Cap'n Crunch

Cap'n Crunch
A box of the Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal, featuring the Cap'n Crunch character.

Cap'n Crunch is a product line of sweetened corn and oat breakfast cereals introduced in 1963[1] and manufactured by Quaker Oats Company. Quaker Oats has been a division of PepsiCo since 2001. The product line is heralded by a cartoon mascot named Cap'n Crunch, a sea captain (full name: Horatio Magellan Crunch[2]).

Contents

Development

Pamela Low, a flavorist at Arthur D. Little and "the mother of Cap'n Crunch,"[3] developed the original Cap'n Crunch flavor from a brown sugar and butter recipe that her grandmother had served over rice.[3][4]

In 1965, the Quaker Oats Company awarded Robert Rountree Reinhart, Sr., the Fredus N. Peters Award for his leadership in directing the development team of Cap'n Crunch.[5] Reinhart developed a technique in the manufacture of Cap'n Crunch, using oil in its recipe as a flavor delivery mechanism — which initially presented problems in having the cereal bake properly. This delivery mechanism requires the cereal to go through a deep freeze after the baking process.[5]

Variations

The original Cap'n Crunch cereal
  • Cap'n Crunch: The original Cap'n Crunch cereal, which at the time was referred to as The Crunchy Captain's Cereal (CCC), is made of sweetened, yellow, square-shaped corn and oat pieces. The cereal was launched in 1963, bolstered by a successful advertising campaign created by noted animator Jay Ward introducing the cereal's longtime naval mascot, Cap'n Crunch.[6]
  • Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries: Cap’n Crunch's Crunch Berries cereal was introduced in 1967 and contained, in addition to the yellow pieces found in the original Cap'n Crunch, spherical red Crunch Berry pieces. There was a version of Crunch Berries available briefly in which the berries, instead of being spherical, were three small berries in a cluster. The Crunch Berry Beast mascot was introduced alongside the cereal. There are currently four Crunch Berry colors: red, green (introduced in 2002), blue, and purple (both introduced in the '90s). All the berry pieces are flavored the same, regardless of color.
  • Peanut Butter Crunch: Peanut Butter Crunch was first released in 1969, with a large elephant named Smedley as its mascot; according to sales charts, this version was the most successful at the time.
  • Punch Crunch, Vanilly Crunch, Cinnamon Crunch: Three more editions were issued in the early ’70s -- Punch Crunch, Vanilly Crunch, and Jean LaFoote’s Cinnamon Crunch -- but were later discontinued. Punch Crunch was fruit-flavored cereal rings, and the mascot was sailor-clad hippopotamus named Harry.[7]
  • Choco Crunch: In 1982, a variant called Choco Crunch, featuring the mascot "Chockle the Blob", was introduced. This version contained the yellow corn squares, plus chocolate flavored pieces similar to Crunch Berries. Recently, the "Choco Crunch" brand was reintroduced, but this time only consisting of chocolate flavored corn squares.
  • Christmas Crunch: A special edition named Christmas Crunch was first released for the 1988 holiday season and contained Cap’n Crunch with red and green Crunch Berries in a green box with the Cap’n wearing a Santa Claus hat (originally also containing a toy or Christmas tree ornament inside the box).[8] This variety is now only available in certain regions of the United States (and was recently changed to a gold box).
  • Deep Sea Crunch: A version of the cereal introduced in 1993, which featured Crunch Berries shaped like sea creatures. This version was discontinued but returned in 2009.[9]
  • Oops, All Berries: First released in 1997, “Oops! All Berries” contained nothing but the berry flavored Crunch Berries and none of the corn squares.[9] This version was discontinued the following year. In 2008, 2009, and again in 2010, "Oops! All Berries" has made limited time only returns.[10] Recent boxes do not state "Limited Time Only" printed on the box. Current "Oops! All Berries" colors are red, purple, blue and green.
  • Halloween Crunch: A limited edition version of the cereal introduced in 2007. This includes green Crunch Berries in the form of ghosts.[9]
  • Galactic Crunch: A discontinued version which featured space-related marshmallows.[9]
  • Choco Doughnuts: A discontinued version which featured chocolate flavored doughnut shaped cereal with candy sprinkles.[9]
  • Soft Crunch: A discontinued version which featured softer cereal rings, designed to prevent cuts in the roof of consumer's mouths.[9]
  • Home Run Crunch: A limited edition version of the cereal, currently available, released in 1995 which featured baseball-related marshmallows, like home plates, caps, and mitts. It has the flavor of Berry Crunch but the pieces of the cereal are shaped as bats and balls.[9]
  • Cap'n Crunch's Mystery Volcano Crunch: Red and yellow fruit flavored berries with "'free' packet of lava rocks that pop in milk!".[9]
  • Cap'n Crunch's Oops! Smashed Berries: Oops! All Berries cereal with flat berries that the kids smashed.[9]
  • Cap'n Crunch's CoZmic Crunch: Star shaped berries with "'free' orange space dust that turns milk green".[9]
  • Polar Crunch: A version of the cereal in which the Crunch Berries change color to blue when milk is poured.[9]
  • Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Treasures: Star shaped crunchy yellow corn and oat rings. Contains 1/2 the sugar of regular Cap'n Crunch.[11]

