The original bars, though, are another story. Introduced in 1975, these sweet breakfast and other meal replacements enjoyed success in the ’70s & ’80s, and were particularly popular with kids and teens.
As those kids got older, though, sales apparently decreased…. so to give the product some new buzz, it was relaunched in 1994 (see that ad below). Unfortunately, just three years later, Carnation Breakfast Bars were discontinued for good.
Perhaps in response to a small but avid online fan base, around 2014, Nestle introduced something similar — although with a new name and retooled recipe: Carnation Breakfast Essentials Nutrition Bars.
Unfortunately, people didn’t seem to be impressed, and most reviews we found said that the new bars didn’t taste much like the original version.
By 2020, they, too, had been retired. But who knows? Maybe we’ll see another new Carnation breakfast bar in supermarkets during the mid-2030s…
Carnation Instant Breakfast (1966)
Yesterday, you may have had a reason for missing a good, nourishing breakfast. Today, you don’t. Now you can have new Carnation instant breakfast — makes milk a meal that’s too good to miss.
Each glass delivers as much protein as two eggs, as much mineral nourishment as two strips of crisp bacon, and more energy than two slices of buttered toast, and even Vitamin C—the orange juice vitamin. It comes in a lot of great flavors, too. Look for them in your cereal section.
ALSO SEE: Invented in the 1960s, Kellogg’s Pop Tarts toaster pastries are more popular than ever
Vintage Carnation Instant Breakfast packets: Breakfast insurance (1971)
You can be sure your body gets protein vitamin, minerals and food energy at breakfast time with Carnation instant breakfast.
If there’s one thing a body needs at breakfast time, it’s real nourishment. And when you’re too rushed for your regular breakfast, Carnation instant breakfast is real breakfast insurance.
Milk contributes substantial nutrition. (Read our package label.) Then to make milk a meal, Carnation instant breakfast contributes the rest of the protein, vitamins, minerals and food energy. It all adds up to as much nourishment as there is in a poached egg on toast, two strips of bacon and a glass of orange juice.
Introducing Carnation breakfast bar (1975)
The instant breakfast you can get your teeth into. Smooth chocolate outside. Crispy nuts. crunchy centers or granola inside. New Carnation breakfast bar is the delicious way to enjoy instant breakfast nourishment — anytime.
In irresistible flavors: Chocolate chip – Chocolate Crunch – Granola with Raisins – Granola Cinnamon – Granola with Peanut Butter.
ALSO SEE: 70 popular vintage 1970s cereals we loved & we miss
Goody! New Carnation Breakfast Bar flavors! (1981)
Caramel nut crunch – Chocolate coconut crunch – Chocolate malted milk crunch
When you buy Carnation Instant Breakfast and Carnation Breakfast Bars. Your kids will always have time for a nutritious breakfast with Carnation Instant Breakfast. Mixed with milk., it makes a quick, delicious meal!
And for nutrition they can sink their teeth into, give your kids Carnation Breakfast Bars. Just one delicious bar with a glass of milk makes a complete, balanced meal!
Free milk: With the purchase of Carnation Instant Breakfast or Carnation Breakfast Bar. (1982)
Carnation says “Good Morning” with a FREE 1/2 GALLON OF MILK WHEN YOU BUY 3 PACKAGES (ANY COMBINATION) of Carnation instant breakfast or Carnation breakfast bar.
Carnation instant breakfast, mixed with vitamin D milk makes a delicious, nutritious meal. It’s so easy, everyone has time to start the day right.
And, for healthful snacking, try a Carnation breakfast bar. It’s chocolatey, nutty, delicious — filled with vitamins and minerals. In fact, one bar and a glass of vitamin D milk make a complete meal.
Free milk “for the student body” (1984)
Chocolate chip breakfast bars
ALSO SEE: Awesome 80s cereal, including old brands & cool flavors you probably forgot!
Carnation Instant Breakfast mix TV commercial (1987)
When a retro favorite relaunched the first time: New Carnation Breakfast Bars (1994)
We load it up with 19 vitamins & minerals and all we hear about is how good it tastes. Toasted oats, honey, chocolate chunks. Sure, they make your mouth water.
But our new breakfast bars also have more vitamins and minerals than any leading bar. Plus they’re rich in calcium and iron and made with all-natural flavors. So go ahead. Rave about the taste. At least now you know what’s behind it. Nestle Food Company.
If there is anyone out there like me that are still craving the extinct original Instant Carnation Breakfast Bar, I have just found that Adkins has just introduced a new protein meal bar called “Cookies and Creme”, which has very close to the same flavor and consistency (not the gooey teeth pulling chewy kind that all vendors seem to be doing lately) . And they go fantastic with milk like the original Carnation bars. Enjoy!
I just had an Atkins Peanut Fudge Granola Bar and it totally reminded me of the Carnation Breakfast Bars which is what brought me here. It’s not exact, but definitely reminiscent of it….closest thing I’ve found as an adult.
Mmmm, I’ve been thinking about these for years. I loved the peanut butter ones.
My favorite was the chocolate chip one.
NuGo brand also makes nutrition bars similar in taste and consistency to the old Carnation breakfast bars. Of course, I haven’t had the old bars since mid or late 80s, so my memory might be playing tricks on me. They are definitely better than the school glue and sawdust consistency of many nutrition bars.
I miss the Carnation Bars. My favorite was peanut butter. I used to eat them
While riding the school bus in the morning for breakfast. I wished they
Could bring back the original breakfast bar from the 80 and 90’s.
yes, I wish carnation would go back to the late great bars of the 70’s and 80’s.
I like the chocolate chip one and the peanut butter one they were so good I can remember riding the school bus or even sneaking one or two in the middle of the night I miss that good breakfast bar and the instant breakfast is trash please bring them back
Fun to revisit Instant Breakfast. It would have been fun to see more about ALL the flavors they offered way back then, including strawberry and EGG NOG! Anyone recall that one? It was really yummy! I’d buy it if it were available now.
Mmmmm! The more I’m reading about it, the hungrier I’m getting.
I have been telling my daughter about Carnation Instant Breakfast Bars for YEARS. They were so damn good. I used to eat them riding on the bus. My dad insisted we have those and the instant drink every morning.
Please please bring them back.
I used to eat a whole box of Carnation breakfast bars every week. At least 1 box. I liked chocolate chip and peanut butter flavors. I’m still upset the company hasn’t reinstituted this product. It was the best thing they ever produced.
PLEASE bring these back! These were so popular and delicious so I always wonder why they were discontinued.