16 Things To Know Before Buying Cinnamon Toast Crunch Again

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been a breakfast staple for nearly 40 years. These classic cinnamon and sugar cereal squares have stayed relevant and popular throughout the decades. In 2022, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was still at the top of online cereal sales, making customers just as happy as it did in the 1980s (via Food Manufacturing).

Cinnamon Toast Crunch marketing has kept the product relevant, appealing to the kid in us who refuses to give up our favorite cereal. Marketers have capitalized on Cinnamon Toast Crunch's popularity with a variety of new flavors and products you'll see around your supermarket and online. The cereal's mascots, the Crazy Squares, have kept up with the times to appeal to a younger demographic, becoming the Cinnamojis (via General Mills). Plus, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was responsible for introducing the selfie spoon (via People). Read on to find out what else you need to know about this time-proven cereal.

1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch made its debut in 1984

Cinnamon Toast Crunch first began delighting cereal-lovers in 1984. Most cereals of the 1980s had mascots, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch was no exception. During the early years of Cinnamon Toast Crunch history, boxes and commercials often featured a jolly older chef named Wendell, along with his sidekick bakers named Bob and Quello. If you were buying cereal or watching TV ads for cereal in the 1980s, you would have first seen these three guys together in 1987.

We didn't learn Chef Wendell's name until it appeared in a comic strip on the back of a cereal box in 1990. The comic strip showed Wendell getting lost in TV Land and having to figure out how to get back to his own world. The box instructed kids to collect three magic rescue screens (requiring the purchase of three boxes of cereal) to find out how he was rescued (via Tumblr).

Within a year of his rescue, Wendell overshadowed his sidekicks to become the only baker to ever appear on the box anymore (via General Mills). Fan speculation points to Wendell as possibly being responsible for his fellow chefs' disappearance.  A writer at entertainment media site IGN even weighed in, saying, "The more gruesome accounts claim Quello's thumbs ended up in a few cereal boxes and led to the phasing out of in-box prizes during the 1990s."

2. The Crazy Squares replaced Chef Wendell in 2010

In 2010, Chef Wendel disappeared off the front of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch box to make way for the Crazy Squares. In a post marking the cereal's 30th anniversary, General Mills says, "You just never know when Wendell will make another appearance. Cinnamon Toast Crunch surely wouldn't be what it is without him!" So, hopefully, there won't be any grizzly rumors about the Crazy Squares being involved in Wendell's early demise like there were with his co-bakers (via IGN). However, the anthropomorphic Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crazy Squares are cannibals, regularly consuming each other in Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials. So, we wouldn't put anything past them. Chef Wendell isn't likely to be as tasty as a cinnamon toast square, though, so he's probably safe.

Since 2020, the Crazy Squares have been known as the Cinnamojis to keep up with the times (via Fandom). They even have their own merch. In January 2022, you could buy Cinnamoji Toast Crunch for a limited time. Each piece of cereal had a Cinnamoji face emblazoned on it. In a news release announcing the offer, General Mills Senior Marketing Communications Manager Mindy Murray, said, "The Cinnamojis are known for chomping one another because they are so irresistible. Now fans can get in on the action and chomp the Cinnamojis themselves in this first-of-its-kind limited-edition Cinnamoji Toast Crunch. This won't be the last you're seeing of the Cinnamojis, as they are always up to something."

3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has spinoff cereal flavors

Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been popular enough to have a number of spinoff cereals. The very first was French Toast Crunch, which first hit shelves in 1996. General Mills discontinued the flavor in 2006. Fans bombarded social media with demands for its return, so the company brought it back beginning in December 2014.

Peanut Butter Toast Crunch arrived in 2004, went away for a while, and returned in 2012 (via Mr. Breakfast). You can't find it in stores now, but fans have created a petition to get it back again. Frosted Toast Crunch came out in 2012. While it no longer appears on the General Mills product list and seems to be out of stock, TheCraftingKid offered up an opinion, saying, "I think they only make it around Christmas time" (via Reddit). So, it's worth a look at the end of the year if you're a fan.

The Toast Crunch family currently includes a large number of interesting flavors, many of which take their inspiration from Mexican sweets. The latest lineup includes Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls, Dulce de Leche Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros, Chocolate Toast Crunch, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and CinnaGraham Toast Crunch. You may not find all of these flavors in your local supermarket, but there's a good chance you can find them online. Another flavor we wrote about in 2020, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chocolate Churros, appears to no longer be available.

4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the best-selling cereal in the U.S.

