LUCKY CHARMS is a brand of cereal produced by the General Mills food company since 1964. The cereal consists of toasted oat pieces and multi-colored marshmallow shapes ("marbits" or marshmallow bits). The label features a leprechaun mascot, Lucky, animated in commercials.
* 1 History
* 2 Marshmallows
* 2.1 Limited Edition Marshmallows * 2.2 Marshmallow-only promotion
* 3 Theme song * 4 Taglines * 5 Ingredients * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
An advertising company employed by
General Mills and Company
suggested marketing the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets.
Thus, the charms of
Following the product launch, the
General Mills marketing department
found that sales performed dramatically better if the composition of
the marbits changed periodically. Various features of the marbits
were modified to maximize their appeal to young consumers. Over the
years, over 40 limited edition features such as Winter Lucky Charms,
Olympic-themed Lucky Charms, and
In October 2012,
The first boxes of
Older marshmallows were phased out periodically. The first shapes to disappear were the yellow moons and blue diamonds, replaced by yellow/orange pots of gold and blue moons respectively in 1994. In 2006, the assortment included purple horseshoes; red balloons; blue crescent-moons; orange and white shooting stars; yellow and orange pots of gold; pink, yellow, and blue rainbows; two-tone green leprechaun hats; pink hearts (the one shape to survive since the beginning); with the most recent addition being the return of the clovers in 2004. The size and brightness of the marshmallows changed in 2004.
Recent changes to the marshmallows include the star shape taking on a "shooting star" design, the orange five-pointed star being complemented by a white "trail." In late 2005, another marshmallow shape was added, the "Hidden Key". It is a solid yellow marshmallow that resembles an arched door (similar to the shape of a tombstone; flat at the bottom, flat sides with a round top). When liquid is added to the cereal, the sugar in the marshmallow dissolves and the shape of a skeleton key appears "as if by magic." The tagline was, "Unlock the door with milk!" This "new" marshmallow type has been used in other hot and cold cereals, but with mixed success (from characters "hidden" inside a bigger marshmallow to letters appearing). In early June 2006, General Mills introduced Magic Mirror marshmallows. In 2008, yellow and orange hourglass marshmallows were introduced (with a contemporary name for Lucky, the Emerald Elder) with the marketing tagline of, "The Jaundice Thumb Charm has the power to Stop Time * Speed Up Time * Reverse Time". As of 2011, swirled marshmallows and rainbow-colored stars have been introduced.
The marshmallows are meant to represent Lucky's magical charms, each with their own special meaning or "power." The following are explanations of the permanent marshmallows:
* Hearts - power to bring things to life * Shooting Stars - power to fly * Horseshoes - power to speed things up * Clovers - luck, but you will never know what kind of luck you will get * Blue Moons - power of invisibility * Rainbows - instantaneous travel from place to place * Balloons - power to make things float * Hourglass - power to control time
LIMITED EDITION MARSHMALLOWS
There have been more than 30 featured limited edition marshmallow shapes over the years, with the introduction of themed Lucky Charms, such as Winter Lucky Charms. Some of these include:
* In 1986, a whale-shaped marshmallow was temporarily added to the
* In 1990, a green pine tree-shaped marshmallow was temporarily
added to the lineup. During that time, the cereal promoted Earth Day
with a free Colorado Blue Spruce seedling with proofs-of-purchase.
* In 1991, the star and balloon shape marshmallows were combined for
a short time. The red balloon featured a gold six-pointed star. The
star was removed at a later date to make the Red
In May 2017,
General Mills announced they would be promoting 10,000
boxes of cereal that contain only marshmallow pieces. In order to win
one of the coveted boxes, consumers would need to purchase a
specially-marked box of regular
In the earliest commercials,
This simple closer, with the kids usually singing the first line and Lucky singing the second, survived into the 1980s.
Then, with the addition of the purple horseshoe marbit, it was extended into a jingle describing the contents of the box. This was later revised with the addition of red balloons to the now-familiar "Hearts, stars and horse-shoes, clovers and blue-moons. Pots of gold and rainbows, and tasty red balloons!" In 2008, the pot of gold was replaced with the hourglass in the theme song.
The jingle is usually accompanied by mentioning that Lucky Charms contains whole grain ingredients, and is part of a balanced meal. General Mills' market position is centered on cereals that contain "more whole grain than any other single ingredient, which is significant, because 95 percent of Americans aren't eating minimally 48 grams of whole grain per day as recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines."
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* They're Magically Delicious! * Frosted Lucky Charms, They're Magically Delicious! * They're Always After Me Lucky Charms! * You'll Never Get Me Lucky Charms! * Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, and Green Clovers! * Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, and Blue Diamonds! * Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, Blue Diamonds, and Purple Horseshoes! * Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, Blue Diamonds, Purple Horseshoes, and Red Balloons! * Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers and Blue Moons, Pots of Gold and Rainbows, and Red Balloons! * Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers and Blue Moons, Hourglasses, Rainbows, and Tasty Red Balloons! * Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers, Red Balloons, Hourglasses, Rainbows, and Six New Swirled Moons! * Hearts, Stars and Horseshoes, Clovers, Blue Moons, Hourglasses, Rainbows, and Tasty Red Balloons in Lucky Charms! * Heart, Star, Horseshoe, Clover, Blue Moon, Hourglass, Rainbow, and also Red Balloon!
LUCKY CHARMS CONTAINS:
Oats (Whole grain), Oats (flour), marshmallows (sugar, modified starch /modified corn starch, corn syrup , dextrose , gelatin , calcium carbonate , yellow 5 & yellow 6 , blue 1 , red 40 ), artificial flavor , sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, salt, calcium carbonate , food coloring /artificial color, trisodium phosphate , zinc, iron, vitamin C (sodium ascorbic), niacinamide (a B vitamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin ), vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), vitamin A (palmitate), folic acid , vitamin B12 , vitamin D, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)
According to the manufacturer,
CHOCOLATE LUCKY CHARMS:
Ingredients - Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Marshmallows (sugar, modified corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, calcium carbonate, yellow 5&6, blue 1, red 40, artificial flavor), corn meal, canola and/or rice bran oil, cocoa processed with alkali, color added, salt, fructose, natural and artificial flavor, trisodium phosphate, BHT.
Vitamins and Minerals - calcium, carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, zinc and iron (mineral nutrients), vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), B vitamin (niacinamide), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), vitamin A (palmitate), B vitamin (folic acid), vitamin B12, vitamin D.
LUCKY CHARMS TREATS:
(Contains MILK AND SOY ingredients)
Ingredients - cereal (whole grain oats, sugar, oat flour , corn syrup , corn starch , salt, trisodium phosphate , color added, natural and artificial flavor , mixed tocopherois ), corn syrup, confectionery coating (sugar, palm kernel oil , maltodextrin , yogurt powder (cultured non-fat milk, whey protein concentrate , yogurt cultures), non-fat milk, soy lecithin, natural flavor), marshmallows (sugar, modified corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, calcium carbonate, colored with yellow 5 -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">
* ^ "1960s" (PDF).
General Mills History Timeline. General Mills.
p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2007. Retrieved
* ^ Hartel, Richard; Hartel, AnnaKate (October 4, 2004). "The
Miracle of Orange Circus Peanuts".
The Capital Times . Madison,
Wisconsin . Archived from the original on September 29, 2008.
* ^ A B C D E Karen Wright (August 1999). "A Charm\'s Life - Lucky
Charm\'s cereal (sic)". Discover Magazine. Archived from the original
* ^ Hoffman, David (2005). The Breakfast