Corn flakes, or cornflakes, is a breakfast cereal made by toasting flakes of corn (maize).
It is made by combining cooked corn along with sugar, vitamins and minerals.
Since their original production, the plain flakes have been flavored with salt, sugar, and malt, and many successive products with additional ingredients have been manufactured such as sugar frosted flakes and honey & nut corn flakes.
Corn flakes are one of the most popular breakfast cereals in the world and for countless people it is an integral part of their morning routine.
Corn flakes are produced in significant quantities at the Trafford Park factory in Manchester, England, which is the largest cereal factory in the world.
It was created by Will Kellogg in 1894 for patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium where he worked with his brother John Kellogg who was the superintendent.
As medical historian Howard Markel writes in his book The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek, tracing the exact origins of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes is difficult, due to the many competing versions of the story.
According to one version Kellogg’s wife, Ella, and his brother, Will, who worked as his assistant (and did much of the administrative work necessary to run the sanitarium), worked alongside him in the kitchen, and both lay claim to playing a role in the flakes’ invention—as do several other family members and Sanitarium employees.According to company history, it was one night in 1898 when a batch of wheat-based cereal dough was accidentally left out for an extended period of time, causing it to ferment. When rolled out into thin sheets, the slightly moldy dough produced perfect large, thin flakes that became crispy and tasty in the oven. Over the next several years, Will Kellogg kept experimenting with the recipe, and figured out that corn, rather than wheat, produced even crunchier, crispier flakes.
The breakfast cereal proved popular among the patients and Kellogg subsequently started what became the Kellogg Company to produce corn flakes for the wider public.
A patent for the process was granted in 1896, after a legal battle between the two brothers.
After years of humiliating treatment by his brother —including being forced to take dictation while John was on the toilet — Will bought the rights to the flake cereal recipe and struck out on his own, founding the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906. Adding malt, sugar and salt to the dough, he began manufacturing Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in mass quantities, and pouring much of the profits into advertising.
In 1907, his company ran an ad campaign which offered a free box of cereal to any woman who winked at her grocer. To increase sales, in 1909 he added a special offer, the Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet, which was made available to anyone who bought two boxes of the cereal. This same premium was offered for 22 years. At the same time, Kellogg also began experimenting with new grain cereals to expand its product line. Rice Krispies, his next great hit, first went on sale in 1928.
The term “Corn Flakes” was devised by Mr. John Kellogg. It was originally referred to as “Granose”, but this was later changed to the far more obvious name “Corn Flakes”. This term refers simply to the product, flakes of corn, in what is obviously a retro reference to the good old days of advertising, when you got exactly what it said on the tin (or cereal packet). Unless, of course, Mr. John Kellogg was just really uncreative and had no real idea about “brand identity” or “target audience”, so when he had to name his product (flakes of corn) he plumped for the name “Corn Flakes”.
There have been many mascots of Kellogg’s Cornflakes. The most popular one is a green rooster named Cornelius “Corny” Rooster, which has been the mascot since his debut. In early commercials, he would speak the catchphrase “Wake up, up, up to Kellogg’s Cornflakes!” Dallas McKennon and Andy Devine voiced him. Later, he stopped talking and simply crowed. The concept of using a stylized rooster originated from a suggestion by family friend Nansi Richards, a harpist from Wales, based on the similarity between ceiliog, the Welsh word for “rooster”, and Kellogg’s (unrelated) surname.
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes sell approximately 8,000,000 boxes per week around the world, in over 130 different countries.
It has been proven that eating Corn Flakes consistently for 2 weeks can increase a person’s physical performance at sports such as snooker, cheese-rolling and debating. This may account for the higher percentage of male buyers, who buy it to get better at their chosen sport and impress the ladies. This of course may be only an urban myth, but has been shown to work in several different scientific studies, one of which involved real people.
The largest cereal box measured 3.22 m (10 ft 6.77 in) in length, 1.26 m (4 ft 1.60 in) in depth and 4.52 m (14 ft 9.95 in) in height and was achieved by Daher International Food Company/Poppins (Lebanon), at Jounieh Old Souk, in Jounieh, Lebanon, on 2 October 2016. All of the 2.7 tons of corn flakes in the giant cereal box and any left over breakfast packages from the mass participation event were given to various charities and organisations in the region.
The largest cereal breakfast was attended by 1,852 participants and was achived by Daher International Food Company/Poppins (Lebanon) at Jounieh Old Souk in Jounieh, Lebanon, on 2 October 2016. The breakfast was attended by the general public and the cereal was corn flakes. Remaining cereal was distributed to a range of charities in the local area.