Advertising

Cap'n Crunch TV commercials have aired since 1963. The first Cap’n Crunch commercials featured a four-child crew (Alfie, Brunhilde, Carlyle, and Dave) and the canine Sea Dog, who sailed with the Cap’n on his ship, The Good Ship Guppy. The crew was tasked with keeping the cereal safe from the Cap’n’s nemesis, Jean LaFoote, the Barefoot Pirate. The characters also appeared in a comic book included in Cap’n Crunch cereal boxes.

Jay Ward is credited with the creation of the Cap’n Crunch character and his Jay Ward Studios produced the first Cap’n Crunch commercials.[12] Author Philip Wylie wrote a series of short stories, Crunch and Des, beginning in the 1940s, which featured a similarly named Captain Crunch Adams.[13] The Cap'n Crunch commercials have historically used basic cartoon animation by Hanna-Barbera animation; however, Vinton Studios produced a claymation ad during the ’80s.[14]

In the 1980s, a regular theme featured Cap’n Crunch battling off the evil “Soggies” who attempted to “sog out” the taste of his cereal.

During the 1990s, most advertisements would feature Cap'n Crunch trying to help a teenager or a group of teens and solving their problems by offering them a bowl of one of his cereals.

In early 2000, an advertising campaign starred Cap'n Crunch where he was missing making him unable to appear on a TV show, a commercial, a dinner apppointment, getting the morning paper, and a trip to the moon. A transmission received on a News Report had stated that Cap'n Crunch travelled to the center of the Earth where the city of Volcanica is located. Upon arrival, he learns that the main ingredient in Cap'n Crunch cereal (known as Crunchium) was being stolen by "The Crunchium Thieves." Cap'n Crunch turned for help to the creatures that live in Volcanica called "The Crunchlings." During this campaign, a PC game known as Cap'n Crunch's Crunchling Adventure was released with the cereal to raise a Crunchling and train it to defeat the leader of the Crunchium Thieves in a skateboarding, jumping, or throwing contest.

In modern TV ads, Cap’n Crunch is often seen riding his ship through a wall as the whistle blares. He often comes in the middle of a predicament and uses his cereal to solve the problem at hand by “Crunch-a-tizing” it.

In May 2007 Cap'n Crunch's full name was revealed as Cap'n Horatio Magellan Crunch.[15] It was also revealed on Cap'n Crunch's own baseball card (Cap'n Crunch's Home Run Crunch cereal) that he was "young" in 1963 but according to the picture, old enough to have white hair and mustache.

Daws Butler was the original voice of the Cap’n and continued in the role until his death in 1988. Other characters in the original ads were voiced by Ward Studio veterans June Foray, Bill Scott, and Paul Frees.

In a recent ad, Jean LaFoote returns, this time trying to steal the Cap'n's cereal recipe.

Cap’n Crunch was the most popular children's cereal from 1965–1971 when Post released its fruit-flavored crispy rice cereal known as Fruity Pebbles.[citation needed] It took six years for Crunch to dominate the segment again, releasing a new flavor of the crunch berry ingredient, grape.

Media speculation that the brand was being retired appeared in March 2011, but this was denied by Quaker Oats.[16]

Nutrition

A report released in 2009 by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale gave Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries the worst nutritional score of any cereal marketed to children and families.[17]

Relation to hacking culture

Cap'n Crunch Bosun whistle CA 1971.

