Breakfast cereals have been a staple of the American dream since the beginning of time. Young or old, people everywhere love to start their mornings with a big bowl of cereal, and whether you start your day with a bowl of cereal or have not opened a box of Cheerios since your childhood, you’re probably familiar with the mascots that cover the boxes and the catchphrases that go along with them.
Remember Tony the Tiger and his Frosted Flakes? Maybe the name Trix Rabbit rings a bell. Do you still not understand that Trix is just for kids, you silly rabbit? How could anyone forget about the Cap’n and his Crunch? Even if you remember the names of cereals that sit on the shelves of supermarkets today, what about the breakfast cereals of yesteryear?
If you didn’t already realize it, this notion might trigger a flashback. A significant number of breakfast cereals that you loved as a child are now gone. No goodbye note, no explanation, just gone, like a thief in the night — vanished like the deadbeat dads that say they were going out for a pack of smokes but were never seen again.
Oh, the joy that this basketball shaped cereal brought to kids everywhere. I still remember these from my childhood, and I have to say that I wish they were still available. This General Mills delight was introduced to shelves in 1994, but was only available for a limited time. While Wheaties sought to feed the adult crowd, Dunk-A-Balls were for kids.
This breakfast cereal arrived in the shape of little basketballs, but the best part of Dunk-A-Balls, at least for me, was the box. You could cut out the back of the box and turn it into a basketball hoop, and you already know that I loved spending my mornings pretending that I was Michael Jordan, draining threes with those whole-wheat basketballs.
Even though I spent most of my time chasing those little balls all around the house, I say bring this breakfast cereal back. I’ve had a lot of time to practice and perfect my shot, and honestly, since this cereal left, my mornings have been pretty boring.
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice big plate of waffles for breakfast? Thinking about thick, fluffy waffles covered in butter and maple syrup is making me hungry. But what if you don’t have any waffles? How about a waffle breakfast cereal?
Luckily for children everywhere, Post Foods heard the call and launched Waffle Crisp in 1996, one of my all-time favorite breakfast treats. This corn cereal, shaped like miniature waffles, was packed with syrupy goodness.
To this day, I still remember the commercials for Waffle Crisp, which revolved around the story of sweet elderly women who specially designed each individual waffle. In hindsight, this scenario might sound far fetched, but I was convinced this is how my cereal was made back in the day. Sadly, Waffle Crisp was discontinued in 2018, and waffle lovers like myself are preparing to riot in order to bring it back to store shelves across the country.
More than any other cereal, as a child, I consumed more Alpha-Bits than I would like to admit. Truthfully, I’m not sure if it was because it tasted good or if I simply liked to spell out words — most of which was likely profanity — with my breakfast cereal every morning, but at least I was practicing my spelling. Perhaps Alpha-Bits cereal helped to turn me into a writer? I like to think so.
For those of you who do not know, Alpha-Bits were a sugary cereal, created by Post Foods, shaped like the letters of the alphabet. The original version of Alpha-Bits was introduced in 1958, and altered versions of the breakfast food incorporated marshmallows. Nevertheless, like all good cereal, Alpha-Bits were semi-discontinued in the mid-2000s.
Why semi-discontinued? To explain, the original recipe was altered, which means that the much-adored childhood version of Alpha-Bits is no more. The cereal is no longer frosted, and an option for marshmallows no longer exists. Thanks for taking all the fun out life, Post.
Cereals Discontinued in 2019
Taking away a person’s favorite breakfast cereal should be considered a crime — a crime punishable by death. All right, that’s a little much, but such actions should be punished by something. Who knows what makes a cereal company one day decided to kill off a brand of cereal, but buying your favorite cereal one day and finding it removed from shelves forever is a bummer nonetheless.
In 2019, King Vitamin, a popular breakfast cereal distributed by Quaker Oats in 1968, was discontinued, and even Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats (Maple and Brown Sugar), my mother’s favorite cereal, joined the graveyard of forgotten breakfast foods; for the record, my mom is still angry at Kellogg’s, and it’s been months.
Upon writing this article, I compiled a list of assumedly discontinued childhood-era cereals but, as it turns out, a significant number of the cereals on my list have returned. Hope is alive. Admittedly, some of the cereals that I previously thought to be dead were vacant from stores for years.
Although beloved breakfast cereals that once filled our cereal bowls and our hearts are no longer with us, they will never be forgotten. We loved them then, and we still love them now. Who knows? Maybe if we’re lucky, the world might get the chance to enjoy them again. Until the cereal gods bless us with the resurrection of discontinued breakfast cereals, we can only hope and pray for their swift return.