Was Cap’n Crunch the Character Introduced Before Cap’n Crunch the Cereal?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to cuisine (chefs, dishes, etc.) and whether they are true or false.

CUISINE URBAN LEGEND: Cap’n Crunch the character predated Cap’n Crunch the cereal.

In 1961, Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the creators of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, were given an unusual offer from Quaker. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends had been sponsored by General Mills cereals, but now a rival wanted Ward and Scott to create some new cartoon characters for them, only this time, the cartoon characters would be tied directly to cereals!

The way that cereal originally treated stuff like this was that you would have a cereal, like, say, Rice Krispies…

And then much later, you would come up with a cartoon mascot for the cereal. For Rice Krispies, first it was Woody Woodpecker…

and then it was Snap, Crackle and Pop….

Quaker, though, decided to have Ward and Scott introduce a character FIRST, and then Quaker would create a cereal based on that character!

Ward and Scott came up with Cap’n Crunch…

And then Pamela Low, a flavorist at the consulting firm of Arthur D. Little, designed the cereal flavor based on the idea (essentially, create a tasty, crunchy cereal).

The cartoon commercials debuted in 1963 and were an instant sensation…

Cap’n Crunch has been around ever since. Ward and Scott repeated their feat with Quisp and Quake cereals later in the 1960s, but never had they have as big of a hit as Cap’n Crunch!

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is [email protected]

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