Full Disclosure, I'm not much of a cereal person. I'm really not much of a breakfast person. But that's not to say cereal hasn't played a big part in my growing up. As a child in the late 80s and 90s, I was inundated with commercials and advertising for cereals, all designed for children (and their parents), and from what I can remember, despite my lack of excitement for EATING cereal... I still wanted it.

It makes me the perfect vessel to compare Battle Creek's two big brands of cereal, and see if the rumors are true, that Post Cereals are actually better than Kellogg's.

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Everyone knows the story of the Kellogg brothers and how they got started by "accidentally" creating Corn Flakes for the patients in their Sanitarium in Battle Creek. But the story of how Post got started isn't often shared.

Post was established by C.W. Post in 1895 after spending time in John Harvey Kellogg's Holistic Sanitarium. He was so taken by the Corn Flakes they were fed every day, that once he was released, he started his own product, a cereal-based beverage called "Postum."

Grape Nuts Ad Circa 1898

Of course, two years later, he would see the light, and started making dry cereal, starting with Grape Nuts.

Now, in comparison of the two "OG" products from each company, Corn Flakes obviously gets the win. But where Post had the initial edge over Kellogg's was his background in advertising, and aggressive marketing - something I believe the company continues to believe in to this day.

Sadly, C.W. died in 1914 due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His daughter, Marjorie Post, would take over, and began laying the groundwork for Post's eventual success.

So let's get into the comparisons.

Kellogg's Big Brands, but Lack of "Nostalgia"

For those who have see the "Unfrosted" movie, you know Kellogg's prides itself on its mascots. Tony The Tiger (Frosted Flakes); Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Rice Krispies); Toucan Sam (Froot Loops); Dig'em Frog (Honey Smacks); and Cornelius Rooster (Kellogg's Corn Flakes).

To this day, these are still the big brands, and with the exception of maybe Dig'em Frog, all the mascots have stood the test of time, and are synonymous with their individual brands. Kellogg's did create some additional mascots for some of their other discontinued cereals, but those didn't really pan out.

Kellogg's also managed to get a few "celebrity" endorsements, too. Characters like Bart and Homer Simpson, C3PO from Star Wars, and Yogi Bear would often make appearances on special editions of their standard products.

But in terms of their products, most were just a variation on the same theme. Heart-healthy versions of the popular corn and frosted flakes, Wheat Krispies instead of Rice, FRUITY Marshmallow Krispies. There were even variations of the standard "O" cereals with both banana and Orange flavors attempted.

Not a lot of imagination, and not a lot of creativity and "big brain" thought going into marketing, or even creating these cereals.

Of course, Kellogg's still has some of the most recognizable brands to this day... but in more than a century of business, only about five major brands have withstood the years to become mainstays, leaving many of their discontinued varieties to be forgotten forever.

The final blow - I don't remember ANY of these forgotten brands, even the ones with cross-promoted cartoon characters. The child in me clearly didn't care.

Post's Nostalgic Relationship With Its Audience and Consumers

Meanwhile, the cross-Town Post Cereals (which has now moved its headquarters to St. Louis) was still cooking up some great cereals. Mainstays included the OG Grape-Nuts, but added Golden Crisp, Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Comb, Shredded Wheat, and the Pebbles line of cereals.

With the exception of the Pebbles line (we'll get to them in a minute), Post didn't rely on the character and mascot development surrounding their products. The company had to rely on name familiarity, and catchy, memorable, eye-catching advertisements to keep their consumers coming back.

The exceptions, of course, might be the Sugar Bear (Sugar Crisp), and maybe the most well-known mascot for Post cereals, the Flintstones. The cross-branding with the popular Hannah-Barbara cartoon, with their Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles was a marketing genius. Kids and parents alike love the Flintstones, so why not develop a product just for them, right?

(I wanted to be a Berry Blue Ninja so bad after that one.)

That's where Post found it's niche, and while MANY of their products eventually ended in short periods of time, their nostalgic magic captured the imagination of every kid that ever saw their commercials.

Post would create specific brands of cereal for movies and TV shows like Rugrats, Smurfs, Croonchy Stars (with the Swedish Chef of the Muppets), The Fairly Oddparents, the Pink Panther, and The Hulk.

But even when character familiarization wasn't enough, Post went above and beyond to make sure kids especially would remember the craziness their cereals could offer.

Remember the Cravings monster for Honeycomb? Yeah, parents probably don't. But as a kid, even for a child who didn't eat cereal, you'd catch me frantically running around the house screaming "Me Want Honeycomb."

And that's the thing with Post cereals, I remember them the advertisement more than I recognize the mascots of Kellogg's. I remember how the Honeycomb commercials made me feel, I remember how much the Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles commercials made me laugh with the Flintstones.

The Verdict

Keeping in mind, again, I don't eat cereal. And in fact, if we're talking about ANY cereals I might actually eat, that all goes to General Mills, who aren't even part of this conversation. But the bottom line is, while I do recognize the brand familiarity with Kellogg's, the nostalgic feeling that Post Cereal gives me when I see those commercials far outweighs everything else.

I'm sorry Kellogg's, but as a person who doesn't like cereal, I have to give the win to Post.

Kellogg's and Post Cereal Cartoon Mascots You May Have Forgotten

LOOK: 40 Discontinued & Special Edition Kellogg's Cereals

Gallery Credit: John Robinson

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