In early 1971, a former Air Force electronics technician named John Draper (later self-nicknamed Captain Crunch, Crunch, Crunchman, or Mr. Crunchtastic) was informed by his phone phreak friend Joe Engressia that a toy whistle that was, at the time, packaged in boxes of the cereal could be easily modified to emit a tone at precisely 2600 Hertz, the same frequency that was used by AT&T long lines to indicate that a trunk line was ready to route a new call. This would effectively disconnect one end of the trunk, allowing the still-connected side to enter an operator mode. This resulted in, among other things, the ability to place free phone calls to anywhere in the world and operator-like control over the phone system. Experimenting with this whistle inspired Draper to build blue boxes, electronic devices capable of reproducing this 2600 Hz tone and other tones required to control trunk lines. After being featured, under his pseudonym of Captain Crunch, in an article in the October 1971 issue of Esquire Magazine titled "Secrets of the Little Blue Box", he was sentenced in 1972 to five years’ probation for toll fraud.

Cereal litigation

On May 21, 2009, Judge Morrison England, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed the case Sugawara v. PepsiCo, Inc..[18] The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, claimed she had purchased the cereal Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries because she believed "crunchberries" indicated she was eating real fruit. Sugawara alleged that after four years of purchasing the product she had only recently discovered to her dismay that said "berries" were in fact simply brightly-colored cereal balls. The judge commented "In this case...it is simply impossible for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint stating a claim based upon these facts. The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense. The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen."[19]

Cultural references

Country singer Ronnie Milsap referenced Cap'n Crunch cereal in his 1974 hit song "Pure Love" written by Eddie Rabbitt.[20]

References

  1. ^ Shea, Stuart (2006). The 1960s' most wanted. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books. p. 60. ISBN 1-57488-721-1. 
  2. ^ The Bathroom Reader's Institute. Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader, Bathroom Reader's Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2007, p.88. ISBN 978-1-59223-093-8
  3. ^ a b Marquard, Bryan (7 June 2007). "Pamela Low; kin's treat inspired creation of Cap'n Crunch flavor,". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/06/07/pamela_low_kins_treat_inspired_creation_of_capn_crunch_flavor/. 
  4. ^ Gregg, John P. “Love the Guilty Pleasure of Cap'n Crunch? Thank New London's Pam Low”, Valley News, 3 June 2007, p.1. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
  5. ^ a b "Bob Reinhart, Inventor of Captain Crunch, Dies at Age 84". ThomasUmstattd.com. 7 November 2008. http://www.thomasumstattd.com/2008/11/bob-reinhart-inventor-of-captain-crunch-dies-at-age-84/. 
  6. ^ Jorgensen, Janice (1994). Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands. St. James Press. pp. 99–101. ISBN 1558623361. 
  7. ^ "Cereal of the Eighties, Punch Crunch". In the 80s. http://www.inthe80s.com/cereal/punchcrunch0.shtml. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  8. ^ "From the Cap'n To You! Christmas Crunch". X-Entertainment. 2003-12-12. http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0853/. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "MrBreakfast.com". http://www.mrbreakfast.com. 
  10. ^ http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_detail.asp?id=674
  11. ^ "Cap'n Crunch Crunch Treasures". Cereal Wednesday. May 11, 2011. http://www.cerealwednesday.com/2011/05/11/capn-crunch-crunch-treasures/. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Cap'n Crunch FAQ" (PDF). Quaker Oats Company. http://www.capncrunch.com/pdf/FAQs.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  13. ^ Google Books entry
  14. ^ Vinton Studio Commercials
  15. ^ Capn Crunch's first name revealed - megnut.com
  16. ^ "Cap'n Crunch Breathes Easier: Talk of His Demise Untrue", Adage.com, March 09, 2011.
  17. ^ http://www.cerealfacts.org/cereal_nutrition_advanced_search.aspx?l=b
  18. ^ http://dockets.justia.com/docket/california/caedce/2:2008cv01335/177351/
  19. ^ "Reasonable Consumer Would Know "Crunchberries" Are Not Real, Judge Rules", LoweringTheBar.net, June 2009.
  20. ^ [1]

External links


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