A Trip Down Food Mascot Memory Lane

Food companies have been using mascots to get consumers to buy and like their brand for years. It is not only a way to connect with people on a more personal level, but it leaves an imprint in our minds long after the food has been eaten. Cool mascots make us love these foods even more so let’s check out the Top 10 Best Food Mascots Ever.

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Chester Cheetah — Cheetos

Who can forget this suave cool cat, who will forever be associated with America’s favorite snack? Today, Chester the Cheetah is synonymous with the Cheetos brand. He has been the official mascot for the Frito-Lay’s Cheetos brand snacks since 1986. Chester the Cheetah replaced the first spokesperson for the brand, a cheesy mouse, who apparently did not have much character. Chester epitomizes the “cool cat” persona. He is one of the hippest mascots of a brand to date. He only loses his cool when he can’t put his paws on a bag of Cheetos. Then he will go to any lengths and pull out all the stops to reach his Cheetos-goal. The Chester the Cheetah character was invented in the 1980’s by art director Brad Morgan to appear in television commercials for the brand. Chester was an instant and immediate hit in an era where everything was excessively cool. His notoriety made him so famous that he almost got his own tv show. To date he has starred in many ads and graces every package of the orange cheesy snacks. His catch phrase, “It ain’t easy bein’ cheesy” is synonymous with the brand. Chester’s character was given a makeover and revamped in 1997, making him much more lovable and a more politically correct spokesperson for the times. Chester Cheetah is loved by all. In his recent TV commercials, he’s shown in full computer-generated 3D form causing all sorts of mischief, while purring “Dangerously Cheesy” in his cool accent. He’s a natural James Bond.

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Lucky the Leprechaun — Lucky Charms

Lucky the Leprechaun is better known as the cute mascot for Lucky Charms cereal. This cereal, which was introduced by the General Mills Food Company circa 1963, is a super sweet and sugary confection of multi colored marshmallow treats along toasted oat pieces. They were one of the first cereal companies to include marshmallows or candies in their recipe. The mascot, whose name is Lucky, was originally called L.C. Leprechaun. This famous cereal was a favorite among children who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and it remains a popular brand today. For a brief period, in 1975, Lucky retired and Waldo the Wizard, not a memorable character, took his place. Waldo wore a green cape and a wizard hat, and was rather scary looking. His catchphrase was “ibbledebibbledelicious”. Waldo was mainly tested on the New England market, but he didn’t make the cut. His appearance was brief as Lucky came back the following year. Lucky the Leprechaun is featured on every box of Lucky Charms. Best known for his famous catch phrases “They’re Magically Delicious!” and “They’re Always After Me Lucky Charms”, Lucky may come off as extremely greedy, but who can blame him! We all can get a little greedy at times, but everyone loves Lucky.

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The California Raisins

I heard it through the grapevine, that the California Raisins were a popular group in the 80’s. This fictional rhythm and blues clay animated musical group helped advertise California raisins as part of a campaign to revitalize sales. Commissioned by the California Raisin Advisory Board, the advertising agency of Foote, Cone & Belding came up with the idea to use the characters as a merchandising tool. Using the 1968 Marvin Gaye song “I Heard it through the Grapevine”, these mascots became so popular singing the catchy tune in commercials. They became such a hit that there were animated specials starring the animated raisins and they even won their own Emmy Award. There aren’t many other mascots who have as much soul and slick moves as the The California Raisins. They later went on to be featured in other commercials for other brands, such as Post Raisin Bran cereal and even Sun Maid. A Saturday morning cartoon series, The California Raisin Show, even made it to air lasting 13 episodes. Many of the items used in the creation of this campaign can be found at the Smithsonian. Merchandise sales included toys and images of the Raisins plastered on nearly every conceivable item from lunch boxes, notebooks, clothing, posters, bed sheets, and even a Halloween costume, just to name a few. They also had their own fan club, how many mascots can say that?