According to Food Manufacturing research, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the best-selling breakfast cereal online in the U.S. In 2021, it beat out Rice Krispies in online sales by a slim margin. Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms were pretty strong contenders for the cereal crown as well. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the baby of the bunch, having debuted in 1984. The fact that we tend to purchase old standards rather than newcomers to the cereal scene shows how much nostalgia plays a role in our cereal purchases. We often store our memories about food next to our emotional memories, so it makes sense that we would turn to our favorite childhood cereal for comfort (via Science Alert).

Food Manufacturing also analyzed the weekly consumer demand for the top cereals. In 2021, the demand for Cinnamon Toast Crunch was highest during weeks in June, July, and the end of December. According to Namely, those are periods when people take the most time off work. It's not a far reach to say you're probably more likely to tap into happy, nostalgic memories related to people, places, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch when you're vacationing or visiting family.

5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a surprising amount of sugar

Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains three different types of sugar: regular sugar, fructose, and dextrose. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that the American Heart Association recommends that men eat only about 36 grams of sugar daily, while women and children should eat only about 24 grams. Thus, eating one serving of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with 12 grams of sugar uses up half of the daily sugar allowance for a woman or a child and a third of a man's daily sugar allowance.

Most people max out their sugar allowance for the entire day if they opt for a second bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And we often do go for a second bowl. According to dietician Anna Taylor, "Our brains are wired to enjoy things which make us happy. Sugar, in particular, releases brain chemicals, like serotonin, that make us feel good." So, we have another bowl of cereal and crave it again the next day (via Cleveland Clinic). Its craveability and high sugar level are among the reasons why you might want to think twice about eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

General Mills' counterpart abroad, Nestle, has reduced the amount of sugar it puts in all of its cereals. As a result, the international version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cini Minis, has less than 7.5 grams of sugar per serving. Perhaps General Mills will follow suit in the U.S. one day.

6. You can vape Cinnamon Toast Crunch

One of the reasons that vaping has become so popular is that you can get vape juice in a variety of flavors, including the flavors of your favorite cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. A quick internet search will reveal dozens of Cinnamon Toast Crunch-flavored vape juice from various companies.

According to Neurology Live, sensory stimuli like flavors and smells can trigger our nostalgia, and we often seek out nostalgic triggers to help comfort us and provide us with happy feelings. So, it's no wonder people seek out cereal flavors to use while vaping. People have long used smoking –- and now vaping -– as a way to comfort and calm themselves. Nostalgia feels good because it activates the brain's reward centers, providing us with pleasant feelings and helping reduce anxiety. However, just as it's easy to become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes and vapes, you can also become addicted to the pleasure of nostalgia. So, there's a strong possibility you could become more addicted to a nostalgic vape flavor like Cinnamon Toast Crunch than your average flavor.

7. The preservatives in Cinnamon Toast Crunch are safe

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, like all packaged products, must contain preservatives so it won't spoil on the shelf. The 12 grams of sugar in Cinnamon Toast Crunch certainly helps to preserve it. However, the cereal also contains BHT, which the label says is to "preserve freshness."

The full name of BHT Is butylated hydroxytoluene. Interestingly, BHT is also prescribed for treating AIDS and genital herpes. It can possibly damage the outside cell layers of the viruses that cause these diseases to prevent the viruses from multiplying and continuing to do damage. The amount of BHT you will find in processed foods like Cinnamon Toast Crunch is nothing like the dosage prescribed as a medication. And there are no known negative side effects of BHT in food (via WebMD). The FDA regulates how much BHT is allowed in dry breakfast cereals to 50 parts per million to ensure that it is safe.

8. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has gone by a few different names

In the U.S., Cinnamon Toast Crunch has always gone by the name Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, you will find it elsewhere under different names. In French-speaking Canada, it's called Croque-Cannelle, which translates simply to Cinnamon Crunch (minus the toast). Cereal Partners Worldwide joined with Nestle to distribute popular cereal brands to 150 countries around the world (via Investopedia). Outside of the U.S., Nestle is the manufacturer listed on Cinnamon Toast Crunch labels, and the cereal has a different name.

You could initially buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the U.K. and Ireland before the name changed to Cinnamon Grahams. In 2008, the name changed to Curiously Cinnamon (via Cereal Killer). In other parts of the world like Europe, Latin America, and Australia, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is called Cini Minis.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch not only has a different name under Nestle, but Nestle also has made some major changes in all of its cereals since 2003, providing a minimum of 8 grams of whole grain, a maximum of 7.5 grams of sugar, and less salt. It also removed all artificial colors and flavors from its cereals in 2003.

