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.
2.1 Limited Edition Marshmallows
2.2 Marshmallow-only promotion
3 Theme song
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
Lucky Charms was created in 1964 by product developer 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—
Wheaties or 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
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 by the late voice actor Arthur Anderson until 1992.
In 1975, Lucky the
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 in 2012,
General Mills introduced "
Lucky Charms Marshmallow
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.
General Mills conducts "concept-ideation" studies on Lucky
The first boxes of
Lucky Charms cereal contained marshmallows in the
shapes of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, 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
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 hourglass shape was retired in spring 2018 and
was replaced by a unicorn, which was chosen on social media by way of
emojis. The size and brightness of the marshmallows changed in
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 the marketing
tagline of, "The Hourglass Charm has the power to Stop Time * Speed Up
Time * Reverse Time". As of 2011, swirled marshmallows and
rainbow-colored stars have been introduced. In 2018,
for the first time in ten years
Lucky Charms retired a marshmallow,
which was the hourglass, and added a new permanent marshmallow, the
Magical Unicorn. It's powers are unknown.
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
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 limited
In June 2013, two new rainbow marshmallows were added for LGBT Pride
In 2015, new diamond shaped marshmallows were added in.[citation
Introduced in 2017, limited edition cinnamon vanilla Lucky Charms
include only snowman, snowball, and snowflake shaped marshmallows.
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 ran 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 tocopherols) 
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 tocopherols), 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&6, blue 1, red 40, artificial flavor), crisp rice
(rice flour, barley malt extract, salt), canola oil, fructose, high
fructose corn syrup, sugar. Contains 2% or less of: Glycerin,
Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Water, Gelatin, Salt, Artificial Flavor.
Vitamins and Minerals - calcium carbonate, 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 D3.
^ "1960s" (PDF).
General Mills History Timeline. General Mills.
p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2007.
^ 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
^ "Waldo the Wizard" the Forgotten
Lucky Charms Mascot".
accessed September 1, 2015
Lucky Charms reveals new unicorn marshmallow". KABC-TV. February
19, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
Lucky Charms Unleashes The Power Of The Unicorn As The Next New
Marshmallow In Its Magical
Cereal Line-Up" (Press release).
PR Newswire. February 19, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
General Mills Cereals". Topher's Breakfast
Cereal Character 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). "
Lucky Charms Gives Away 10,000
Marshmallow-Only Boxes". The VERGE. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
^ Painter, Kristen (2017-05-15). "
General Mills to make 10,000 boxes
of marshmallow-only Lucky Charms". Star Tribune. Retrieved
^ Ben Popken (16 May 2017). "Amazon's Echo Look Privacy Could Be a Big
Issue Someday". NBC News. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
^ "TV Acres ad slogans". Archived from the original on February 4,
2013. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
Lucky Charms has adult allure". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
Cereal (10/02/09)". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
^ "Lucky Charms®
Cereal - Grow Up Strong". General Mills. Retrieved
^ "Reviews of breakfast cereals". CHOICE. 2008-08-07. Archived from
the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
^ a b "
Lucky Charms Product List". Retrieved 2013-02-12.
An Actor's Odyssey: Orson Welles to Lucky the Leprechaun, by Arthur
Anderson. Albany, 2010. BearManor Media. ISBN 1-59393-522-6
General Mills corporate
Lucky Charms site: includes package
information and Nutrition Facts.
Cadwallader C. Washburn
Charles Alfred Pillsbury
James Ford Bell
William de la Barre
Adelaide Hawley Cumming
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