It’s been a few years since Kelloggs broke the hearts of the nation and discontinued a millennial favourite, Ricicles, with one man even protesting Kelloggs decision by shoving the sugar coated cereal into his manhood before being hospitalised. They say time heals all wounds, but with 500 google searches every month, a lot of us are not ready to let go just yet. So why were Ricicles stripped from our breakfast tables and will they ever be back? Well its time to answer that burning question, but first, let’s see what made this noisy cereal so iconic.
Ricicles first released in 1965, reached peak popularity in the 1990s, with Captain Rik, the friendly astronaut mascot, driving sales with free gifts like rugrat pencil toppers, finger puppets, and a massive sugar high! Ricicles were sold in the UK, with other countries adopting their own brand names and mascots for the sugar-coated Rice Krispie. In 1992 Ricicles went next level and released a marshmallow version, featuring galactic shaped marshmallow pieces, the only UK cereal to include a crunchy freeze-dried marshmallow, but sadly the cereal marshmallow didn’t go down well with UK customers and was removed from shelves a couple of years later.
Since the 1990s Ricicles slowly decreased in popularity and Captain Rik was finally put to rest in 2018. Captain Rik wasn’t the only mascot to fly the Ricicles flag, Kelloggs originally recruited Tony the Tiger’s son Tony Jr (who hasn’t been seen since the 1970s, so i’ll presume he’s dead, or living with Carol Baskin) to be the face of Ricicles throughout the 70s & 80s. Ricicles have also seen Henrys Cat, and Noddy take up the role since its release.
So what was the final nail in Rik’s coffin? the official response from Kelloggs was that they were taking a new direction and cutting sugar in its cereals. Nice try Mr. Kellogg, if you ask me, Captain Rik’s murder was a decoy sacrifice, and one that worked pretty damn well. As part of Kellogg’s new direction, they drastically reduced the sugar in coco pops by 50% Rice Krispies by 20% and Rice Krispie stars by 30% and removed Ricicles from cereal aisles with its 34g sugar per 100g. As a headline story you’d think ‘good for you Kelloggs, you tell sugar who’s boss’ but really Ricicles got the chop because he was an easy sacrifice to show people that Kelloggs means business in the war against sugar, but it’s all smoke and mirrors, let’s look at this a bit deeper, check the facts and show you receipts.
Kellogg’s top 5 Cereals make up almost 60% of the brand’s sales, and those cereals in order are cornflakes, crunchy nut, Rice Krispies, coco pops, and Frosties. In Ricicles final year of sale, they made up only one percent of Kellogg’s sales, which is a crumb of concern within the Kelloggs roster of brands. You also may have bought into the idea that Kelloggs is a healthier choice for a breakfast with the reduction in sugar and the end of Ricicles right? Wrong, there are still 2 cereals in Kelloggs top 5 that have more sugar content than Ricicles. Frosties and Crunchy nut cornflakes both come in at a sweet 35g per 100g. Yep, Crunchy nut isn’t just the Britain’s favourite cereal, but also Britain’s sugariest, not a widely known fact, 65% of our social followers thought that honey monster puffs were sugarier that crunchy nut, despite having 35% less sugar (22g per 100g) turns out the Honey Monster ain’t so sweet.
How much sugar are we actually consuming then? Well a recommended bowl of cereal is 30g, but no adult has ever eaten a 30g portion in one sitting unless you’ve had your stomach stapled, I’d say 50g is a more reasonable portion, so let’s work out the sugar content for a more reasonable 50g serving, and If like me, 20g of sugar means nothing to you, a teaspoon of sugar is 4g. So let’s work out how much sugar you’ll get in each bowl of our favourite cereals.
Rice Krispies – 1.25 teaspoons Frosted Shreddies – 3.1 teaspoons
Cornflakes – 1.25 teaspoons Krave – 3.5 teaspoons
Coco Pops 2.1 teaspoons Crunchy Nut – 4.4 teaspoons
Honey Monster Puffs – 2.7 teaspoons Frosties – 4.4 teaspoons
Cookie Crisp – 2.8 teaspoons Lucky Charms (USA)- 4.6 teaspoons
Golden Grahams – 3 teaspoons Froot Loops (USA) – 5.2 teaspoons
I bet you never thought Crunchy Nut was almost as sugary as Lucky Charms? I nearly choked on my rainbow marshmallows when I calculated that! I’ve spent many a morning chowing down multiple bowls crunchy nut for breakfast, but would only ever eat a bowl of Lucky Charms as a snack or dessert because it would be insane to eat that much sugar for breakfast! So why have Crunchy nut been vailed as a healthy option? Well let’s be honest, Kellogg’s have never told us it was a healthy option, it’s covered in honey (liquid sugar) and nuts (around 50% fat) and that’s right in the name, this could be some crazy Mandela effect stuff happening!
Now considering a can of Coke has almost 9 teaspoons of sugar, 3 Jammie dodgers have 4 teaspoons of sugar and a Double-Decker has 7.5 teaspoons of sugar, with an adult daily intake recommended being less than 7 teaspoons of sugar, suddenly I feel a cavity coming on.
So the sacrifice of Ricicles, one of Kellogg’s minor brands, wasn’t a huge loss for the brand but was enough to send millennials into a frenzy, and school the UK into believing that Kelloggs are concerned for our wellbeing. So by losing Ricicles, Kelloggs have actually gained a better reputation, got a thumbs up from mums, and put their brand into people’s minds, and mouths again.
So perhaps Kelloggs sent Ricicles to the slaughter to deflect from the fact that Frosties and crunchy nut were peddling enough sugar to keep homer Simpson in donuts for the rest of his life, or perhaps I eat too much cereal and I’m reading into things too much, Either way, we all know that most cereals are high in sugar, so keep a balanced diet kids, or find yourself a Sugar Daddy, as I believe they are actually sugar-free.
But if you really miss that sweet Ricicles taste, the Americans have got you covered, Frosted Krispies are the closest thing you can get to Ricicles, and still going strong in the USA, you can buy them right here! Or alternatively, you can still pick up a box of expired Ricicles on eBay for up to £100. You choose.