Honey Smacks (simply known as Smacks outside the U.S. in international markets) is a sweetened puffed wheat breakfast cereal made by Kellogg's, noted for its high sugar content. It was introduced in the early 1950s.
Introduced in 1953, the cereal has undergone several name changes. It started out as Sugar Smacks. In the 1980s, it was renamed Honey Smacks. In the early 1990s,, the word "Honey" was dropped from the name and the product was then simply called Smacks. That name is still[when?] used in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. However, in the US the name reverted to Honey Smacks in 2004.
In Australia, the cereal had been known as Honey Smacks since the 1970s. However, Kelloggs Australia no longer markets the brand.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||370 kcal (1,500 kJ)|
|Dietary fiber||4 g|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA FoodData Central
Presweetened breakfast cereals first appeared in 1939. At the time of its introduction in the early 1950s, Sugar Smacks had the highest sugar content in the US cereal market (55% per weight), surpassing Sugar Crisp (later renamed "Golden Crisp) by competitor Post Cereal which had debuted with what The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets would later call "an astonishing sugar content of 51 percent". (The cereals are both sweetened puffed wheat.)
In a 2008 comparison of the nutritional value of 27 cereals, US magazine Consumer Reports found that both Honey Smacks and the similar Golden Crisp were still the two brands with the highest sugar content, more than 50 percent (by weight), commenting "There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg's Honey Smacks [...] as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts". Consumer Reports recommended parents choose cereal brands with better nutrition ratings for their children.
The product title Honey Smacks is inconsistent with honey being a minor ingredient in the recipe. The ingredient label implies that sugar and dextrose are at least two-thirds of the sugar ingredients by weight. Conversely, the proportion of honey in the recipe could range from trace amounts to one-third.
Kellogg's announced a voluntary recall of certain Honey Smacks packages on June 14, 2018, due to the possible presence of salmonella. Although the recall included only packages with a specific range of expiration dates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later advised consumers to avoid eating the cereal entirely. The cereal returned to the shelves in November of that year.
Ever since the cereal was introduced in 1953, there have been various different mascots.
Cliffy the Clown
Various clowns served as the advertising mascot from 1953 to 1956, including Cliffy the Clown and Lou Jacobs from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Ads with these clowns were known for showing them doing the "Sugar Smack Swing".
Smaxey the Seal
Quick Draw McGraw
The Smackin' Bandit
The Smackin' Brothers
The Smackin' Bandit was replaced in 1966 by the Smackin' Brothers, two boys dressed in boxing shorts and boxing gloves. These ads usually featured the brothers wanting Sugar Smacks but winding up smacking each other instead. Also during 1966, promotional box designs were briefly introduced featuring characters from Star Trek. Later commercials were similar to most Cheerios commercials as they demonstrated how the cereal was "vitamin-powered". Paul Frees narrated these ads.
In the early 1970s, an Indian Chief appeared briefly, replaced by Dig'em Frog in 1972. He continued as the mascot when the cereal was rechristened Honey Smacks in the early 1980s. In these ads, Dig'em would appear in front of a group of kids, and they would eat some cereal together.
This character was a heart shaped dog, which was featured in 1982 giving hugs to children.
Wally the Bear
Dig 'em was replaced by an animal more associated with honey, Wally the Bear, in 1986 (1984 in France). These ads featured Wally (not to be confused with the Wally Bear from Wally Bear and the NO! Gang) pestering a kid eating a bowl of Honey Smacks and doing anything to get some, and the kid would always refuse or just ignore Wally completely. Animated by Kurtz & Friends, these commercials performed poorly since they seemed too much like the Trix commercials, and Dig'em Frog was brought back the following year by popular demand.
Dig'em Frog (redux)
During the 1990s, advertising campaigns for the cereal featured Dig'em attempting to have a bowl of Smacks while trying to outsmart his nemesis, Kitty. By 1997, these commercials were discontinued. Dig'em's voice was provided by Len Dresslar and later Frank Welker. While ads for Honey Smacks no longer air in the US, more recent ads in other countries depict[when?] Dig'em as a character who is crazily addicted to Smacks.
- The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. 2015-04-01. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-19-931362-4.
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- Affairs, Office of Regulatory. "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts - Kellogg Company Voluntarily Recalls Honey Smacks Cereal Due to Possible Health Risk". www.fda.gov.
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