Pebbles cereal

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Pebbles Cereal
Pebbles cereal brand logo.png
2021-04-24 14 01 13 A sample of Post Cocoa Pebbles cereal in the Franklin Farm section of Oak Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia.jpg
Cocoa Pebbles cereal
Product typeBreakfast cereal
OwnerPost Holdings
Produced byPost Consumer Brands
CountryUnited States
IntroducedOctober 1971; 49 years ago (1971-10)
Websitepebblescereal.com

Pebbles Cereal is a brand of breakfast cereal introduced nationwide by Post Consumer Brands on October 20, 1971[1][2] featuring characters from the animated series The Flintstones as spokestoons (i.e., cartoon characters speaking on behalf of the product in advertising). Product line includes "Cocoa Pebbles" and "Fruity Pebbles".

Cocoa Pebbles contains chocolate-flavored crisp rice cereal bits, while Fruity Pebbles contains crisp rice cereal bits that come in a variety of fruit flavors with a sugar content of 9 grams per serving for Fruity Pebbles and 10 grams per serving for Cocoa Pebbles.[3][4] It is the oldest surviving cereal brand that is based on characters from a TV series or movie.[5]

Product history[edit]

Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles Cereal were reintroductions of a low market-share Post children's cereal brand called Sugar Rice Krinkles. The Product Group Manager at the time, Larry Weiss, licensed use of The Flintstones for cereal from Hanna-Barbera (now part of Warner Bros. Animation) in an attempt to reinvigorate the children's cereal business for Post Cereals. Prior to that time, character licensing had been used for promotion, but there had never been a brand created around a media character. The brand was marketed despite internal concern it would be a fad and not last more than a year. Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles were simultaneously introduced on the West Coast in 1969 and strong consumer demand led to national distribution. The brand has been one of the most consistent best sellers ever since.[6]

The original working names for the companion cereals were Flint Chips and Rubble Stones, consistent with the appearance of the cereal and The Flintstones' Stone Age imagery. Frank Corey, Benton & Bowles' creative head for the Post Cereal business suggested the alternative names Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles, which were adopted.[6]

The basic product retained the Sugar Rice Krinkles form, using the existing expander process and Battle Creek production facilities. The flavors, colors and other product formulations were carefully developed by Battle Creek product experts supported by marketing using the Linescale research technique. The objective was to create product characteristics which matched the expectations of both children and parents for what The Flintstones cereals should look and taste like. After many iterations, the Cocoa Pebbles formula was set and has remained largely unchanged over the years. Fruity Pebbles also remained essentially unchanged for decades. In recent years some additions and variations have been made to the Fruity Pebbles product formulation. The Canadian version, no longer available, came in the form of pebble-shaped puffs composed of whole wheat, corn flour, and oat flour.

Product evolution[edit]

Fruit Pebbles cereal. It started with only three colors, with new variants added through the years

Unlike its sister cereal, Cocoa Pebbles, "Fruity Pebbles" has undergone many formula changes, additions and variants. The cereal started out with three colors—orange, red, and yellow—and natural orange, lemon and tangerine flavors, but were later flavored in natural orange and artificial lemon and cherry. New colors were added over time: purple in 1985, green in 1987, "Berry Blue" in 1994, "Incrediberry Purple" in 1995 and "Bedrock Berry Pink" in 2005.

Variants have included "Half Sugar Fruity Pebbles," "Dino Pebbles" (early 1990s), "Marshmallow Mania Pebbles," and "Bamm-Bamm Pebbles." A berry cereal called "Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles" was released in 2007, featuring only berry flavors. The formula for both versions of Pebbles had a major addition in 2006: polydextrose became a key ingredient.[citation needed]. As of 2012, polydextrose was not listed as an ingredient in any Pebbles varieties.

Upon Post's acquisition of MOM Brands in 2015 (the former Malt O Meal), both the Cocoa and Fruity versions of Pebbles, along with other Post brands, began to be offered in packaging similar to that of Malt O Meal's discounted generic line of bagged cereals alongside the traditional box sizes.

Pebbles has since expanded beyond only producing cereal. To celebrate the products 50th birthday in 2021, Post has partnered with the Love Your Melon hat company to produce winter hats and shirts. Post has also Licensed other food company's to put out other food products that bear both the Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles flavor including protein powder, white chocolate bars (with the actual cereal mixed in), ice cream (with or without the actual cereal in it), Crisps, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles Marshmallow Treats (like those made with Rice Krispies), among other things.

