The Untold Truth Of Honey Smacks - Mashed (2024)


The Untold Truth Of Honey Smacks - Mashed (1)

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ByEmily Monaco/

Kellogg's cereal Honey Smacks, known for its cool frog mascot and its sweet, puffed wheat flavor, has long been a popular breakfast option for kids and adults alike(via World History Project).But did you know that Honey Smacks has not always been sold by the same name and that international markets still know it by another moniker? (via Characters of Advertising). Or how about the fact that this cereal tried out nearly a dozen other mascots before settling on the well-known Dig'em Frog?

You might be curious about the fact that Kellogg's recalled this popular cerealin 2018 and that the CDC followed that voluntary recall with a massive communiqué urging Americans to avoid it at all costs (as per CDC). Several years later, many nutritionists remain wary of Honey Smacks, adding another level of intrigue to this beloved cereal.And these are just a few of the mysteries surrounding Honey Smacks.

Honey Smacks was invented by Kellogg's in 1953

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What's that they say about imitation, that it's the sincerest form of flattery? That's the case behind the invention of Honey Smacks, which, asFoxreports, were introduced by Kellogg's back in 1953. Accordingto MrBreakfast, the very invention of Honey Smacks was a direct response to the popularity ofSugar Crisp, an almost identical sweetened puff wheat cereal that had been introduced by Postin 1949. Sugar Crisp,which was later marketed under various names such asSuper Golden Crisp, or Golden Crisp, is a sweetened puffed wheat cereal that makes for acrunchy, crispy offering.

Honey Smacks are made in a similar fashion: Lightly puffed whole wheat enriched with 10 essential vitamins and minerals and sweetened with a mix of sugar and honey, according to Kellogg's. And accordingto Apron, once this Kellogg's cereal was introduced onto the market, it became an instant hit.

It has undergone several name changes over the years

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Much like the Sugar Crisp that inspired its invention, Honey Smacks has undergone several identity crises over the years, and vintage versions of Honey Smacks may not sport the same name.When the cereal was first invented back in 1953, it was marketed as Sugar Smacks, a name it maintained for about 30 years (viaCharacters of Advertising).During the 1980s, Sugar Smacks was renamed Honey Smacks.

Kellogg's simplified things even further in the 1990s when it shortened the name simply to Smacks.According to HobbyDB,this may be becausethe cereal's mascot, the Dig'em Frog, always referred to the cereal as smacks.In 2004, however, the name was changed back to Honey Smacks in U.S. markets. Today, in some markets,including Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the simpler, single-syllable name has stuck. The cereal has also undergone several mascot changes.

Dig'em Frog has not always been the mascot

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According to PopIcon, cereal and food mascots have long gone hand in hand, and consumers are very much drawn towards these colorful characters.Honey Smacks has had several different mascots over the years, including the oh-so-creepy Cliffy the Clown, who, from 1953 to 1956, was shown in advertisem*nts dancing the "Sugar Smack Swing" (viaCharacters of Advertising).Smaxey the Sealcame next; this seal in asailor suit outfit represented the cereal for four years beginning in 1957.

In 1961, Smaxey was replaced by Hanna-Barbera's horse sheriffQuick Draw McGraw, who was swiftly followed by The Smackin' Brothers, who, uh, smacked each other a lot.In the '70s, Honey Smacks were repped briefly by an Indian Chief, who was quickly replaced by the Dig'em Frog we all know and love today.

But the Dig'em Frog was not the last mascot the cereal has had! He was replaced by Wally the Bear in 1986, a short-lived mascot who faded away following consumer demand for the return of his predecessor.PopIcon reports that college students actually held a one-day demonstration to demand the return of theDig'em Frog returning to the cereal box, and just a year later, the popular mascot was back.

Honey Smacks is super high in sugar

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Considering that this cereal was originally named Sugar Smacks, it should come as no surprise that it is pretty sweet. As perVox,many breakfast cereals boast as much sugar as a dessert, although few are perhaps asegregious as Honey Smacks. Physician and functional medicine expertDr. Mark Hyman notes in his book"Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?" that Honey Smacks contains"an insane 55.6% sugar by weight." (According to MrBreakfast, there has been a slight improvement in sugar levels over time: When the cereal was first introduced, it contained 56% sugar by weight.)

In 2008, Consumer Reports found that Honey Smacks, alongside Post's Golden Crisp — the cereal that inspired Kellogg's invention back in the '50s — had the highest sugar content among cereals. The outlet notes that the sugar content of these cereals is comparable to that of a glazed doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts.

In precise numbers? This cereal contains 18 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving. That's the approximate equivalent of 1½tablespoons, according to Traditional Oven.

There's a Korean version that some say is even better

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Keith Homan/Shutterstock

New YorkMagazine's sugar aficionado and Honey Smacks lover Sanibel Chai was thrilled to discover Jolly Pong.Chai writes that Jolly Pong is a"superior" version of the cereal that once held pride of place as her Saturday morning cartoon-watching fave. Jolly Pong is a Korean snack that is popular among children.

Jolly Pong is less dense than Honey Smacks and also boasts a matte finish as compared to the shiny glaze of Honey Smacks. Jolly Pong contains about half the sugar of Honey Smacks, with just 9 grams per one-cup serving, as compared to Honey Smacks' 18 grams.The Korean snack provides a more subtle alternative than the sugar-laden Honey Smacks. It tends to acquire the perfect texture when combined with milk, epitomizing a well-balanced crunch-to-sogginess ratio. Plus, is there anything more fun that Jolly Pong — the name itself?