9. A man reportedly found shrimp tails in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch

When you open up a bag of cereal, you expect to find cereal and, if you're lucky, a toy prize inside. However, nobody expects to find shrimp tails or other disgusting items in their food. In March 2021, a very unlucky man named Jensen Karp reportedly found not one but two shrimp tails in his bag of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (via Twitter). He says he also found black items cooked into the squares along with other "sugar-coated junk" and a string at the bottom of the bag.

General Mills responded to Karp, saying, "After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren't thoroughly blended." Karp countered with more photos. "After further investigation with my eyes," he said, "these are cinnamon coated SHRIMP TAILS, you weirdos." He says he took the shrimp tails to Quest Diagnostics for analysis, but the lab wasn't able to help determine exactly what he'd found in his cereal box (via The New York Times).

You may know Karp as a TV producer, comedian, or podcaster for Talk Ain't Cheap. He's also married to Danielle Fishel, who is famous for her role as Topanga in Boy Meets World. Despite his comedic history, Karp insists this isn't a prank. Snopes reports the exact identification of what Karp found in his cereal box is still unknown.

10. Those who like spicy snacks can try CinnaFuego Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch released a limited-time spicy edition in August 2022 called CinnaFuego. According to a BusinessWire press release, CinnaFuego "looks the same as the original ... [but] the sweet cinnamon flavor is combined with the added hot sensation of a spicy pepper to deliver an absolutely absurd experience." Mindy Murray, the senior marketing communications manager for General Mills, says that "when we were thinking about what to do next, we realized snack time was a moment that could be spiced up."

CinnaFuego comes in a resealable pouch. While you could pour yourself a bowl like with regular cereal, the resealable pouch encourages you to eat the squares as a spicy snack instead. Reviewer MattBfromTennessee says, "I love cinnamon-flavored anything really but this is a mule kick of cinnamon flavor straight to the taste buds! It's awesome! My mouth felt like I had just had a mouthful of cinnamon candies and the milk turned into a spicy horchata."

Some people gave the spicy snack a bad review because it reminded them of a spicy candy like Hot Tamales or Atomic Fireballs. Reviewer Robblerrobble says, "Of course it's going to taste like that. That's the entire point of this product. If you don't like hot cinnamon products, this product is not for you! That said, I think this is delicious and I like to snack on it dry a few pieces [at] a time so that I can savor the flavor."

11. Most of the ingredients in Cinnamon Toast Crunch are ones you will recognize

When you look at the ingredient list for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you'll notice that most are familiar ones. The cereal contains whole grain wheat, rice flour, sugar, dextrose (sugar from corn or wheat), fructose (fruit sugar), canola oil (and/or sunflower oil), salt, caramel color, and cinnamon. Plus, it's fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin D, riboflavin, B6, B12, magnesium, Vitamin C, iron, thiamin, niacin, folic acid, phosphorus, and zinc. Since it contains Vitamin D and sugar, it's not vegan (via Total Shape).

However, there are a few ingredients that may be less familiar. It contains maltodextrin as a thickener and preservative (via Healthline). Maltodextrin has a higher glycemic index than most sugars, so it can cause blood sugar spikes (via Science Direct). General Mills says it uses a small amount of trisodium phosphate salt in its cereal "to help improve the flavor, color, and texture" (via Twitter). While the chemical is often used as a cleaner, the FDA has approved small amounts of food-grade trisodium phosphate in foods like cereal. However, you should limit the amount of food you eat with this ingredient (via Healthline). You'll also find soy lecithin as an emulsifier and flavor protector in the cereal, which should be safe unless you're extremely allergic to soy (via Healthline). It also contains BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), which is an FDA-approved preservative with no known side effects (via WebMD).

12. You can show your love for the cereal with Crocs and Nike

Cinnamon Toast Crunch has plenty of merch to help you show your love for your favorite cereal and those crazy Cinnamojis. However, if clothing, zipper pulls, and pins aren't enough, you can also signal your allegiance with Cinnamon Toast Crunch shoes. Both Crocs and Nike have released shoes geared toward your love of the cinnamon-flavored cereal. However, finding them still available for sale could be a challenge.

Nike's Kyrie 4 Cinnamon Toast Crunch shoes are high-top sneakers in cinnamon toast brown. The tongue features the Cinnamon Toast Crunch logo, while the white Nike swoop and bottom portion of the shoe include tiny paint splatters in the same color as the logo.

