Trix (cereal)

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Trix
Old Trix Box.jpg
A box of Trix, featuring the Trix rabbit, who was designed by Joe Harris.[1]
Product type Breakfast cereal
Owner General Mills
Country United States
Related brands Kix
Markets World
Website General Mills: Trix

Trix is a brand of breakfast cereal made by General Mills in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the North American market and by Cereal Partners (using the Nestlé brand) elsewhere in the world. The cereal consists of fruit-flavored, sweetened, ground-corn pieces. Trix is also used by Yoplait for a line of yogurt marketed toward children.

Overview[edit]

General Mills introduced Trix in 1954 as a sugar-coated version of its popular cereal, Kix.[1][2] The original Trix cereal was composed of more than 46% sugar.[citation needed] The original cereal included three colors: "Orangey Orange" (formerly named Orange Orange), "Lemony Yellow", and "Raspberry Red". Five fruit shapes and colors were added over the years: "Grapity (or grapey) Purple", (1984), "Lime Green" (1991), "Wildberry Blue" (1998–2007), and "Watermelon" (1999). In 1991 and again in 1995, the cereal pieces were given a brighter, more colorful look. General Mills' Yoplait division produces a Trix-branded yogurt marketed to children with sweetened fruit flavors such as "Watermelon Burst".[3] Later, Trix Swirls were introduced, with flavors such as "Rasp-orangey orange swirl" (a mix of the Orangey orange and Raspberry red flavors). A new flavor, "Wildberry Red Swirl", was introduced in 2011. Trix Swirls have since been discontinued; and the pieces in the original Trix were changed to their original 2007 flavor and shape lineup in 2014.

The cereal originally used spherical cereal pieces, but in 1991, were changed to puffed fruit-shaped pieces. In 2007, they reverted to their original shape in the United States. However, they maintained the fruit-shaped pieces in Mexico.

In 2015, General Mills announced it would no longer use artificial colors in its cereals, and that Trix would be among the first to change. Trix would go from six colors to four because satisfactory natural alternatives were found for orange, yellow, red, and purple but not blue or green.[4]

On September 21, 2017 General Mills announced that the six color version of Trix cereal would be reintroduced back to the market and that artificial dyes and flavors would be utilized to do so. The four color, non-artificial dye/flavor version would continue to be sold.[5] In the same announcement General Mills stated that they are planning to re-revert the spherical shapes back to the puffed fruit-shaped pieces.

Marketing and advertising[edit]

By 1955, just one year after Trix's market debut, General Mills was experimenting with a rabbit puppet as a potential Trix mascot.[6] However, it was Joe Harris, a copywriter and illustrator at the Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising agency, who created the trademark animated Trix rabbit, who debuted in a 1959 television commercial.[1][7][8] Harris also wrote the iconic Trix tagline, "Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids", which is still used in General Mills' commercial campaigns.[1][7]

Chet Stover, the creative director of Dancer Fitzgerald Sample's Trix account, fully credited Harris with the creation of the Trix rabbit after viewing the new character in its 1959 television commercial.[1][7] In an internal memo to Dancer Fitzgerald Sample employees, Stover wrote, "In a business where the only thing we have to sell are ideas, it is of first importance the credit is given where credit belongs — and Joe gets all the credit for this one."[1][7]

The Trix Rabbit — voiced by Mel Blanc, Don Messick, and later by Bret Iwan — an anthropomorphic cartoon rabbit who continually attempts to trick children into giving him a bowl of cereal. He was discovered every time; the Trix Rabbit would say "It's absofruitalicious!" and guard his cereal. These ads sometimes closed with the Trix Rabbit following up his "It's absofruitalicious!" slogan. (This happened in case he managed to have a taste or he had a secret stash.) The Rabbit originated as a puppet before he was animated. The plight of the Trix Rabbit has drawn comparisons to Sisyphus, a Greek figure who was doomed to endlessly repeat a futile task.[9] He did, however, succeed in obtaining and eating Trix cereal on occasion, including twice as the result of a box top mail-in contest (1976 and 1980) entitled "Let The Rabbit Eat Trix".[10] The results of the vote were overwhelmingly "yes", and the rabbit was depicted in a subsequent commercial enjoying a bowl of Trix.[11] Children who voted received a button based upon their vote in the election. In 1991, Tricks won a Tour de Trix Bicycle Race. At the end of the race, two judges are arguing about whether Trix should get the prize. In order to decide the fate of the prize, the children are called upon to send in their votes. The result was yes and Trix got the prize.[12]

In commercials from 1967, the 70s and 80s as well as today, the rabbit was known to disguise himself to get the cereal, employing costumes as diverse as a balloon vendor, a painter and a Native American. One alternate slogan for the cereal was, "Oranges, Lemons, and Grapes I see; the fruit taste of Trix is all for me". Once, Bugs Bunny helped the rabbit in an attempt to get the cereal.[13]

The rabbit's popularity led him to appear in commercials for other products, such as a Got Milk? advertisement, where he disguises himself as a man taking Trix from a grocery store.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Slotnik, Daniel E. (2017-04-04). "Joe Harris, Illustrator Behind Underdog and Trix Rabbit, Dies at 89". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  2. ^ "General Mills website". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Wegmans page for Trix Yogurt
  4. ^ "V". The New York Times. The Associated Press. June 22, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Original Trix, made with artificial colors, is coming back". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved September 21, 2017. 
  6. ^ Beck, Jerry (2017-01-17). "The Origin Of “The Trix Rabbit”". CartoonResearch.com. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  7. ^ a b c d Noto, Anthony (2017-04-05). "Joe Harris, illustrator who created the Trix rabbit and Underdog, dies". New York Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  8. ^ "youtube documentary with reference to cartoon characters". film. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2004). Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. New York: Scribner. p. 121. ISBN 0-7432-3601-7. 
  10. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 497. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. 
  11. ^ Trix Commercial - Trix Rabbit FINALLY Gets To Eat Trix Cereal (REAL COMMERCIAL) (Television production). 
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtyUWlTRmV4
  13. ^ Bugs bunny meets trix rabbit part 2 (Television production). 
  14. ^ Trix Got Milk Commercial (Television production). 

External links[edit]