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Nesquik Bunny AKA Quiky

Quiky the Nesquik Bunny has been a favorite mascot of children worldwide since the late 1940’s. Representing the Nestlé Nesquik brand of both the breakfast cereal and the flavor mix for your milk; this popular mascot has donned the face of the Nesquik line up of products for years. Quiky the cartoon bunny, first appeared on the cans of Strawberry flavor mix wearing a collar with a large red letter “Q” for Quiky. He was eventually introduced to television audiences debuting in commercials in 1973. When the brand name changed from Nestle Quik to Nesquik — Quiky the new bunny was born. The “Q” on his collar changed to a “N” and chocolate became his new favorite instead of strawberry. Always looking to make people happy, he wanted to appeal to consumers’ changing demands and tastes. Quiky could often be seen engaging in popular athletic activities, like skateboarding. Nesquik’s marketing campaign wanted the consumer to know the drink provided energy and nutrition. For the kids, this was just a cooler and tastier way to drink milk. Quiky the Nesquik Bunny continues to do his job well and is definitely one of the best food mascots ever.

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Cookie Guys — Chips Ahoy

It only seems fitting that a bunch of cookies would be the brand mascots for Chips Ahoy Cookies. Since its inception in 1963, Chips Ahoy has been synonymous with store bought chocolate chip cookies. Made and marketed by Nabisco, the cookies are widely sold in the United States and many other countries worldwide. They are also marketed in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are the third best-selling cookie in the U.S, with sales averaging almost $620 million dollars annually. From 2001 to 2010, the Chips Ahoy mascots were the animated “Cookie Guys.” They were fun, yet sometimes annoying characters who would defy rules and change the cookie colors and flavors. When they debuted, each Cookie Guy’s big personality was made more expressive by their wide eyes. Their mischievousness was based more on being observant than anything else. They were very quiet and never spoke except for little noises that emanated from those cookie lips. Mischievously devilish kids loved them. For adults, the ads were simple and sometimes irritating. In 2010, the Cookie Guys were retired. They were given a reboot in 2014 but they looked a little different than the original Cookie Guys. The previous Cookie Guys had their faces on the edge of the cookie, while the new Cookie Guys had theirs on the flat plane of the cookie, with slender arms and legs, making it easier to roam around in and out of the cookie jar.

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Coca-Cola Polar Bears — Coca-Cola

Did you know that Coca-Cola used Polar Bears in their advertising as far back as the 1920s!? Yes it’s true, Coca-Cola first featured a polar bear in a French print ad all the way back in the early 20’s. You can see a polar bear kindly sharing his Coca-Cola drink with well, the sun. Since that time, polar bears did indeed appear in other advertisements for Coca-Cola. But it wasn’t until the 90s that the Coca-Cola Polar Bears essentially became the face of Coca-Cola’s yearly holiday adverts and beyond. The first ever Coca-Cola advertisement featuring the Polar Bears as you know them today was thought up by Ken Stewart, whose Labrador Retriever reminded him of Polar Bears. Stewart then got the Rhythm & Hues studio to animate the first advert using computer animation. The first official advert with these polar bears was called “Northern Lights” and was released in 1993. The ad spot shows a group of polar bears sitting down to watch the aurora borealis, while enjoying ice cold Coca-Colas of course. Today, these polar bears have become iconic and you can count on a Coca-Cola ad featuring them to pop up on your screen around the holiday season. Also, if you’re a big fan, the coke store has you covered with a whole collection of Coca-Cola Polar bear related merchandise for you to get your hands on!

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Tony the Tiger — Frosted Flakes

Tony the Tiger, is another mascot who brandishes the front of a popular cereal box — Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Introduced in 1951, this lovable animated cartoon character was a far cry from the ferocious feline that actually rules the jungle. Tony the Tiger never roars but he never misses an opportunity to yell out his catchphrase — “They’re GRRRREAAT!” He is kinda of a goofy character until he has a bowl of cereal, then he morphs into a hero and mentor. Tony helps us start the day with a delicious breakfast that is sweet and sugary delicious. Kellogg’s big cat was the creation of the Leo Burnett Company, and was one of the four original mascots for the brand. The others, who never made the final cut were, Katy the Kangaroo, Newt the Gnu and Elmo the Elephant. Kellogg’s definitely chose the right mascot as Tony went on to become an icon for the brand. Tony’s image has changed multiple times over the years. The original whimsical, cereal-box tiger with a teardrop-shaped head was replaced by a sleek muscled sports enthusiast. Today, Tony frequently appears in commercials as an animated character participating in various sports.

