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
Lucky Charms was created in 1962 by John Holahan. General Mills
management challenged a team of product developers to use the
available manufacturing capacity from either of General Mills' two
principal cereal products—
Cheerios —and do something
unique. Holahan came up with the idea after a visit to the grocery
store in which he decided to mix
Cheerios with bits of Brach's Circus
An advertising company employed by
General Mills and Company
suggested marketing the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets.
Thus, the charms of
Lucky Charms were born.
Lucky Charms is the first
cereal to include marshmallows in the recipe. The mascot of Lucky
Charms, created in 1963, is Lucky the Leprechaun, also known as Sir
Charms, and originally called L.C. Leprechaun. The cartoon character
's voice was supplied, until 1992, by Arthur Anderson , was the
original voice of L.C
Leprechaun until his death in 2016. In 1975,
Leprechaun was briefly replaced by Waldo the Wizard in New
England, while Lucky remained the mascot in the rest of the United
States. The oat cereal was not originally sugar coated. After initial
sales failed to meet expectations, the oats were sugar coated, and the
cereal's success grew. Piggy banks and plastic watches were introduced
as cereal box send-away prizes as a marketing tactic to increase
sales. The recipe for the cereal remained unchanged until the
introduction of a new flavor: Chocolate Lucky Charms, in 2005. Later
General Mills introduced "
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
Lucky Charms featuring marshmallow
landmarks from around the world, were created to drive consumer
demands. In focus groups and market research, more brightly colored
charms resulted in better sales than did dull or pastel colors.
Lucky Charms a "lesson in creative marketing."
General Mills conducts "concept-ideation" studies on Lucky
In October 2012,
Lucky Charms posted its best fiscal volume ever.
The company attributes this success to their change in the marketing
target. The cereal has moved from appealing to children towards
marketing to adults as well. Consumers can reminisce with a jingle
that hadn't been used in more than a decade in a national campaign:
"hearts, moons, stars and clovers"—Lucky's Litany. The company has
suggested that the jingle contributed to a rise in sales. An
estimated 45 percent of Lucky Charm consumers are adults. In reaction
to the campaign to target "nostalgia", commercials were created for
the promotion. A commercial called "Transportasty" shows a woman
Lucky Charms at her office. She is then transported to
what is presumably Lucky's magical forest, where Lucky says "You're
always after me Lucky Charms." She responds to his famous line by
saying "I forgot how good these taste." The commercial met with
positive feedback. Along with the commercial, a Facebook page was
created to encourage loyal consumers to discuss and reminisce changes
Lucky Charms over the years. However, with this marketing
campaign, the company is not moving away from targeting children. A
commercial of children sneaking into Lucky's magical vault of charms
was broadcast. Later on, two more commercials for adults were made,
another instant of a woman enjoying
Lucky Charms and being transported
to Lucky's forest, where Lucky appears saying his famous quote, as the
woman remarks "They're magically delicious!" Then for the 50th
anniversary of Lucky Charms, an animated commercial featuring a song
Lucky Charms was aired.
The first boxes of
Lucky Charms cereal contained marshmallows in the
shapes of orange stars, yellow moons , pink hearts, and green clovers
. The lineup has changed occasionally, beginning with the introduction
of blue diamonds in 1975, followed by purple horseshoes in 1983, red
balloons in 1989, green trees 1991, rainbows in 1992, blue moons 1995,
leprechaun hats in 1997 (temporarily replaced the green clovers),
orange shooting stars and around the world charms in 1998 (added blue,
green, yellow, purple, and red in 2011), a crystal ball in 2001, and
an hourglass in 2008. In 2013, 6 new rainbow swirl moons and 2 new
rainbow charms were introduced. From the original four marshmallows,
the permanent roster as of 2013 includes eight marshmallows.
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
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
* 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
Balloon and Star
* In 1994, sprinkles were temporarily added to the marshmallows.
* In 1999, the moon shape marshmallows were modified with the
addition of the yellow curve line for a limited time.
* In 2000, a "New Sparkling Rainbow" was added to the mix for a
limited time. It was described by
General Mills as "a sprinkling of
multicolored sugar on a white rainbow marbit." This marshmallow
replaced the original rainbow at this time.
* In 2010, the swirled marshmallows were in
Lucky Charms for a
* In June 2013, two new rainbow marshmallows were added for LGBT
* In 2015, new diamond shaped marshmallows were added in.
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
Lucky Charms with a code on the inside
panel. The code would be entered into an official website to see if
the consumer is the winner of one of the 10,000 novelty boxes
produced. The sweepstakes will run through December 2017.
In the earliest commercials,
Lucky Charms cereal had no theme jingle;
action was accompanied by a light instrumental "Irish" tune. Soon,
however, a simple two-line tag was added: Frosted Lucky Charms,
They're magically delicious!
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
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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
* 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
According to the manufacturer,
Lucky Charms is 37% sugar by weight.
This places it at the high-sugar end of what Choice magazine calls
"high sugar breakfast cereals".
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
Cereal Gourmet. Andrew
McMeel Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 9780740750298 . Retrieved 2014-05-05.
* ^ "Waldo the Wizard" the Forgotten
Lucky Charms Mascot".
accessed September 1, 2015
* ^ "Luck (03/14/07)". Retrieved June 21, 2007.
* ^ A B C "
Lucky Charms has adult allure". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
* ^ "Single leprechaun, 48, seeks adult companionship; must like
marshmallows". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
* ^ "See the Spot:
Lucky Charms Finds Gold With Adult Fans".
Archived from the original on December 13, 2012.
* ^ http://www.blog.generalmills.com/2014/03/lucky-charms/
* ^ "
General Mills Cereals". Topher's Breakfast
Guide. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012.
* ^ "Lucky Announces the Power to Control Time with New Marshmallow
Charm in Lucky Charms® Cereal!" (Press release).
General Mills . June
9, 2008. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010.
* ^ A B C "5 Things about Lucky Charm Cereal". Archived from the
original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
* ^ "
Lucky Charms and Christmas". Retrieved 2014-06-18.
* ^ Elliott, Stuart (2000-06-02). "Marketers bet on the concept of
good luck as a selling tool". The New York Times. Retrieved
* ^ "Lucky Charms,
General Mills Cereal, Celebrates LGBT Pride With
#LuckyToBe Campaign". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved
* ^ Natt Garun (26 April 2017). "