USA Today says Crocs partnered with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Cocoa Puffs to create cereal-inspired clogs for kids. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crocs have swirls in milk white and Cinnamon Toast Crunch brown. They feature cute charms like a Cinnamon Toast Crunch logo, a bowl full of the cereal, and cute Cinnamojis.

13. There's more than Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal to enjoy

Right now, it's a Cinnamon Toast Crunch lover's dream at the grocery store. If you've wandered down a supermarket aisle lately, you've likely seen Cinnamon Toast Crunch products in places other than the cereal section. Farther down the breakfast aisle, you could find Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pancake Mix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal. The baking aisle offers Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cake Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Frosting, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Coffee Cake Mix, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnadust. The snack aisle will provide you with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Popcorn with Cinnadust Glaze and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Remix Snack Mix. You may also find a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Cinnamon Spread among the peanut butter selections.

If you're craving a drink that reminds you of Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk dregs, you may be able to find Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk, Nestle Coffee Mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer, and Swiss Miss Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk at the supermarket. There's also a secret menu item at Starbuck's that tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch (it's called the Cinnamon Toast Crunch drink). It's also easy to make Cinnamon Toast Crunch shots at home with one part RumChata and one part cinnamon whiskey, topped with whipped cream and Cinnamon Toast Crunch crumbles (via Tipsy Bartender). We think a sugar and cinnamon overload could easily be in your future.

14. There are some big differences between Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams are similar in appearance since they're both crisp, sweet squares. Despite having a few similar ingredients, there are enough differences to make Golden Grahams the healthier choice between the two.

Both contain whole-grain wheat, sugar, dextrose, canola oil, and salt. However, that's where their similarities end. Golden Grahams contain corn meal, while Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains rice flour. In addition to sugar and dextrose, you'll find brown sugar syrup in Golden Grahams, while Cinnamon Toast Crunch relies on the addition of fructose for added sweetness. The list of additional ingredients you'll find in Golden Grahams is quite short and includes baking soda and natural flavor. Meanwhile, the list of additional ingredients for Cinnamon Toast Crunch is longer and includes caramel color, maltodextrin, trisodium phosphate, soy lecithin, and BHT.

Both types of cereal have the same sodium, protein, Vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C content. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has more fiber, magnesium, and phosphate than Golden Grahams. However, Golden Grahams has fewer calories, lower fat content, fewer carbs, and fewer sugars. Golden Grahams also has more potassium (Cinnamon Toast Crunch has none), riboflavin, B6, B12, iron, thiamin, niacin, folate, and zinc. Thus, Golden Grahams is more nutritious in most respects.

15. There have been a few different slogans over the years

When Cinnamon Toast Crunch first hit the shelves in 1984, it didn't have a slogan. In 1995, commercials began advertising the cereal as having "the taste you can see." This visible taste refers to the cinnamon swirls on each cereal square. Commercials with this slogan continued through 2008, interspersed with a few slogans that stuck around briefly (via YouTube).

As children who ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the 1980s began to grow up, the cereal-maker decided in 1997 to try to appeal to their older fans by advertising during adult programming, suggesting that eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch was "the adult thing to do" (via Fandom). The marketing department temporarily experimented with saying that the cereal was "breakfast on a whole other level" (via YouTube). Then, in 2007, the company focused on the sensory experience of the cereal, using the slogan, "it's that intense" (via YouTube).

In 2009, the advertising slogan changed to "crave those crazy squares," which resulted in the creation of the Crazy Squares mascots that appeared on the cereal box beginning in 2010 (via YouTube). The sneaky, cannibalistic Crazy Squares (now called Cinnamojis) continue to amuse fans, so the slogan is likely to stay for a while.

16. You can thank Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the selfie spoon

In 2020, breakfast cereal sales went through the roof while many people were stuck at home in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was among the cereals with increased sales. According to Ricardo Fernandez, president of U.S. cereal at General Mills, sales of sweet cereal like Cinnamon Toast Crunch were "helped by nostalgia." He said customers might be telling themselves, "I grew up eating it as a kid, I'm in this new moment of a pandemic and I need things that make me feel comfort" (via CNN).

With all those people buying their favorite childhood cereal again, Cinnamon Toast Crunch had the brilliant but bizarre idea to create a selfie spoon. The commercial asked, "If you don't post it on social media, did it really happen? ... Gone are the days of eating a delicious breakfast and all your friends not knowing about it. So why choose between eating or posting? With the selfie spoon, you can do both — in a flash." The marketing ploy included making the selfie spoons available for free, although the website for the product no longer works properly (via People).