Mental Floss

A Spoonful of Wheaties Facts

Kara Kovalchik
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Maybe because it doesn't get much competition from Little Chocolate Donuts (the donuts of champions), but more probably because of its genius marketing, Wheaties has been a breakfast staple for little athletes everywhere. Let's take a look at look back at some of the stories that make this cereal so great.

1. They were almost called Nutties

Wheaties were invented when a dietician working for the Washburn Crosby Company was preparing bran gruel in 1924 and spilled some onto the hot stove top. The droplets sizzled and then hardened into tiny "flakes." The clumsy cook found them to be far tastier than standard gruel. He informed his superiors of his discovery, and 36 recipe variations later the company developed a wheat flake that was strong enough to withstand packaging and shipping. The name "Wheaties" was chosen via a company-wide contest, beating out other suggestions such as "Nutties" and "Gold Medal Wheat Flakes."

2. It's the Cereal that got Ronald Reagan to Hollywood

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3. Cover Models: A Few Famous Firsts

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4. Where the Slogan Came from

One of history's most enduring cereal box slogans was conceived on the spur of the moment. When Wheaties first started sponsoring radio broadcasts of Minneapolis Millers baseball games in 1933, their agreement included a large sign at the ballpark promoting the cereal. When asked what he wanted the sign to say, an ad exec for Wheaties thought for a moment then blurted out, "The breakfast of champions." The company eventually sponsored various baseball teams across the country, and testimonials by famous athletes became a staple of Wheaties radio commercials.

5. Fan Favorites

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