Honey Smacks was recalled in 2018 due to salmonella

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F Armstrong Photography/Shutterstock

The main reasonSanibel Chai had to look further afield to scratch her Honey Smacks itch was due to a widespread recall of the cereal linked to a salmonella outbreak. AsBuzzfeed reports,Kellogg's first recalledHoney Smacks cereal in June 2018 after73 people fell ill after consuming the cereal in March. In July,the CDC issued an updated recall following 100 cases of food poisoning across 33 different states — and 30 linked hospitalizations — instructing consumers that any and all Honey Smacks should be discarded or returned to stores.

The CDCended its investigation at the endof September of the same year. The contamination of the cereal had led to a total of 34 hospitalizations and 135 infections across 36 states. No deaths linked to the outbreak were reported, but asApron noted at the time, only time would reveal thefull impact of the outbreak on the brand's reputation.

Kellogg's updated the recipe in 2018

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Following the salmonella-linked recall in 2018, Kellogg's didn't justmove production to a company-owned facility in an effort to distance itself from the third-party producer connected with the outbreak (viaBattle Creek Enquirer). The companyalso took advantage of the time away to craft a "simpler, updated recipe," which debuted in November 2018.

But not everyone was impressed with the new approach. Indeed, angry reviewers took to the Kellogg's website to air their grievances, clamoring for a return of the original."So disappointing!" wrote one reviewer under the screen name Cricket. "Tastes stale, but they are not outdated. It's been months so I just tried another box, nope still tastes bad, blah, stale! I won't but them again!"

"Plz bring back Honey smacks!" begged Bakes in Minnesota. "I would love the original sugar smacks but the honey smacks will be just fine. What ever you were thinking with the new recipe, plz through it in garbage and find old recipe to use again PLEASE!" Guess it's time for Kellogg's to go back to the drawing board on this long-standing fave!


The Untold Truth Of Honey Smacks - Mashed (2024)


Why was Honey Smacks discontinued? ›

Honey Smacks cereal is returning to shelves in November. Previously, Kellogg's recalled the cereal due to a salmonella outbreak. The relaunched cereal will feature a new recipe and will be made at a different facility.

What did Honey Smacks used to be called? ›

Introduced in 1953, the cereal has undergone several name changes, starting out as "Sugar Smacks". In the 1980s, it was renamed "Honey Smacks" in order to downplay its sugar content, even though the sugar content stayed the same.

What cereal has a frog on the box? ›

Dig 'Em Frog is the mascot for Honey Smacks. As the 1970s approached, Kellogg's felt like Sugar Smacks needed a more fun-oriented appeal.

Does Smacks cereal still exist? ›

A breakfast cereal you can dig

Kellogg's® Honey Smacks® cereal is made from delicious whole grain and the sweet taste of honey. Sweet, crispy and lightly puffed! Dig 'em at breakfast time and snack time.

What is the new name for Sugar Puffs? ›

In 2014, along with the name change from Sugar Puffs to Honey Monster Puffs, the cereal's recipe was changed to have 8% less sugar and 20% more honey, so that the total sugar content is now 29% by mass, and the honey content has increased from 3% to 3.6%.

Is there a Shrek cereal? ›

The first, made for Shrek 2, was released by General Mills and was similar to Lucky Charms. It was called "Shrek's Cereal" and featured marshmallows resembling bugs. Another variant would be released by Kellogg's (one of the main sponsors for Shrek the Third) in 2007.

What was the first cereal ever made? ›

The first ever breakfast cereal was Granola, invented in the USA in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, operator of the Jackson Sanitorium in the state of New York. However, the cereal never caught on commercially, because the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.

Is Kaboom cereal discontinued? ›

Known primarily as a breakfast cereal of the 1970s and 1980s, Kaboom remained available for sale until 2010 when it was discontinued by General Mills.

What cereal was accidentally invented? ›

Kellogg was working with his brother Will on a new kind of wheat meal for patients at the sanitarium when the process that resulted in Corn Flakes was accidentally discovered. Rolling out wheat dough that had been forgotten overnight, the brothers discovered that instead of loaves of bread they got thin flakes.

Has McDonald's ever sold cereal? ›

Press Release: McDonald's

From 16 December, Kellogg's Nutri--Grain and Kellogg's Just Right will be on sale, providing customers with greater choice. The cereals will be served in single--serve Kellogg's bowl packs along with Anchor milk and will be available during breakfast hours (7--10:30am).

Why were Honey Smacks recalled? ›

In June 2018 the Kellogg's Company recalled all Honey Smacks cereal made from 2017 forward. “Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka in a sample of unopened Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal collected from a retail location in California,” according to the CDC.

What cereals did they discontinue? ›

My Full List of Discontinued Cereal
  • Billy the Apple Cereal. Buc Wheats. ...
  • C3POs. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal.
  • Candy Corn Pops. Cap'n Crunch's Choco Crunch. ...
  • Cröonchy Stars. Crunchy Logg.
  • Cupcake Pebbles. Deep Sea Crunch. ...
  • Donkey Kong Junior.
  • Double Chocolate Cookie Crisp. Double Dip Crunch. ...
  • E.T. Cereal. Extreme Creme-Taste Oreo O's.

Why did they stop toys in cereal? ›

But in the mid-2000s, in-box cereal prizes began to slowly die away. There isn't a clear-cut, singular reason for this; It was likely a combination of factors such as environmental reasons (less waste), the possibility that some toys could break and become choking hazards, and companies wanting to cut extra costs.

What happened to Honey Nut Corn Flakes? ›

It debuted as Honey & Nut Corn Flakes, followed by the minor variation Honey-Nut Corn Flakes. The name changed to Nut & Honey Crunch in 1987 with a memorable ad campaign centered around the "nuttin', honey" pun. In the late '90s, it became Honey Crunch Corn Flakes.


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