You were probably more interested in Rainbow Brite, Smurf Magic Berries and/or ET cereal than the healthiest options, anyway. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong cereals were even a thing! The 1980s wasn’t the last decade that breakfast cereal brands leveraged the gamer market, but it was certainly the first.
This is also the first decade that lower-sugar cereal sweetened with Nutrasweet/aspartame showed up on supermarket shelves (an ingredient that was already popular in diet sodas).
One wouldn’t think there was anything all that special about the cereal aisle at your grocery store, but as this throwback homage to popular 80s cereal proves, cereal packaging and its marketing angles really reflect the era it came from. -BB
Popupla old 80s cereal: Vintage Banana Frosted Flakes
The short-lived Kellogg’s cereal had “natural banana-flavored sugar-frosted flakes of corn with real banana bits.”
1980 cereals: Rainbow Brite fruit-flavored cereal
This cartoon character-branded product was a sweetened cereal with natural fruit flavors, made by Ralston
It’s honeylicious! Ralston’s Honey Bran cereal (1980)
Vintage 80s Ice Cream Cones cereal (1987)
Sweetened cereal scoops with crunchy cones
Cereals from the 80s: Buc-Wheats buckwheat cereal
Honey Buc-Wheat Crisp cereal (1986)
80s cereal: Donkey Kong Junior cereal
Donkey Kong Jr. cereal commercial from the 80s
Cheerios and Total cereal from the 1980s
80s cereal: Waffelos maple syrup cereal
80s cereal: Cheerios (1982)
“We did it!” You bet they did it! Kids everywhere did it. They made Cheerios the number one kids’ cereal because they just love that toasted oat taste.
And parents everywhere love Cheerios because it’s so low in sugar — just one gram per serving. We make Cheerios low in sugar. Kids made Cheerios Number One.
Smurf Magic Berries cereal (1988)
Smurf Magic Berries with marshmallow starts cereal!
The delicious fruity flavored cereal that the Smurfs love to make and eat. Berry shapes in red, orange, and yellow with white marshmallows make breakfast fun for kids.
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (1989)
Listen. Listen to the prr-fft of crisp apples being sliced…
Listen to the quiet rrmmp-rrmmp of whole-grain oats being ground…
Listen to the subtle scriitch-scriitch of the fresh cinnamon being grated…
Those are the sounds of the new Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.
Bits of real apple, grated cinnamon, and whole-grain oats make up every toasted O. It’s a combination that tastes as great as it sounds.
80s cereal: Chocolate flavor Donutz cereal (1981)
A crispy, sweetened, 3-grain cereal from General Mills
Crispy Oatmeal and Raisin Chex breakfast cereal (1984)
A delicious new taste! Now you can enjoy the deliciously different taste of new Crispy Oatmeal and Raisin Chex Brand Cereal.
This new taste sensation combines rich, crispy oatmeal with sweet, sun-ripened raisins for a cereal that makes breakfast something special for the whole family.
Quaker Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch cereal (1989)
Cap’n Crunch’s Christmas Crunch cereal from 1989
Crispy Wheats ‘n Raisins cereal from the 80s
General Mills Oatmeal Raisin Crisp breakfast cereal (1989)
Pac-Man marshmallow cereal from the 80s
Crunchy sweetened corn cereal with marshmallow bits, from General Mills
80s cereal: Post Fruit and Fibre in two flavors (1983)
Post Fruit & Fibre. It tastes so good you forget the fiber.
With all the tempting fruit — dates, raisins, and walnuts or apples and cinnamon — it’s easy to forget that Post Fruit & Fibre cereal also gives you the benefits of fiber.
We all know fiber is an important part of today’s healthier lifestyle. So we make our crispy flakes with extra fiber. And that means you get more goodness in every delicious spoonful of Fruit & Fibre. So go ahead and enjoy the fruit. But try not to forget the fiber.
Oh’s breakfast cereal in 3 flavors (1989)
Varieties shown: Apple Cinnamon – Honey Graham – Crunchy Nut Oh’s (Only Honey Oh’s are available today)
Wheaties cereal, from General Mills (1985)
Teddy Grahams Breakfast Bears graham cereal (1989-1990)
Honey Graham Chex cereal (1987)
The whole family will love new Honey Graham Chex! Real graham crackers and honey baked into every bite!
New Honey Graham Chex is so crunchy and crispy, mouth-watering and light, you’ve never tasted a delicious breakfast cereal like it! Our tasty secret? The real graham crackers and honey found in each and every delightful bite. The whole family will love it!
Retro Strawberry Shortcake cereal box (1981)
80s cereal: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal with mascot Tony the Tiger (1988)
Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats in regular & apple flavors (1983)
There’s more to Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats than meets the eyes.
It’s easy to see that Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats is a nutritious cereal, because you’re looking at whole-grain, shredded wheat. Also, it’s easy to see why kids like it, because Mini-Wheats is so crunchy and lightly frosted. But there are a couple of terrific things you can’t tell just by looking.
