Lucky Charms, they're magically delicious!
Brainchild of John Holahan, former CEO of General Mills, for years recounted how he stumbled upon orange peanut marshmallows and sprinkled them over Cheerios whilst brainstorming in 1963.
The finished product when shipped did not contain peanuts but the base cereal has remained a modification of Cheerios.
When first marketed in 1964 Lucky charms included pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers.
In its brief history Luck Charms has seen a number of changes.
In 1975 General Mills saw fit to add blue diamonds. Following this successful introduction in 1984 the traditional good luck symbol, the horseshoe, was included in a vibrant purple colour. To entice the newer generations red balloons made their appearance in 1989.
Still experimenting with the cereal General Mills started to ship the Lucky Charms with a blue, yellow and pink rainbow at the beginning of 1991.
By this time production costs had increased significantly with the new shapes so a combination was sneaked in; the star-in-balloon which replaced the short lived red balloon and the original orange star.
The next veteran to go was the yellow moon on 1994, axed in favour of a Pot of Gold (orange). In 1995 the colours were revitalised and the moon made a reappearance in blue (I can only guess to symbolise the saying "Once in a blue moon…") and the star was changed from a six-point to a five-point model.
In 1996 another original bit the dust. The green clover was transformed into a light green hat with a dark green clover.
As of 1999 the line-up seems to have remained stable and you can now enjoy red balloons, blue moons, pink hearts (the only surviving member from 1964), multicoloured rainbows, yellow and white shooting stars, the green hat with the clover, an orange and yellow pot of gold and the purple horseshoes.
As a result of all these changes many websites and fanzines have been born to protest for the return of the original shapes, despite this sales are stable if not better.
As all good cereals must have Lucky Charms has its own recognisable mascot.
In this case it is a short, sweet Irish leprechaun who goes by the name of L.C. Leprechaun, popularly know as Lucky the Leprechaun.
This little creature magically transforms dull white ordinary marshmallows into lucky brightly coloured shapes.
Lucky has one cross to bear in his life, he is eternally being pursued by a bunch of kids who have heard that if they catch him they will get to eat his cereal. He is invariably caught and has to suffer the torment of seeing his prized creations being gobbled by bratty kids.
For the Records
In 1975 Lucky was fired and replaced by Waldo the Wizard (sporting a green outfit and black sport trainers). Unfortunately Waldo turned out to be a fraud and was only pretending to be a magician. Lucky was never one to hold a grudge and when begged to return to his old job in 1976 he accepted and has remained with the company ever since.
1989, Lucky Charms was hit by a terrible stroke of bad luck. A predatory whale swirled the colours of the carefully transformed charms, leaving them all a muddy brown colour, but thankfully Lucky was around to save the day and he turned all the colours back and to punish the naughty mammal turned him into a rainbow coloured marshmallow whale for a limited time only.
General Mills also included green pines as an Earth Day promotion in 19??.
At Christmas time you can enjoy a bowl of festive charms (including Santa, a candy cane a star and other favourites)
Olympic Marbits (the technical name for the marshmallow pieces) (1996) and Twisted (1997) two-colour shapes: Pot of Gold, Moon, Balloon, Horseshoe, and Heart have been boxed.
1999 saw the celebration of an "Around the World Event" with global landmarks immortalised in the cereal. Such recognised landmarks as the green and yellow torch (Statue of Liberty), the gold pyramid, a light blue Eiffel Tower, an bright orange Golden Gate Bridge, a purple Liberty Bell, a beautiful pink and white Tower of Pisa, a red and white Big Ben clock and the carefully crafted green and white Alps.
An outer space promotion followed in the same year, introducing Lucky in a green space suit, he added a new charm to his previous collection, a blue moon with a yellow mouth – Man in the Moon.
Serving 1 Cup
*Calories from Fat….......…9
*Fat (%) ………………..........7.5
*Saturated Fat (g)...….........0
Total Carbohydrate (g)...25
Dietary Fibre (g)…....….....….1