Rice Krispies

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Rice Krispies
Rice Krispies logo.svg
2020-05-03 09 09 37 A sample of Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal in the Franklin Farm section of Oak Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia.jpg
Product typeCereal of crisped rice
OwnerKellogg Company
CountryUnited States
Introduced10 July 1927; 95 years ago (1927-07-10)

Rice Krispies (known as Rice Bubbles in Australia and New Zealand) is a breakfast cereal, marketed by Kellogg's in 1927 and released to the public in 1928. Rice Krispies are made of crisped rice (rice and sugar paste that is formed into rice shapes or "berries", cooked, dried and toasted), and expand forming very thin and hollowed out walls that are crunchy and crisp. When milk is added to the cereal the walls tend to collapse, creating the "snap, crackle and pop" sounds.[1]

Rice Krispies cereal has a long advertising history, with the elf cartoon characters Snap, Crackle and Pop touting the brand. In 1963, The Rolling Stones recorded a short song for a Rice Krispies television advertisement.[2][3]


Rice Krispies are made by the Kellogg Company. The "Snap, Crackle and Pop" slogan was in use by 1939 when the cereal was advertised as staying "crackly crisp in milk or cream...not mushy!" with claims that the cereal would remain floating (without sinking to the bottom of the bowl) even after 2 hours in milk. They were not a shredded or flaked cereal type, but were instead created by a patented process that Kellogg's called "oven-popping".[4][5]

The original patent called for using partially dried grain, which could be whole or broken, that would have 15–30% moisture which could then be shaped by existing processes for cereal production that include rolling, flaking, shredding, etc. After being processed to the desired shape the grain is dried to around 5–14% moisture content at which stage the grain will expand when subjected to a high temperature creating a light, low-density product that is crisp and easy to chew.[5]


Rice Krispies contain rice, sugar, salt, malt flavoring, iron, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), folic acid, vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) and vitamin D.

According to Kellogg's, the rice used in the US version of the cereal is grown in the states of Louisiana and Arkansas.[6]

Health claims[edit]

In 2010 the Kellogg Company was found by the Federal Trade Commission to be making unsubstantiated and misleading health claims in advertising on Rice Krispies boxes. Claims made by the company included "now helps support your child's immunity" and "has been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy." The FTC had previously found fault with Kellogg's claims that Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal improved children's attentiveness by nearly 20%.[7]


Present day[edit]

The names of other products within the Rice Krispies family vary depending on where they are sold:

  • Cocoa Krispies (called Coco Pops in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Italy), a chocolate flavored version (sold worldwide)
  • Rice Krispies with Vanilla Flavor, sold in Canada[8] and South Africa[9]
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Rice Krispies, a cereal containing mixed flavor Rice Krispies (introduced in 2007)
  • Rice Krispies Treats Cereal, contains bunches of krispies fused together by a marshmallow coating (introduced in March 1993)[10]
  • Strawberry Pops, sold in South Africa[11]
  • Kellogg's Strawberry Krispies[12]

Many generic versions of Rice Krispies (including frosted and chocolate variants) have been produced by other manufacturers under many different names.


  • Frosted Rice Krispies (called Ricicles in the UK and Ireland)
  • Rice Krispies with dehydrated miniature marshmallows (Marshmallow Rice Krispies, also known as Marshmallow Krispies, along with a tropical version, Fruity Marshmallow Krispies), were sold briefly in the United States and Canada.[13] Despite surviving longer in Canada than the United States, they were discontinued during the late 1990s.[14]
  • Rice Krispies with strawberry flavor included 1983's Strawberry Krispies and 1997's Strawberry Rice Krispies. Australia had Strawberry Pops, a strawberry version of Rice Bubbles, which was discontinued in the mid-1970s, along with other similarly coloured and sweetened foods, due to concerns about the additives causing cancer. Banana-flavored Rice Krispies, including Banana Bubbles and Banana Krispies, have also been sold in the past.
  • Razzle Dazzle Rice Krispies, an extremely sweet, artificially-colored cereal, was sold from late 1997 to 1999.
  • Apple Cinnamon Rice Krispies, a cereal flavored with apple and cinnamon, was sold in the early 1990s.
  • Rice Krispies with berry flavors, including Berry Krispies and Berry Rice Krispies.[15]
  • Rice Krispies with honey, Honey Rice Krispies, was sold in the UK and Canada for a short period of time in the late 1990s.

