The ‘90s was not exactly the healthiest decade for breakfast cereals. While a walk through the cereal aisles today still includes lots of high-sugar options, there are also a wider selection of healthier alternatives that promise whole grains, gluten-free ingredients, and low-sugar. Meanwhile, many ‘90s cereal options touted questionable claims and taglines that made the sugar-loaded corn-based crunchy snacks sound almost good for you.
Let’s face it: ‘90s cereals were essentially sugar-filled balls, hoops, and rings, crunchy corn pieces, and marshmallow desserts masquerading as nutritious breakfasts to start your day. Regardless, they were also oh so tasty!
We were spoiled for choice when it came to cereal back in the '90s, with many brands still on store shelves today. But there are also a few that vanished off store shelves and you've probably totally forgotten about; some of which we'd love to see make a comeback, and a few that actually have.
10 Hidden Treasures
Like its name suggests, this dessert-like cereal from General Mills was introduced in 1993. Much like many others on the list, it consisted of sweetened corn squares with some type of “fruit” filling inside. Each had a different flavor so you got a bit of a different taste in every bite. But you didn’t know what was inside until you bit down.
One mouthful could be cherry and grape, the next orange. Some contained no filling at all. Chances are kids shuffled the cereal around in their bowls, seeking out only the filled pieces. But it seems not too many kids were on board as the cereal disappeared just two years later.
9 Pop-Tarts Crunch
Ahh, Pop-Tarts. One of the most unhealthy breakfast options one could think of. A pastry with icing on top filled with some type of jam, they are great for popping in the toaster for a quick bite on the run.
This cereal from Kellogg’s took the concept and made miniature versions of the sweet treats that you could pour milk over and eat with a spoon. It came in two flavors, brown sugar cinnamon and strawberry, but only lasted a year between 1994 and 1995. Interestingly, Kellogg’s re-launched the cereal earlier this year, and it’s available exclusively through Walmart.
8 Dino Pebbles
Adopting the same concept as Fruity Pebbles, which remains on store shelves in some places today, these were based on the popular Flintstones cartoon, and featured tiny dinosaur bones made of corn (or something similar) with marshmallows pieces.
Sadly, unlike the popular marshmallow-abundant Lucky Charms cereal, these weren’t magically delicious enough to last. However, the sister Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles cereals, also from Post Foods, remain on the market today, making them the oldest surviving cereal brand based on characters from a TV series or movie.
7 Cinnamon Mini Buns
Mini buns are best fresh and hot out of the oven, with white icing dripping off the sides as you bite into one. This cereal from Kellogg’s, introduced in 1991, tried to replicate that taste through miniature, crunchy cinnamon bun shaped and flavored cereal pieces that you cover with milk before munching on.
It was a good idea in theory. But there was clearly only room for one cinnamon-themed cereal on store shelves, so the buns had to leave to make way for Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Toast seems more breakfast-appropriate anyway.
6 Count Chocula
You might think that this cereal is still on store shelves today, given how memorable and recognizable the name is, along with the mascot character featured on the boxes and in the commercials. But nope, this one completely vanished, with the exception of cereal bars that General Mills introduced in 2010 bearing the same name.
Maybe the creepy vampire gave kids nightmares. Even the chocolatey goodness of the cereal that seeped into the milk allowing you to slurp up essentially a bowl of chocolate milk when you were done wasn’t enough to save it.
5 Berry Berry Kix
If you’re a kid of the ‘90s, you probably read this name and got a wave of nostalgia because you totally forgot about those days walking down the cereal aisle in the grocery store, begging your parents to buy you this berry cereal, swearing that it was good for you because, well, berries.
The Corn Pop-shaped miniature balls were combined with colored and flavored balls made to taste like sugar-filled fruits. One scoop could contain a mix of colors delivering a burst of fruity flavors in your mouth. Introduced in 1992, variants still exist today, including a Paw Patrol version sold at Walmart.
4 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Cereal
With a third movie installment coming, Bill & Ted Face the Music, perhaps this cereal from Ralston Purina (they made food for humans back then, too) might make a comeback. Centered on the popular films, it was essentially cinnamon-flavored miniature donut-shaped pieces of cereal combined with marshmallow musical notes.
Kids could rock out to this most awesome breakfast to get their day going, and parents felt relieved that it contained “no tropical oils.” Ironically enough, today people gravitate toward things like coconut oil instead of away from it. Go figure.
Another cereal capitalizing on the popularity of ‘90s entertainment, this one was centred on the break-out character from the sitcom Family Matters, Steve Urkel. The nasal-voiced, suspender-wearing nerd was the nosy neighbor who captured everyone’s attention with his signature phrase “did I do that?”
Maybe kids thought they would become as smart as Urkel by eating this cereal, which included circular-shaped red and yellow cereal bits with strawberry and banana artificial flavors. It was introduced in 1991 and discontinued in 2000, two years after the show ended.
2 French Toast Crunch
Like Cinnamon Mini Buns and Pop-Tarts Crunch, this cereal by General Mills attempted to take a popular breakfast item and miniaturize it for serving in a bowl with milk. In this case, it was super-adorable tiny replicas of pieces of toast, sprinkled with cinnamon and syrup, thanks to artificial flavoring.
This is one of those cereals that fans were seriously upset about when it vanished from the U.S. back in 2006 after nine years on the market. So much so, in fact, that you might still be able to find a box as General Mills re-introduced it in 2014. Interestingly, while it was discontinued in the U.S. for eight years, it was always available in Canada.
1 Fruity Yummy Mummy
What are monster-mallows? They are the tiny monster-shaped marshmallows kids dug into their Fruity Yummy Mummy cereal to find and pick out amidst the rest of the orange cream-flavored frosted cereal bits shaped like ghosts.
The cereal, made by General Mills as part of its classic movie monster themed lineup, did make a comeback during Halloween in the mid-‘00s. But aside from that, it totally disappeared after being discontinued in 1992. It perhaps didn’t resonate with kids due to the spooky theme or the odd orange flavouring.