While specific dining trends have come and gone, the types of foods we eat for each meal have remained fairly constant over the past century. For dinner, we’ll have some meat with a vegetable and starch. For lunch, a salad or sandwich. And for breakfast? Eggs, bacon, and, of course, a bowl of cereal. Every decade sees the arrival of new cereals that capture the public’s attention, and we’ve rounded up the most popular cereals of past decades.
Just like every other aspect of American life, breakfast has been the subject of near-constant innovation, with new cereals coming onto the scene that have done everything from briefly capturing the zeitgeist to entering the cereal canon for decades to come. And because breakfast is so inextricably linked to our childhood, and so many breakfast products are marketed directly to children, the breakfasts we eat in our youth can leave an impression that lasts a lifetime.
The best breakfast cereals are timeless; they’ve seemingly always been around and we can’t imagine a world without them. But in reality, every breakfast cereal on the market was someone’s invention, and many of them utilized the most top-of-the-line technology available at the time of their creation.
While each decade has given us a slew of new and exciting breakfast cereals, the most popular cereals through the decades are all the ones you’d expect, because they never went out of style: Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran. For today’s purposes we’ll be taking a look at the major cereal releases over the decades that are still with us today: those timeless cereals that you loved when you were a kid, but secretly still enjoy today.