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Monday, 8 July 2013

The Surprising History and Origin of Corn Flakes(r)

Box of corn flakes
Box of corn flakes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Copyright © 2006-2013, All Rights Reserved Written by: Aaliyah Ferris

Corn Flakes(r), the quintessential American-born breakfast cereal complemented perfectly with strawberries, banana slices and, of course, milk, has surprising origins. Those tasty flakes of corn you serve for breakfast were actually invented by a group of 19th century Seventh Day Adventists to "aid sexual abstinence".

As part of their strict vegetarian diet, which excluded alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a strict Adventists and superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, served various meals, dull in taste, believing spicy, hot foods encouraged sexual appetites. Most meals consisted of wholesome wheat, rice, oat and corn dishes, Kellogg believing the greatest of human ills began in the bowels and that a strict vegetarian diet with a plethora of fiber and water worked to cleanse impurities and poisons from the body. He further believed that all sexual acts aside from those used for procreation, including masturbation, were sinful.

Tending to the inmates in his care, Kellogg accidentally overcooked a batch of wheat, making it stale. Nevertheless, the batch nor the money would not to be wasted. Dr. Kellogg and his brother, Will, processed the batch as usual. But the batch formed flakes instead of dough sheets as a result. The tasty cereal was quite the hit in the Sanitarium, propelling the two men into business shortly thereafter. Corn Flakes(r), named Granose at that time, was registered for a patent in April of 1894.

English: Advertisement for Kellogg's "Toa...
English: Advertisement for Kellogg's "Toasted Corn Flakes" in Life magazine, July 21, 1910, issue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While today, nobody can imagine cereal boxes without the prize or gimmick, Corn Flakes(r) was the pioneer in this type of marketing. The company offered their popular box with a Funny Jungleland Moving Picture Booklet in the early 1900s to boost sales.
Corn Flakes box
Corn Flakes box (Photo credit: Đ…olo)

The brothers also began expanding into different products and experimenting with various grains and ingredients. But Will's decision to add sugar to the recipe to achieve mass appeal conflicted with his brother and ultimately caused a split. In 1929, the company introduced the next great hit, Rice Krispies, making a "Snap, crackle and pop" sound when combined with milk. Today, Kellogg's is known for everything from Raisin Bran(r) to Eggo(r) Waffles, Fruit Loops(r), Nutri-grain Bars(r), Pop Tarts(r) and Special K(r). The company is still headquartered in its original town of Battle Creek, Michigan, publicly traded (NYSE: K) and responsible for supporting the livelihood of more than 25,600 full-time employees.
English: Very First Corn Flakes Package: http:...
English: Very First Corn Flakes Package: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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