Think back to a typical Saturday morning as a 6 year old. With cartoons on the TV and a spoon in hand, you contentedly crunch away at your sugar-loaded cereal of choice: French Toast Crunch, perhaps, or the fluorescent flakes of Nerds cereal. You slurp down the strawberry milk left in the bowl from your Strawberry Honeycomb or the rainbow-streaked Sprinkle Spangles milk remnants, and go on with your happy childhood Saturday.
Fast-forward 10 (or 20, or 30) years later. Perusing the cereal aisle, you realize how bored you are of the grown-up, healthy options that seem to have taken over. You’re overcome with nostalgia for your favorite cereal from childhood, and decide to splurge on the calories and go ahead and treat yourself to a box of that sugary goodness.
There’s just one problem: it no longer exists.
Most popular cereals marketed to kids are household names that have been around for ages. They’re also mostly major sugar bombs — 90 percent of kids’ cereals are tested to be high in sugar. And yet, it’d be unimaginable for many of these — think Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms — to be taken off the market. After all, the average American eats 10 pounds of the stuff in a year. But year after year, beloved cereals are discontinued, leaving thousands of cereal lovers with nothing to do but reminisce about the golden days of their sugary childhood favorites.
One of these coveted cereals, Cap’n Crunch, was the subject of a recent scare that had cereal lovers everywhere panicking over the rumor that Cap’n Crunch was being "retired" as a Quaker Oats brand cereal. Noticing that the Cap’n was nowhere to be seen on the company’s main website and that there seemed to be a decline in recent promotions, fans speculated that the sugary cereal was "too unhealthy" to go on. Thankfully, Quaker put an end to the rumors and quelled our worst fears when it told AdAge, "Reports of Cap’n Crunch’s demise are greatly exaggerated."
But when it comes to over-the-top delicious cereals that happen to be high in sugar, we still live in fear that they’ll one day be taken away. Kids’ cereals are getting less sugary by the day, and efforts to combat childhood obesity, from Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move!" campaign to the special Congress committee dedicated to halting the marketing of sugary foods to kids, promise to slow the production of these "breakfast candy" cereals. We’re all for ending childhood obesity, but it also might mean the end of a sugary cereal Golden Age. Someday soon, you could be mourning the loss of one of your current favorites.
Sometimes, you just have to forget the sugar content and take a trip down memory lane. To help you reminisce, view the slideshow above—a list of 17 cereals that were just too sweet to last.