First, Mini-Wheats cereal is naturally low in sodium, with no salt added. Second, Mini-Wheats is fortified with ten essential vitamins and minerals. There are lots of great things about Kelloggs Mini-Wheats.
Kellogg’s Honey and Nut Corn Flakes cereal (1982)
Post Fortified Oat Flakes (1980s)
Kellogg’s Special K cereal (1983)
They’re here: the delicious new flakes of Kellogg’s Special K cereal. And you are going to love them! You’ll love how big and crisp they are. But most of all, you’ll love their taste. A big toasted-rice taste that’s simply delicous.
ALSO SEE: Special K cookies recipe (1961)
Nutri-Grain flavor Wheat and Raisins cereal (1982)
More raisins than any other cereal. Now, serving per serving, Nutri-Grain Wheat & Raisins holds more plump raisins than any other cereal you can buy. Any other! And the special raisins are so juicy and sweet, they needed no sugar added.
More whole-grain goodness. No preservatives and no sugar added. While most cereals give you just part of the grain, Nutri-Grain provides you with all the benefits of the whole grain. The bran, the germ — everything. You get a taste so naturally rich and satisfying that no sugar was needed.
More crunch. The reason Nutri-Grain holds up to milk? The reason it stays so crisp? Bits of the whole grain you can see in each and every hearty flake. What could be more perfect?
Post Fruit & Fibre cereal in Peach flavor (1980s)
Post Honeycomb cereal (1992)
Why moms who care say yes to Honeycomb. Moms who care know they can always say yes to Honeycomb cereal. That’s because Honeycomb has the nutrition moms can feel good about.
Fat free — Nutritious corn and whole grain oats. — 10 essential vitamins and minerals. — No artificial flavorings.
Honeycomb gives kids the one-of-a-kind crunchy shape and great taste they love, too. So when your kids ask for Honeycomb, give them the answer you both feel good about. “Yes”. Yes, it tastes great. Yes, it’s nutritious.
Horizon Trail Mix Cereal from Post (1986)
Dig into new Post Horizon Trail Mix Cereal. You’ll discover a taste like no other: a taste that’s bold, rugged, even adventurous.
That’s because Horizon is the cereal based on real trail mix recipes: chunks of fruit, meaty nuts, light clusters of crispy grains. Like plump raisins, dried apples, sun-ripened dates, crisp almonds, tender coconut flakes, wheat, oats and rice.
All in a combination that makes Horizon the way cereal ought to taste… honest, outdoor taste that’s delicious with milk. Or by itself as a snack. Put some adventure into your breakfast. Reach for new Horizon Trail Mix Cereal from Post.
Post Natural Raisin Bran breakfast cereal (1986)
Singer/actor John Denver helped introduce this lower-sugar spin on raisin bran.
Post Oak Flakes cereal (1988)
Feel your oats. Try delicious new Post Oat Flakes. The tasty toasted golden flake packed with wholesome oat goodness. It’s one healthful breakfast so tasty you’ll look forward to it every morning.
Made from wholegrain oats — A good source of oat bran — A good source of fiber –Zero cholesterol, low sodium, and low fat.
Post Super Sugar Crisp cereal from the 80s rocks in the box
80s cereal: Kellogg’s Common Sense Oat Bran cereal (1988)
All the news on oat bran isn’t contained in medical reports.
Recent medical studies suggest that oat bran can be important to your good health, as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
But what these studies don’t show is that Kelloggs new Common Sense Oat Bran cereal contains more oat bran than any leading ready-to-eat cereal.
Nor do they discuss just how great Common Sense Oat Bran tastes. For that information, we suggest you read the back of our box. And then conduct your own research on what’s inside.
Hot or not? Quaker 100% Natural Cereal (1984)
Flavors included regular, raisin & date, and apple & cinnamon
Quaker Corn Bran breakfast cereal (1986)
Crunchy Bran cereal (formerly Corn Bran) from Quaker (1988)
80s cereal: Quaker Halfsies cereal, made with aspartame (1983)
“I’m eating less sugar and lovin’ every bite!” He’s eating new Quaker Halfsies.
New Halfsies is one of the sweetest ways we know to get your kid to cut down on sugar. It’s the cereal with only half the sugar of most other sugar-coated cereals — one teaspoon per serving — that’s 50% less!
But even though we cut the sugar we didn’t cut the taste. Halfsies still has a whole lot of sweetness your child’s going to love!
How did we do it? With just a smidgen of NutraSweet, a new nutritive sweetener. Doesn’t touch the taste… or the nutrition.
Halfsies gives your child all the wholesomeness of corn and rice, plus 9 essential vitamins and minerals.
New Quaker Halfsies. You’re going to love half the sugar. And your kid’ll love every bite!