Television commercials[edit]

The earliest commercials produced by Post's ad agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles with cooperation from Hanna-Barbera featured the animated Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble (as voiced by Alan Reed and Mel Blanc, respectively) interacting cheerfully with live-action children, eating the cereal around a typical household breakfast table; others showed Fred and Barney enjoying the cereal with their wives around their Bedrock breakfast table or in other locales and situations in Bedrock. Commercials after about 1978 were entirely animated, and would have a typical plot repeated with various differences. Fred eats cereal while Barney would want some as well; to that end, Barney would either disguise himself or distract Fred from his bowl of the cereal using various creative and increasingly outrageous means. While Fred was distracted, Barney would eat some Pebbles, but Fred would quickly discover Barney's deception, usually due to Barney's excitement at eating the cereal that would cause his trick to be discovered and/or his disguise falling apart. Angry about having his breakfast stolen, he would normally exclaim, "Barney! My Pebbles!" Barney would then chuckle and deliver a comedic line (Such as, "Hate to eat and run".) while running away from the angry Fred, and Fred would give chase. A frequently used tagline for these particular commercials was "They're Yabba-Dabba-Delicious!". Commercials for the cereal aired around the Christmas season feature Barney trying to steal the cereal, however, in the spirit of the holidays, Fred lets Barney have the cereal with him.

In 2009, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm became more prominent in the commercials. The commercial launching Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles had a slight twist on the skit; when Fred said "Barney! My Pebbles!" Barney interrupted him and replied, "My Bamm-Bamm Pebbles!" happily as Bamm-Bamm carried his father away from the angry Fred. One of the most recent commercials featured Pebbles eating the Fruity Pebbles cereal along with Fred and Barney; Bamm-Bamm created a Barney-like distraction in the form of a giant fruit-loving robot, much to Pebbles' delight.

From 2010 to 2012, the commercials for Pebbles cereal are produced (by the ad agency Burns Group) using stop motion animation with the tagline that the cereal "rocks your whole mouth". The former motif of Barney's cereal theft was removed to focus on the enjoyment of the cereal.

WWE professional wrestler John Cena is an official endorser of Fruity Pebbles as the result of references to the cereal made by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson over the course of 2011, where Rock nicknamed Cena (a bowl of) Fruity Pebbles based on his bright shirts.[7][8][9]

From 2012 to 2014, Pebbles commercials changed to a scene where Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles perform kung fu and other martial arts.

Since 2014, Pebbles commercials prompt viewers to take a side with either Team Cocoa or Team Fruity, and each individual advertisement includes a different child exemplifying their devoutness to one of the teams. Various celebrities, such as actress Bella Thorne, retired professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, and professional soccer player Alex Morgan have been chosen as mascots for either group, as well. This is in line with the decline of advertising specifically towards children and broadening the brand's appeal, though Fred, Barney and Bamm-Bamm continue to remain on the actual front of the packaging.

Box cover illustrations[edit]

The box covers for the various Pebbles boxes have been illustrated by commercial artist Seymour Schachter [Seymour Schachter Illustration] since 2006.

Lawsuit[edit]

In May 2010, a controversial commercial of Cocoa Pebbles led to a lawsuit by WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan. In spring of 2010, a commercial where Barney and Fred face off against a wrestler named Hulk Boulder aired on TV. The commercial ended with Hulk Boulder getting smashed to pieces by Bamm-Bamm after losing the wrestling match.[10] Hulk Hogan sued Post, saying they stole his image to promote Pebbles and that his image had been damaged by the commercials. He used the name Hulk Boulder early in his career until his name was changed to sound more Irish. The suit was settled in September 2010 with a condition of not airing the commercial again.[11]

Varieties[edit]