In the late 1990s, Kellogg's sold Halloween versions of their regular cereal. This included Halloween Rice Krispies which featured a variety of orange krispies.

Rice Krispies Treats and similar sweets[edit]

In 1939, Kellogg's employee Mildred Day concocted and published a recipe for a Camp Fire Girls bake sale consisting of Rice Krispies, melted marshmallows, and margarine. It has remained a very popular snack dubbed Rice Krispies Treats. Kellogg's themselves have now produced commercial varieties of both marshmallow and chocolate-based treats under the name Rice Krispies Squares in Canada[16] and the UK, as well as versions under the original Rice Krispies Treats name sold in the United States.[17]

Kellogg's also produces commercial versions of Rice Krispie treats known as Rice Krispies Squares,[16] cereal bars, and a multi-grain cereal known as Rice Krispies Multi-Grain (formerly Muddles[18]) sold on the UK market. Primarily aimed at children, Multi-Grain contains a prebiotic and is claimed by Kellogg's to promote good digestive health.[19]

In Australia, Rice Bubbles are found in a well-known homemade sweet, the chocolate crackle. This is often found at fetes and consists of Rice Bubbles, copha and cocoa, amongst other things. In the UK, a similar treat is made of Rice Krispies and melted chocolate.[20] White Christmas is another Australian sweet made with Rice Bubbles, milk powder, copha and dried fruit.

South African controversy[edit]

In 2018 the South African branch of Kellogg's replaced the classic Rice Krispies with Rice Krispies Vanilla, thereby discontinuing the production of the original Rice Krispies in the country. This change was met with a lot of public complaints.[21]

Kellogg's South Africa posted the following on their Facebook page in response to the outrage of South African consumers: "Rice Krispies Vanilla is a new product that was launched in South Africa in June this year, responding to many of our customers’ calls for more innovation and variety. With Rice Krispies Vanilla we have moved from a single grain to a multi-grain formula which has additional nutritional benefits and allows us to source locally, promoting local farmers and jobs. The New recipe also contains 9 vitamins & iron. While we fully understand that in some instances people prefer the original plain Rice Krispies, several different recipes were tested in market, and the vanilla formulation was significantly preferred by our local consumers. We will continue to provide opportunities for testing and tasting in-store to share our new taste with consumers."[22][21]

The new Rice Krispies Vanilla now contained 21.7 g sugar for every 100 g, up from only 9 g previously, and the taste was very poorly received. Despite the public's obvious and vocal disgust with the product, Kellogg's decided to stay firm in their decision on replacing the original Rice Krispies with the new Rice Krispies Vanilla,[21] until 2020 when Kellogg's returned the original product to shelves.[23]

Zandi Mposelwa, head of external relations at Kellogg Sub Saharan Africa, released the following statement: "We have decided to relaunch [the original Rice Krispies] in the market, whilst keeping the Rice Krispies Vanilla variant to ensure that we meet different consumer needs for variety. We are importing the product from the UK because we no longer have manufacturing capability to manufacture the product in South Africa.”[24]

This meant that South African consumers would be paying more for the standard Rice Krispies: a 510 g box of imported original Rice Krispies will cost around ZAR 70. A 600 g box of Vanilla Rice Krispies currently costs ZAR 47.99.[24]

Marketing history[edit]

Cartoon mascots[edit]

Rice Krispies displayed with other Kellogg's products in a 1948 ad

Snap! Crackle! and Pop!, the animated cartoon mascots for Rice Krispies, were created by illustrator Vernon Grant in the 1930s.[25] The original gnome-like Snap first appeared in 1933 on a package of Kellogg's Rice Krispies. Crackle and Pop came later, and since 1939, the three have been together in many forms of advertising, including radio, movie shorts, and comic strips. An updated version of the elf-like Snap Crackle and Pop appeared for the first time on television in 1960; before that it was advertised by Woody Woodpecker. They are the first and longest-running cartoon characters to represent a Kellogg's product.[23]


  • Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies! (1966–present)
  • It's Going to Be a Rice Day (1960s)
  • The taste that tickles (early 1990s-2000s, Canadian)
  • Snap! Crackle! Pop! Nutritious! (late 1997–1999, Canadian)
  • What do your Rice Krispies say to you? (1990–1998)
  • Let someone in on the fun! (1997-1998)
  • Celebrating the joy of kids growing through interaction. (1998, PBS Sponsorship for Teletubbies)
  • Snap, Crackle, Pop. Wake up call to the world. (1998–2001)
  • Childhood is Calling (2006–present)
  • Moms Just Know (2007–present)

"Snap, crackle and pop" sound[edit]

The cereal is marketed on the basis of the noises it produces when milk is added to the bowl. The onomatopoeic noises differ by country and language:[26]

Prizes and premiums[edit]

In 1938 and 1939, Vernon Grant, the illustrator who created Snap, Crackle and Pop, produced a set of six illustrations of Mother Goose themes including Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Jack Be Nimble, Little Jack Horner, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that were offered as premiums in exchange for two Rice Krispies boxtops and a three-cent stamp.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ How does Kellogg's* Rice Krispies* cereal "talk"? Kellogg Canada
  2. ^ "Exile on Madison Avenue," Ben Greenman, The New Yorker (online), 2 April 2008 (Accessed 22 July 2008)
  3. ^ Rolling Stones Rice Krispies Commercial
  4. ^ Life Magazine, June 12 1939
  5. ^ a b Patented Sept. 5, 1933 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CEREAL FOOD - Preparation of puffed cereals from wholegrain or grain pieces without preparation of meal or dough by heating without using a pressure release device
  6. ^ "Rice Krispies Cereal Speaks to You" (PDF). Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  7. ^ Carey, Susan. Snap, Crackle, Slap: FTC Objects to Kellogg's Rice Krispies Health Claim. The Wall Street Journal. 4 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Rice Krispies with Vanilla Flavor Cereal". Kellogg Canada Inc. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  9. ^ https://www.kelloggs.co.za/en_ZA/products/rice-krispies.html
  10. ^ "Still Krispie after all these years Secret ingredient for crispy rice treats might just be nostalgia".
  11. ^ "Kelloggs Strawberry Pops - South African Food - the Savanna". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  12. ^ https://www.ricekrispies.com/en_US/products/kellogg-s-rice-krispies-cereal-strawberry.html
  13. ^ "The Past In Candy"[permanent dead link], X-Entertainment. Article written 2002-01-02, retrieved 2006-11-29.
  14. ^ http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_detail.asp?id=161
  15. ^ "Kellogg's Discontinued Products". Kellogg NA Co. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  16. ^ a b Rice Krispies Squares, UK. Article retrieved 29 November 2006.
  17. ^ "Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats Original bars". Kellogg NA Co. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  18. ^ "Kellogg's Rice Krispies Muddles" (reference to former name), ciao.co.uk. Article retrieved 29 November 2006.
  19. ^ Kellogg's Rice Krispies Multi-Grain, Kellogg's Interactive (kelloggs.co.uk). Article retrieved 29 November 2006.
  20. ^ http://www.kelloggs.com.au/tabid/152/Default.aspx
  21. ^ a b c "The new Rice Krispies contain much less rice and much more sugar. South Africans seem to hate it". BusinessInsider. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Kellogg's South Africa". www.facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  23. ^ a b c d e Rice Bubbles: The history of Snap, Crackle and Pop! Archived 28 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ a b "After a massive revolt, the old Rice Krispies are back – but pricier and imported from the UK". BusinessInsider. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  25. ^ a b 1938 Kellogg's Rice Krispies Vernon Grant Prints
  26. ^ "The Tale – Snap! Crackle! & Pop! story." Version from May 31, 2008 Kellogg's Rice Krispies.

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