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Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles are brands of breakfast cereal introduced by Post Cereals in 1971[1] featuring characters from the animated series The Flintstones. Cocoa Pebbles contains chocolate-flavored crispy rice cereal bits, while Fruity Pebbles contains crispy rice cereal bits that come in a variety of fruit flavors.

Contents

Product history

Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles Cereal were reintroductions of a low share of market Post children's cereal brand called Sugar Rice Krinkles. The Product Group Manager at the time, Larry Weiss, licensed use of The Flintstones for cereal from Hanna-Barbera in an attempt to reinvigorate the children's cereal business for Post Cereals. Prior to that time, character licensing had been used promotionally, but there had never been a brand created around a media character. The brand was marketed despite internal concern it would be a fad and not last more than a year. Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles were simultaneously introduced on the West Coast in 1969 and strong consumer demand led to national distribution. The brand has been one of the most consistent best sellers ever since. [2]

The original working names for the companion cereals were Flint Chips and Rubble Stones, consistent with the appearance of the cereal and The Flintstone's Stone Age imagery. Frank Corey, Benton & Bowles' creative head for the Post Cereal business suggested the alternative names Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles, which were immediately adopted. [3]

The basic product retained the Sugar Rice Krinkles form, using the existing expander process and Battle Creek production facilities. The flavors, colors and other product formulations were carefully developed by Battle Creek product experts supported by marketing using the Linescale research technique. The objective was to create product characteristics which matched the expectations of both children and parents for what The Flintstones cereals should look and taste like. After many iterations, the Cocoa Pebbles formula was set and has remained largely unchanged over the years. Fruity Pebbles also remained essentially unchanged for decades. In recent years some additions and variations have been made to the Fruity Pebbles product formulation.

Unlike its sister cereal Cocoa Pebbles (which has remained essentially the same product, except for the addition of polydextrose in 2006), Fruity Pebbles has undergone many formula additions and variants such as "Fiesta Fruity Pebbles", "Half Sugar Fruity Pebbles", "Cinna-Crunch Pebbles" (1999-2000), "Dino Pebbles" (late 1980s- early 1990s), "Marshmallow Mania Pebbles" (2005), "Bronto Bright Pebbles", and "Bamm-Bamm Pebbles". The cereal started out with three flavors: Orange, cherry, and lemon. New flavors were added over time such as grape in 1980, lime in 1984, Berry Blue in 1994, Incrediberry Purple in 1995 and Bedrock Berry Pink in 2005. A berry cereal called Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles was released in 2007, although they are like Fruity Pebbles, they only feature berry flavors. The formula for both versions of Pebbles had a major addition in 2006: polydextrose became a key ingredient. On the front cover it shows Fred with a huge bowl of the Pebbles while Barney is above on his plot to steal the Pebbles, with his inventions to steal them.

Dino Pebbles

The original Dino Pebbles was available from the mid-1980s to the early-1990s. Dino Pebbles consisted of vanilla-flavored cereal with marshmallows. It had the distinction of having the most marshmallows per box of any cereal. In 2005 Dino Pebbles was resurrected under the name Marshmallow Mania Pebbles. Marshmallow Mania Pebbles differed from Dino Pebbles only in that it had sprinkles added to the cereal. Marshmallow Mania Pebbles eventually was also discontinued. In early 2008 a new variety of Dino Pebbles called "Dino Smores Pebbles" was released. It is a cereal with graham cracker bones and cocoa nuggets, along with marshmallow boulders, all the ingredients of s'mores.

Television commercials

The classic television commercials for both Pebbles cereals have a recurring theme. Fred Flintstone would be at first eating the Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles, while Barney Rubble is spying on him from his window. Barney then would make his disguise and goes inside and distracts Fred with Singing, or Dancing or Swimming, and while Fred is distracted from the pebbles, Barney would eat some Pebbles, but Fred would find out about Barney's lies and angry about his breakfast taken, he would mostly say "BARNEY! MY PEBBLES!" and would give chase in the sunset. Other characters such as Wilma Flintstone and Pebbles Flintstone would make cameos as well.

References

  1. ^ http://www.postcereals.com/post%5Fheritage/#/period/6/
  2. ^ Larry Weiss, former Product Group Manager, Post Cereals
  3. ^ Larry Weiss, former Product Group Manager, Post Cereals

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