11 Colorful Facts You Might Not Know About Trix Cereal
By Suzanne Raga
Trix cereal is made of colorful pieces of corn puffs. Manufactured by General Mills, Trix has been around since the mid-1950s. Although Trix’s iconic rabbit mascot has morphed in appearance over the decades, the Trix Rabbit still appears on the cereal’s boxes and stars in the commercials. Check out these 11 vibrant facts about Trix.
1. THE ORIGINAL BOX OF TRIX HAD ONLY THREE FLAVORS AND A FLAMINGO MASCOT.
Trix ad, 1965. Tom Simpson via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
General Mills launched Trix in 1954 as an off-shoot of its cereal Kix. Aimed toward children, Trix was a sweetened corn puff cereal that had three flavors: Raspberry Red, Lemony Yellow, and Orangey Orange. Rather than a rabbit mascot, a flamingo flanked the cereal box. The earliest commercials didn't have any mascot at all, just a little jingle and an excited boy espousing about "some Trix!"
2. BUT MORE FLAVORS, COLORS, AND DESIGNS WERE EVENTUALLY ADDED.
frankieleon via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Expanding upon the original red, yellow, and orange colors, General Mills made Trix more vibrant with the addition of Grapity Purple in 1984, Lime Green in 1991, Wildberry Blue in 1998, and Watermelon in 1999. In the 2000s, Trix introduced color swirls like raspberry-orange and wildberry-red, but General Mills discontinued the swirls in 2014 because children in focus groups preferred the taste of the solid-colored cereal.
3. THE TRIX RABBIT'S ORIGINAL SLOGAN HASN'T CHANGED.
Artist Joe Harris created and illustrated the Trix rabbit, which was originally a hand puppet on TV that introduced kids’ shows sponsored by General Mills. The cartoon rabbit’s opening monologue, introduced in a 1959 commercial, was neither memorable nor pithy. He began with: “I’m a rabbit, and rabbits are supposed to like carrots. But I hate carrots. I like Trix.” But soon, the children come in and inform that silly rabbit of a certain tagline that stuck for good.
4. THE RABBIT HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED CEREAL MASCOTS OF ALL TIME.
General Mills put a lot of money into Trix commercials, and the rabbit has become an iconic mascot of Trix cereal. The rabbit frequently tries and fails to trick children into giving him cereal, and the children say the tagline that everyone still recognizes today: “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.” Although the Trix rabbit has undergone slight changes in appearance since the 1950s, he is one of the most successful, recognizable examples of advertising for kids’ food products.
5. TRIX HAS CHANGED ITS SHAPE FROM BALLS TO FRUIT-SHAPED, AND THEN BACK TO BALLS.
When Trix was introduced in the mid-1950s, the cereal was shaped as tiny balls. Trix remained round until 1991, when General Mills turned Trix into fruit shapes. These little bunches of grapes, watermelons, raspberries, oranges, and lemons lasted for 15 years, until General Mills switched back to the original round shape in 2006. Some cereal fans were disappointed by the change, but General Mills offered no official explanation.
6. EARLY TRIX COMMERCIALS CAPITALIZED ON PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER POP-CULTURE CHARACTERS.
Br'er Rabbit, a character in Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South, appeared on an early box of Trix in the 1950s, as did Mickey Mouse. Later, in a 1985 commercial, Bugs Bunny tried to help the Trix rabbit get a bowl of the cereal.
7. THE TRIX RABBIT EVEN APPEARED IN A 'GOT MILK?' AD.
Cereal and milk go hand in hand, and the Trix Rabbit appeared (disguised as a human) in this funny 'Got Milk?' commercial, in which the rabbit almost gets away with eating a bowl of Trix, but he runs out of milk at the last minute:
8. AMERICAN KIDS VOTED TO FINALLY LET THE TRIX RABBIT HAVE THAT COVETED BOWL OF CEREAL.
In 1976 and 1980, General Mills ran campaigns allowing kids to vote whether or not the Trix rabbit should finally get the bowl of Trix he so desired. Kids mailed in their votes, with almost everyone voting to let the rabbit get his cereal. Commercials aired afterward that showed the Trix rabbit exuberant in finally succeeding.
9. A FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR EPISODE HAD A PHILOSOPHICAL MOMENT REVOLVING AROUND TRIX.
Carlton Banks, played by Alfonso Ribeiro, delivered a monologue on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air about the unfair, unjust nature of life. He illustrates his point with an unexpected reference to the Trix Rabbit, as Will and Uncle Phil look on in disbelief.
10. IN 2015, GENERAL MILLS ANNOUNCED IT WOULD REMOVE ALL ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND COLORS FROM TRIX.
Last year, General Mills promised to remove artificial flavors and colors from Trix. Starting this month, boxes of Trix will contain natural ingredients like turmeric extract, annatto, and blueberry juice concentrate instead of fake colors and dyes. Although the taste, smell, and price will stay the same, Trix is ditching its blue and green colored cereal pieces because food scientists couldn’t find suitable natural alternatives for those colors.
11. TRIX RECENTLY HELD AN OPEN CASTING CALL FOR NEW RABBIT MODELS.
To celebrate the removal of artificial ingredients from Trix, the cereal ran a contest searching for an honorary Trix rabbit. People submitted photos and videos of their real pet rabbits, as well as their dogs and cats in bunny costumes. The winning rabbits got their photos on limited edition Trix boxes. No word on whether they got to snack on the Trix though...