Ralston Almond Delight cereal (1980s)
80s Ghost Busters cereal, from Ralston (1986)
Crunch bustin’ fruit flavor cereal with marshmallow ghosts
Ralston Oat Bran Options cereal (1989)
If this is how you feel about oat bran… you need a tastier option. The last thing you need at breakfast is another boring bowl of oat bran. This one is designed to dazzle!
Oat Bran Options takes luscious raisins, chewy dates, and surrounds them with oven-toasted flakes and crunchy oat nuggets for a combination that talks straight to your tastebuds and to your health.
Sun Flakes cereal with NutraSweet – no sugar added (1980s)
Open a box of new Sun Flakes brand cereal, and you’ll find the wholesome goodness of wheat and rice, or the delightful crispness of corn and rice.
But best of all, you’ll find… no sugar added. Zero. While other cereals have up to 55% sugar, Sun Flakes are lightly sweetened 100% with NutraSweet instead. For a deliciously light sweet taste your whole family will enjoy. And that’s more than just a nice surprise. It’s a cereal you can really feel good about. The taste you’ll feel good about.
Trix fruit-flavored cereal from the 80s
Great taste. Real fruit flavors. Natural grape, lemon, and orange fruit flavors! That’s what gives Trix the taste kids love. And absolutely no artificial flavors.
Winn-Dixie cereal aisle back in the 1980s
Cereals shown include Fruit Wheats, Oatmeal Raisin Crisp, Honey Nut Cheerios, Raisin Bran, and more.
Nerds candy cereal from 1986
New from Ralston — Nerds brand sweetened cereal.
Two bags in every box, each with its own unique flavor; Orange, Cherry, Grape, and Strawberry.
Wheat and Raisin Chex breakfast cereal (1981)
ET Cereal from the 80s, from General Mills
Body Buddies cereal (1980)
Kids like it… Because it tastes good. Sweetened corn puffs in two delicious flavors: brown sugar & honey and natural fruit flavor.
You’ll love it… 16 vitamins & minerals (more than any other cereal) and no artificial flavors. It’s an important part of a nutritious breakfast.
Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (1983)
Now there’s a bran new way to start feeling your oats! Hooray! Nothin’ tickles an oat lover’s fantasy like new Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal.
The first and only ready-to-eat bran cereal with the rich taste of oat bran, pure brown sugar, and real coconut.
Splash on the milk! Spoon up that crunchy, high-fiber oat goodness. And start feelin’ your oats! It’s new Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal; and naturally, it’s from Kellogg’s.
Remember Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal? (1985)
New Cabbage Patch Kids brand Cereal is the one cereal both moms and kids can feel good about. Because we took the fun and fantasy of Cabbage Patch, turned it into a delicious taste that kids love, and then made it low in sugar!
How low? Only 3 grams of sugar per serving compared with 10 to 13 grams in most children’s cereals, so you can decide the right amount of sugar your kids eat for breakfast. And what’s more, there are no artificial flavors, either.
New Cabbage Patch Kids Cereals is so delicious, such fun to eat and so low in sugar, you’ll see why it’s the first kids’ cereal even mothers will love.
Croonchy Stars cereal
The Swedish Chef from The Muppets was the star of this “cinnamonamony” cinnamon toast cereal from Post.
Retro Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (1983)
NOW SEE THIS: 70 popular vintage 1970s cereals we loved & we miss
Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (1983)
The big list: Cereals available as of 1987
Note: Not every cereal variety is listed, but this is what one grocery store in Raleigh, North Carolina offered in January 1987.
40% Bran Flakes
All Bran Fiber
All Bran Fruit/Apple
Captain Crunch – Peanut Butter
Cheerios – Honey Nut
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Cookie Crisp Chocolate Chip
Cookie Crunch Peanut Butter Boppers
Crispy Wheat n Raisins
Fruit & Fiber Date/Raisin/Natural
Fruit & Fiber Mountain Trail
Fruit & Fiber Tropical
Fruity Marshmallow Krispies
General Mills Cocoa Puffs
General Mills Golden Grahams
General Mills Lucky Charms
General Mills Trix
Just Right All Grain
Just Right Raisin/Date/Nut
Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheat
Kellogg’s Raisin Squares
Kellogg’s Snack Pack
Kretschmer’s Wheat Germ with Honey
Nabisco 100% Bran
Nerds Grape & Strawberry fruit-flavored cereal
Nutri-Grain Almond & Raisin
Oh’s Crunchy Nut
Oh’s Honey Graham
Post Raisin Bran (Post)
Post Toasties Corn Flakes
Quaker Captain Crunch Cranberry
Quaker Cinnamon Life
Quaker Natural Plus
Quaker Natural with Raisins
Quaker Nut & Raisin Granola Crunch
Raisin Bran (Kellogg’s)
Raisin Nut Bran
Shredded Wheat n Bran
Sugar Frosted Flakes
Super Sugar Crisp
Toasted Wheat & Raisins