One of the great joys I had as an early teenager was getting up on Saturday mornings just about the time that all of the great cartoons were coming on. Funny how my Mom had to come in my room and try to wake me up like five times each weekday morning when I had to go to school, but on Saturday, I magically got right up around 8:30 and headed downstairs with no help at all!
Of course the thing that made watching cartoons even more awesome was the great choice of sugary cereals we had to choose from in the 80’s. There were the staples like Captain Crunch, in both the Crunch Berry variety, and the always delightful Peanut Butter Crunch type. Quisp was right up there on my top five, and I was recently surprised to find it back on the store shelves at my Local Target. Fruit Loops always seemed to be there whenever I was ready for a little more variety.
But one magical Saturday morning I awoke to find an intruder in the pantry that was doing its job well of hiding my favorites behind its shiny new box. Here is what I saw:
NERDS? Holy diabetic coma! Nerds were my favorite candy at the time, much to the pleasure of our family dentist. I mean come on, you got two awesome flavors in a single box. Mixing the colors made a unique flavor each time. And you got an amazing color coating of your mouth and teeth after eating them. What’s not to love? How on Earth could someone make a cereal that tasted anything like the little piece of heaven that was strawberry Nerds? I had to dive in and find out.
I quickly perused the box and as if things could get any better, this cereals surprise on the inside was indeed a box of Nerds candy!!! SCORE!!! I quickly opened the candy and started to eat it while looking over the box.
What made Nerds cereal stick out were a couple of things: the first thing was, the box was actually segmented into two compartments and each compartment held its own bag of flavored Nerds cereal. One side had orange, and the other side had cherry. This of course made it just like eating the classic Nerds candy in that you could eat one flavor at a time, or you could let loose the inner Indiana Jones in you and mix them up right away. My first thought was, “I wonder how the milk will come out tasting?”
The second thing that made Nerds cereal stand out was that there was an actual Nerds cereal bowl you could use to eat the Nerds cereal. Here is what the bowl looked like:
I will admit to you now that I indeed had one of these awesome cereal bowl contraptions thanks to my amazing Mom, who mailed off to get it. What made this cereal bowl a true classic was the pull hatch in the middle of it. You see, you put the orange flavor on one side, then the cherry flavor on the other side. You would eat the cereal separated first, then when you felt the time was right, you would pull that latch and then instantly you had the flavors mixed! Knarly!!
Nerds cereal actually became the most popular cereal in 1985 as voted by Family Magazine. This was the same year that candy was voted “Candy of the Year” by the NCWA. Soon after the Nerds brand was purchased by the Nestle Company and were heavily branded with the Wonka logo, which helped the candy sell more, but not the cereal. Nestle proceeded to put out a couple of additional flavors, such as Grape and Strawberry as well, but it was not enough to help sustain the brand. Sadly the Nerds cereal has been discontinued by the Nestle Company.
If you never had the chance to taste the Nerds cereal all I can say you missed out on a true classic! To steal a line from a famous movie about nerds, “Nerds Rule!”
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