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Foods With Gimmicks

Foods With Gimmicks
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
Foods With Gimmicks
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

Got Pep?

I’d forgotten about “Pep” but it came to mind during a road trip. I found a channel of old radio shows on satellite radio.

I was a fan of the “Superman” show, and Pep was the sponsor.

Most foods marketed to kids had some kind of gimmick. They were great advertisers on radio and television.

There were free things, called “premiums,” from the manufacturer if you mailed in box tops, which amounted to proof of purchase. If the premium was wearable, it was a personal endorsement.

Kids then, as well as now, are not influenced by nutritional benefits but by what came in the box. However, Kellogg claimed their cereal was “new and improved” to give you “super energy” to run faster, jump higher like Superman.

Otherwise it was like “Wheaties,” the “fortified” General Mills cereal that identified with famous athletes.

Pep had an “in-box” pin that kids were encouraged to keep, wear, collect, trade, but the catch was the same; to get mom to buy Pep.

The Kellogg line of breakfast cereal left the shelves in the 1970’s after a run of a few decades.

There are some cereals you should recall. They all deserved their departure: “Ghost Busters Cereal” came in a box that glowed in the dark, “Teenage Mutant Nija Turtle” cereal turned the milk green and didn’t taste like turtles. “Batman” cereal was a corn based bat shape thing, “Sesame Street C is for Cereal” couldn’t make it, “Oreo O’s” were chocolate flavored loops. “Berry Berry Kix,” “Post Toasties,” “Alpha Bits,” “Kream Krunch,” “Rice Cream Flakes” slipped from the shelves without being noticed.

I heard a commercial for “Ironized Yeast” that has been deactivated so that it does not reproduce. You could add it to flour, sugar, and water all day, and it would not rise into a roll.

Starting in the 1930’s the yeast was advertised as an aid to gain weight, or the same product was advertised if you wanted to lose weight.

Confused? The yeast was, and is now, available at health food stores as an additive, and it does contain some vitamins and minerals but not enough to do any good, nor harm.

My mind took a hop into old television shows and the game shows “Beat The Clock” and “To Tell The Truth,” both hosted by Bud Collyer.

Collyer was also a radio actor who appeared as Superman on radio. He taught the same Sunday School Class for over thirty-five years.

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