Current Flavors
Product
Dates of production Notes
Fruity Pebbles 1971–present Fruit-flavored crisp rice cereal bits. Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles Cereal were reintroductions of a low share of market Post children's cereal brand called Sugar Rice Krinkles. Fruity Pebbles contains 9 grams of sugar per serving.
Cocoa Pebbles 1971–present Chocolate-flavored crisp rice cereal bits. Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles Cereal were reintroductions of a low share of market Post children's cereal brand called Sugar Rice Krinkles. Cocoa Pebbles contains 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles 2015–present Fruity Pebbles with sea creature themed marshmallow bits
Magic Fruity Pebbles 2020 This is a limited edition cereal that is all pink colored. They are called magic, because when you put them in milk, the milk turns blue, not pink like might be thought.
Birthday Cake Pebbles 2021 For Pebbles' 50th birthday, they released birthday cake flavored Pebbles. The box is labeled as a collectors edition and has a shiny coating that has reflective fireworks. On the back of the box is a big cake with a search and find activity.
Discontinued Flavors
Product
Dates of production Notes
Dino Pebbles 1991–1993 Sweetened crisp rice cereal bits with Marshmallows. It was promoted by The Flintstones character Dino.
Bedrock Blizzard 1998–2002 For the 1998 holiday season the Fruity and Cocoa flavors were altered and renamed "Bedrock Blizzard." The limited edition cereal had two different flavors: the "Fruity" flavor had red and green frosting; the "Cocoa" flavor had white "snow sprinkles." This cereal was replaced by Winter Fruity Pebbles in 2002.
Cinna-Crunch Pebbles 1998–2001 In 1998, Cinna-Crunch Pebbles were introduced. Unlike the other Pebbles which were crisp rice, Cinna-Crunch Pebbles were described as "sweetened oat, corn and wheat cereal baked with a touch of real cinnamon." The box claimed that the cereal had the "Best Cinnamon Sweet Taste In Bedrock" and a "Cinnamon Sweet Taste That Goes Crunch!". Cinna-Crunch Pebbles was introduced as a Limited-Edition cereal and was only available for a limited time. They were discontinued in 2001.[12]
Winter Fruity Pebbles 2002–05 A winter-themed version of Fruity Pebbles. This replaced the Bedrock Blizzard in 2002.
Marshmallow Mania Pebbles 2005–07 Debuting in 2005, Marshmallow Mania Pebbles were a combination of Vanilla graham flavored pebbles and marshmallows.
Half Sugar Fruity Pebbles 2005–07 Reduced-sugar version of Fruity Pebbles. As of 2007, it is out of production
IceBerry Pebbles 2006 In 2006, IceBerry Pebbles were released for a limited time. The pieces were green, red, yellow, and orange. They were described on the box as "sweetened rice cereal with artificial strawberry flavor."
Ice Cream Pebbles 2015 Rainbow Sherbet flavored crisp rice cereal bits. It was launched in Summer 2015, and contains 9 grams of sugar per serving.
Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles 2007–09 In 2007, Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles were introduced, featuring only berry flavors. This was a limited edition, discontinued in 2009.
Dino S'mores Pebbles 2008–09 In 2008, the Dino S'mores were introduced. These had an object such as a bone, a marshmallow and a chocolate nugget. This was a limited edition, discontinued in 2009.
Cupcake Pebbles 2010–11 In 2011, Pebbles Boulders were introduced, being a limited edition only cereal, featuring two new flavors called "Stone Age Caramel Apple" and "Chocolate Peanut Butter".
Marshmallow Pebbles 2010–14 In 2010, a new flavor of pebbles was released called Marshmallow Pebbles. The cereal contains rectangular vanilla-graham flavored shaped pebbles and marshmallows. In 2012, the formula for Marshmallow Pebbles changed to the typically shaped Pebbles cereal pieces; the flavor is a sweetened rice cereal rather than vanilla/graham.[13] A new variety that arrived in 2012 features Wilma Flintstone on the box (as part of a "Meet the Flintstones" promotional campaign), and features sweetened orange, red, and white rice cereal pieces with white marshmallows that match the rock necklace that Wilma wears.
Fruity Pebbles Extreme 2013–14 In 2013, Fruity Pebbles Extreme was introduced, being a modified version of Fruity Pebbles with enhanced flavor and color. It was discontinued in mid-2014.
Sugar Cookies Pebbles 2013, 2014 Sugar Cookies Pebbles was a limited edition-flavor that was introduced for Christmas season in 2013 and again in 2014. It featured Christmas colors.
Summer Berry Pebbles 2014 Summer Berry Pebbles were a mixed berry flavor. Featuring an Independence day theme, the cereal was colored red, white, and blue. It was only available for a limited time.
Candy Corn Pebbles 2014 Candy Corn Pebbles was a limited edition-flavor that was introduced for Halloween season in 2014. It was candy corn flavored (as its name suggests) and was colored white, yellow and orange similar to candy corn.
Poppin' Pebbles 2014–16 Poppin' Pebbles were a carbonated version of Fruity Pebbles with an added "bursting berry" flavor. It was sold for a short time between 2014 and 2016.
Cinnamon Pebbles 2016–2018 Cinnamon flavored rice cereal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2009-08-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ However, both brands were advertised in selected markets as early as 1970, see The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana), May 20, 1970, p. 15; Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel, June 3, 1970, p. 22
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2014-02-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-02-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Anderson, Heather A. (2013). Breakfast: A History. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 181. ISBN 9780759121652. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b Larry Weiss, former Product Group Manager, Post Cereals
  7. ^ Linder, Zach (16 July 2012). "The Rock's 15 rare Raw moments". The Rock has had many memorable moments on Raw, including identifying John Cena as a bowl of Fruity Pebbles
  8. ^ "The Rock's rare Raw moments: photos". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2015. You might know about The Great One calling John Cena a bowl of Fruity Pebbles
  9. ^ WWE Staff (January 8, 2013). "John Cena replaces Fred Flintstone on the cover of Post Pebbles cereal". The Rock saddled Cena with the nickname “Fruity Pebbles” due to his bright-colored assortment of T-shirts.
  10. ^ Cassens Weiss, Debra (May 28, 2010). "Hulk Hogan Challenges Post Foods to a Lawsuit, Cites Humiliating Defeat in Cartoon Ad". ABA Journal. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  11. ^ Farlow, Rita (September 29, 2010). "Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Cocoa Pebbles settled". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on October 2, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "Cinna-Crunch Pebbles Cereal | MrBreakfast.com". www.mrbreakfast.com.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]