no longer available. The tagline used in the UK was different: "You can't stop a corn popper popping more corn." Corn Pops sponsored UK boy band Take That's 1994 tour, known as "The Pops Tour". Recently[when?], they have been revived as Honey Pops to suit the European market, and have Pops from Miel Pops as its mascot, as well as for Honey Loops, replacing Loopy.
- Advertisements for Kellogg's Corn Pops exist in newspapers published in 1950 including the Long Beach Independent May 5, 1950, Long Beach, California and Bakersfield Californian, May 10, 1950, Bakersfield, California.
- In the beginning of the December 16, 1951 episode "Wheels of Doom" of the radio show "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok", Andy Devine noted the new name change to Sugar Corn Pops.
- 24/7 Wall St. Ten Brands That Will Disappear In 2012, 24/7 Wall St., 22-07-2011, access date 28-12-2011