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5 Must-Know Things About Lucky Charms

Photo: M. Ferris
Photo: M. Ferris

It’s the General Mills breakfast cereal that shines brightly in the spotlight every St. Patrick’s Day. And it’s magic has roots in our own backyard. In honor of the greatest cereal ever invented, here is a delicious look deep into the makings of one of our own.

Lucky Charms was introduced over 50 years ago, created by product developer John Holahan. He based the concept on Cheerios cereal pieces and chopped up pieces of his favorite candy, those marshmallow “Circus Peanuts”.

They’re Magically Delicious – Created in 1963, Lucky Charms is described by Lucky the Leprechaun as “magically delicious” and as any kid knows, it’s true. But it’s not just the tasty marshmallow bits that make it so good. In 1967, the oat cereal was given a “kiss” of frosting that adds that little extra sweetness we know and love today.

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Lucky Charms is actually a pretty healthy cereal. Made with whole grain oats, Lucky Charms is fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of calcium. Each serving has only 110 calories and just 10 grams of sugar.

The official name of the marshmallow “charms” is “Marbits” – That’s short for “marshmallow bits” of course but did you know that of the original marbits, only the pink heart remains. The orange stars, yellow moons, and green clovers have all been replaced by new “charms” including purple horseshoes, introduced in 1983.

Lucky was a Marketing Stroke of Genius – Lucky the Leprechaun debuted in 1964 with one of the most expensive advertising roll-outs to that date, featuring full color ads in comic books, the Sunday newspaper funnies section, plus animated ads on TV.

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Lucky Almost Lost His Job to A Wizard – For a short period of time Lucky was replaced by Waldo, the lovable but absent minded Wizard. In 1975, the two Lucky Charms cereal mascots coexisted. Waldo the Wizard appeared on boxes of Lucky Charms in New England and Lucky in the rest of the U.S. In some of the television spots, writers and animators made Lucky less “tricky” and “more friendly,” which may have led to Waldo’s demise. Anyway, Waldo got the boot and Lucky has been the undisputed official mascot ever since.

Join 94.1 KRNA at our St. Patrick’s Day Irish Breakfast Broadcast at Dublin’s City Pub on 1st St. SE downtown Cedar Rapids 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. We’ll have boxes galore of magically delicious Lucky Charms to giveaway as part of our festivities.

[source: General Mills]

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