Corn flakes

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Corn flakes
Cornflakes in bowl.jpg
Corn flakes
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateBattle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan
Created byJohn Harvey Kellogg (1894)
W.K. Kellogg
Main ingredientsMilled corn, sugar, malt flavoring

Corn flakes, or cornflakes, are a breakfast cereal made from toasting flakes of corn (maize). The cereal, originally made with wheat, was created by William Kellogg in 1894 for patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium where he worked and his brother John Kellogg was superintendent. The breakfast cereal proved popular among the patients and Kellogg subsequently started what became the Kellogg Company to produce corn flakes for the wider public. A patent for the process was granted in 1896, after a legal battle between the two brothers.

With corn flakes becoming popular in the wider community, a previous patient at the sanitarium, C. W. Post, started to make rival products. Kellogg continued to experiment with various ingredients and different grains. In 1928, he started to manufacture Rice Krispies, another successful breakfast cereal.

There are many generic brands of corn flakes produced by various manufacturers. As well as being used as a breakfast cereal, the crushed flakes can be a substitute for bread crumbs in recipes and can be incorporated into many cooked dishes.


Corn flakes are a packaged cereal product formed from small toasted flakes of corn, usually served cold with milk and sometimes sugar. Since their original production, the plain flakes have been flavored with salt, sugar, and malt, and many successive products with additional ingredients have been manufactured such as sugar frosted flakes and honey & nut corn flakes.[1] Corn flakes are produced in significant quantities at the Trafford Park factory in Manchester, England, which is the largest cereal factory in the world.[2]


Advertisement for Kellogg's Toasted Corn Flakes from the July 21, 1910 issue of Life magazine.

The idea for corn flakes began by accident when John Kellogg and his younger brother, Will Keith Kellogg, left some cooked wheat to sit while they attended to some pressing matters at the sanitarium. When they returned, they found that the wheat had gone stale, but being on a strict budget, they decided to continue to process it by forcing it through rollers, hoping to obtain long sheets of the dough. To their surprise, what they found instead were flakes, which they toasted and served to their patients.[3][failed verification] This event occurred on August 8, 1894, and a patent for "Flaked Cereals and Process of Preparing Same" was filed on May 31, 1895, and issued on April 14, 1896.[4][5]

A newspaper advertisement for Kellogg's Toasted Corn Flakes in 1919.

The flakes of grain, which the Kellogg brothers called Granose, were a very popular food among the patients. The brothers then experimented with other flakes from other grains. In 1906, Will Keith Kellogg, who served as the business manager of the sanitarium, decided to try to mass-market the new food. At his new company, Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, he added sugar to the flakes to make them more palatable to a mass audience, but this caused a rift between his brother and him.[citation needed] In 1907, his company ran an ad campaign which offered a free box of cereal to any woman who winked at her grocer.[6] To increase sales, in 1909 he added a special offer, the Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet, which was made available to anyone who bought two boxes of the cereal. This same premium was offered for 22 years. At the same time, Kellogg also began experimenting with new grain cereals to expand its product line. Rice Krispies, his next great hit, first went on sale in 1928.[7]

There have been many mascots of Kellogg's Cornflakes. The most popular one is a green rooster named Cornelius "Corny" Rooster, which has been the mascot since his debut. In early commercials, he would speak the catchphrase "Wake up, up, up to Kellogg's Cornflakes!" Dallas McKennon and Andy Devine voiced him. Later, he stopped talking and simply crowed.[citation needed] The concept of using a stylized rooster originated from a suggestion by family friend Nansi Richards, a harpist from Wales and a Welsh language proponent. The Welsh word for "rooster" is ceiliog (pronounced kayleeog or in some dialects kaylog), sounding similar to Kellogg's name.[8][9]

In cooking[edit]

There are a wide variety of different recipes for dishes involving corn flakes and crushed corn flakes can even be a substitute for bread crumbs.

Honey joys are a popular party snack in Australia. They are made by mixing corn flakes with honey, butter and sugar and baking in patty cases or muffin cups.[10] A variant popular in the UK is chocolate corn flake cakes, made with corn flakes, dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter.[11] In New Zealand, corn flakes are a core ingredient in Afghan biscuits, a chocolate biscuit made with corn flakes and topped with chocolate icing.[12]


Inside a corn flakes bag – 360° photo
(view as a 360° interactive panorama)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert B. Fast; Elwood F. Caldwell (2000). Breakfast Cereals, and how They are Made. American Association of Cereal Chemists. ISBN 978-1-891127-15-1.
  2. ^ "Kellogg's Fast Facts". Kellogg's. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  3. ^ Cross, Mary (2002). A Century of American Icons: 100 Products and Slogans from the 20th-Century Consumer Culture. Greenwood Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0313314810. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  4. ^ John Harvey Kellogg, U.S. Patent no. 558,393, Flaked Cereals and Process of Preparing Same, filed May 31, 1895, issued April 14, 1896.
  5. ^ "Inventor of the Week: W.K Kellogg". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "Food Facts and Trivia: Corn Flakes". Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  7. ^ "100 Years of Cornflakes" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "Why is there a Cockerel on the Kellog's Box (sic)". BBC Wales - History. BBC. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Davies, Glyn. "Putting the 'Ceiliog' in Corn Flakes". A view from Rural Wales. Glyn Davies (Welsh Member of Parliament). Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Honey joy recipe". Kelloggs. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "Chocolate cornflake cakes recipe". BBC. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  12. ^ Timothy G. Roufs, ed. (2014). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ISBN 9781610692212. Retrieved April 3, 2018.

External links[edit]