12 Discontinued Breakfast Cereals You Loved as a Kid

Hankering for a spoonful of nostalgia? From Crazy Cow to Sprinkle Spangles, these cereals from yesteryear will make you wistful for the ghost of breakfasts past.
Smurf Berry Crunch Cereal commercial (1983)
Smurf Berry Crunch Cereal commercial (1983) / RetroStatic

Breakfast cereal is a competitive industry. Food manufacturers have used a variety of colorful gimmicks to capture the attention of young consumers—and while some products have become fixtures in the cereal aisle for decades, others enjoyed only a fleeting lifespan, existing now solely in our memories (and in old commercials recorded on VHS tapes). If you’re craving a nostalgia trip, take a look back at these discontinued cereals from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s.

1. Crazy Cow

The makers of this defunct General Mills product understood that the best part of a bowl of cereal is often the sugary milk it leaves behind. The cereal in each box of Crazy Cow was coated with flavored powder that dissolved when wet. The chocolate variety “made its own chocolate milk,” while the strawberry-flavored cereal made pink milk with a fruity punch. Despite the clever gimmick, Crazy Cow didn’t make it out of the ’70s.

2. Banana Frosted Flakes

Frosted Flakes has come in many special flavors over the years, but few have gained the cult status of the banana variety from the early ’80s. Banana Frosted Flakes came with pieces of real banana baked onto each piece, making sure kids got something nutritious out of it. The fruity cereal didn’t make it into Kellogg’s regular rotation, but a version of it did return to shelves in 2019 when the cereal maker released a limited-edition Banana Creme Frosted Flakes flavor.

3. Waffleos

Cereal shaped like tiny breakfast items has been a winning formula for decades, and Ralston (the company behind the tie-in novelty cereal craze of the 1980s) followed suit with a bite-sized waffle cereal called Waffleos in 1979. They came in maple and blueberry flavors and featured a cartoon cowboy in a 10-gallon hat on the box—the perfect combination to pop off the shelves. Unfortunately, this discontinued breakfast cereal was yanked off the market in 1982, and though there have been other waffle-shaped cereals since, it remains a cult favorite.

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4. Cinna-Crunch Pebbles

Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles are two of the most successful tie-in products in cereal history. In 1998, Post released a new Flintstones-branded flavor: Cinna-Crunch Pebbles. According to the commercials, they were created when a meteor struck Bedrock’s cinnamon bakery, with the resulting debris being deemed suitable to serve for breakfast. As discontinued cereals go, Cinna-Crunch Pebbles was a classic, but it stopped being in stores by 2001. Post released a similar product called Cinnamon Pebbles in 2017.

5. Cinnamon Mini Buns

Kelloggs debuted Cinnamon Mini Buns in 1991, and two years later, the company replaced it with Mini Swirlz Cinnamon Buns, adding another cereal shaped like a traditional breakfast item to the list of cult-favorite treats. The rebranded cereal was pulled from shelves for good in 2009.

6. Smurf-Berry Crunch

The success of the Smurfs cartoon show eventually led to the release of Smurf-Berry Crunch in 1982. The colorful, fruit-flavored cereal appealed to kids, but it had some unintended side effects: The product was notorious for turning poop Smurf-blue. (Frankenberry had similar issues, and the reddish stool it produced caused an even bigger panic.) Post replaced Smurf-Berry Crunch with the reformulated (and also short-lived) Smurf Magic Berries cereal in 1987.

7. Ghostbusters Cereal

One of Ralston’s most successful tie-in products from the 1980s was Ghostbusters cereal. After debuting in 1985, the branded cereal stuffed with ghost-shaped marshmallows remained on shelves for an impressive five years. (The success of the animated show throughout the ’80s helped its longevity.) Fans of the cereal were treated to its brief revival in 2021 in the promotion of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

8. Sprinkle Spangles

General Mills launched Sprinkle Spangles in the fall of 1993. The star-shaped, sprinkle-covered cereal arrived less than a year after Disney’s Aladdin (1992), and it featured a cartoon genie as the mascot. The character was even voiced by a comedian (Dom Deluise) channeling Robin Williams in the commercials. By 1995, Sprinkle Spangles had been phased out of the market.

9. Vanilly Crunch

Cap’n Crunch has led to several popular spin-off products, including Crunch Berries and Peanut Butter Crunch. However, you might have forgotten about one of its other variations: Vanilly Crunch. As its name suggests, this was a vanilla-flavored Cap’n Crunch cereal; it popped up in the ’70s. The special flavor even had its own mascot in the form of Wilma the Winsome White Whale.

10. Ice Cream Cones

While some people can stomach cookies for breakfast, ice cream cereal was apparently a step too far. Ice Cream Cones was available in vanilla and chocolate chip flavors when it debuted in 1986, but it was off shelves by the time ’87 rolled around. It did make a brief comeback, however, when General Mills brought it back in 2003 in honor of the ice cream cone’s 100th anniversary.

11. Hidden Treasures

Every piece of cereal in a box of Hidden Treasures was a mystery: Some of the crispy corn squares contained a fruit-flavored (cherry, grape, or orange) filling, while others were plain. It was up to kids to shovel spoonfuls into their mouths and find out for themselves. Sadly for fans, General Mills released Hidden Treasures in the early 1990s and discontinued it by 1995.

12. Nerds

The Ralston Food Company was responsible for this tangy mash-up, too, which was inspired by the popular candy. Each box featured two separate flavors, and was available in two flavor varieties: orange and cherry or strawberry and grape. Kids could even send away for a special two-sided bowl, which allowed milk on one side to flow into cereal on the other side. The ads famously asked, “Which side are you gonna eat first?” But turns out, consumers opted for neither, as this discontinued breakfast cereal—which was introduced in 1985—was yanked from shelves within just a year amid reports that, like Frankenberry, it led to red and orange-colored stool.

A version of this story was originally published in 2022 and has been updated for 2024.