Life (cereal)

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Life cereal logo.png
Quaker Life Multigrain Cereal, with milk.jpg
Quaker Life Multigrain Cereal, with milk
Product typeBreakfast cereal
OwnerQuaker Oats
Introduced1961; 62 years ago (1961)

Life is a breakfast cereal produced by the Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. It was formerly made of oats, soy protein concentrate, sodium caseinate and sugar,[1] but now also contains corn flour, whole wheat flour, and rice flour. It was introduced in 1961[2] and has a brown checked square pattern.

As of 2018, with the advent of numerous specialty varieties, the original cereal is now marketed as "Life Original Multigrain Cereal".


Life contains whole grain oat flour, corn flour, sugar, whole wheat flour, calcium carbonate, salt, baking soda, tocopherols (preservatives), and a mixture of B vitamins. [3] As of 2021, the cereal no longer contains the preservative BHT.


When Life cereal was first introduced in the 1960s, the original slogan was "The most useful protein ever in a ready-to-eat cereal". The original mascots (in commercials narrated by Paul Frees) were munchkin-like characters.[citation needed]

Life was popularized during the 1970s by an advertising campaign featuring "Little Mikey", a hard-to-please four-year-old boy portrayed by John Gilchrist.[4] The commercials featured the slogan "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!" said in surprise after his brothers see Mikey actually enjoying the cereal.

The ad campaign was created by ad firm Doyle Dane and Bernbach.[5] The campaign ran from 1972 to 1986,[6] becoming one of the longest-running television advertisements in history. As recently as 1999, the commercial was included[by whom?] in a list of "memorable ads".[7] A subsequent commercial repeated the scenario with the same dialog, but used lumberjacks instead of children.


Life cereal with banana slices

In 1978, "Cinnamon Life," developed by Ed Heaton, was introduced[by whom?] followed shortly thereafter by "Raisin Life". Today, Cinnamon Life accounts for one-third of total Life sales.[citation needed] Raisin Life sold poorly and was discontinued in the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

In 2002,[8] a version called "Baked Apple Life" was released. "Honey Graham Life" was introduced in early 2004, "Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch" in late 2005, and "Life Chocolate Oat Crunch", in 2006. All three were discontinued by 2008.

In 2008, Quaker introduced "Maple & Brown Sugar Life". In the fall of 2016, "Vanilla Life" cereal was released.

Original Life has been reformulated several times since its introduction.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Nutrition Label". Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  2. ^ "About Quaker - Quaker History". 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  3. ^*1&dtdate=1/23/2015&locationName=Dining%20Hall&locationNum=15
  4. ^ "'Hey Mikey!' 15 years later, Life cereal kid is back", Anchorage Daily News, October 17, 1986
  5. ^ Cross, Mary (2002). A Century of American Icons: 100 Products and Slogans from the 20th-Century Consumer Culture. Greenwood Press. pp. 167–168. ISBN 978-0313314810. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  6. ^ [1] Archived June 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Memorable TV ads riveted us", The Spectator, November 22, 1999
  8. ^ " - CBSi". Archived from the original on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2016.

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