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M&M’s Spokescandies — M&Ms

Who doesn’t love the M&M’s mascots? But did you know that a version of what you know today as the M&M’s Spokescandies can first be traced back to the 50s!? That’s right, walking, talking, animated M&M’s candies were first seen in commercials during the 50s. Over the years they continued to make appearances in one way or another and by the mid 90s, morphed into what you know them as today. They are the cutest things and you just want to gobble them up. The M&M mascots, also known as spokescandies, are a breed of their own, with their own distinctive personalities. Each spokescandy represents a different color of M&M. Basically, each character always consists of a colored candy shell surrounding a chocolate filling and a variation in the center. These lovable little M&M mascots come off as somewhat cynical and getting into all types of trouble that can make you lose your cool. Each mascot has his or her special attributes. Over the years, as new and different flavored M&M’s have hit the market, so too have new mascot characters. Whatever your favorite, the original M&M candy with chocolate filling remains the most popular to this day. As for a favorite M&M’s mascot, it’s much harder to choose. They are just all so cute!

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Kool-Aid Man — Kool-Aid

Kool-Aid is a popular drink with kids in many American households, and the Kool-Aid Man is a popular mascot who has been appearing in television ads since the 70’s. The mascot, depicted as a fun-loving gigantic smiling pitcher filled with Kool-Aid, is super cool and rambunctious. He is typically featured in ads answering the call of children by smashing through walls while brandishing a pitcher filled with Kool-Aid, all while yelling his catchphrase, “Oh yeah!” A favorite with kids who love super sweet fruity drinks, parents on the other hand may not be such huge fans due to its crazy amount of sugar. The Kool-Aid Man had a knack for bringing people together for a cool drink and lots of fun. People loved the different flavors and colors of Kool-Aid, especially the reds and blues that would stain your lips and tongue for hours. General Mills hired an agency and art director Marvin Potts created this character in 1954. His inspiration came about while watching his son draw a happy face on a foggy window. By the 1980s, the Kool-Aid Man had reached pop culture icon status and even had his own video game, and a comic book series called the “Adventures of Kool-Aid Man”. He’s also appeared in episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy. Today, the character is no longer a live-action figure or cartoon but is totally computer-generated. Definitely one of the best food mascots ever, Kool-Aid Man still captures the attention of kids who still love the drink and this easy-going character.

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Pillsbury Doughboy AKA Poppin’ Fresh

The Pillsbury Doughboy. Who couldn’t love this guy, he is a mini mountain of puffable cuteness. Doesn’t a squeezable hug or a poke in the belly just seem befitting? Created in the early 1960s, by the Leo Burnett advertising agency, the doughboy has graced most major advertising for Pillsbury from 1965 until the present. Everyone fell in love with the Pillsbury Doughboy after that first poke in the belly and hearing him let out that cute little giggle, literally one of the cutest things in the history of life (or advertising at least). Originally named Jonathan Pillsbury, the dough boy was given a scarf, a chef’s hat, two big blue eyes and a soft warm chuckle to distinguish him from the rolls. He quickly gained notoriety and today we know him as him “Poppin Fresh”. A fitting name which is supposed to conjure up images of opening that famous cylindrical container, popping the contents in the oven. The results should be some sort of delicious pastry that is fresh and warm, just like the Pillsbury Doughboy. The first Doughboy to appear on TV was brought to life using clay and stop motion animation, but today they use CGI, which makes him even more lifelike and real, and of course, yet again, even cuter.

Written by

A modern millennial guy with a cute little family. Located in Southern California. I like writing about fun topics that are interesting to learn about.

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